Melese Zenawie’s Nile plan will kill the Nile and Egypt as we know it resulting to war and unprecedented conflict on water rights

The master architect of the New Nile agreement Melese Zenawie condemns the Nile to dry up and having irreversible effect by eventually   bringing an end to the civilization of Egypt as we know it today. He malignancy plays as a friend of Egypt and Sudan in one hand on the other he pumps out the Africans against one another to fulfill  his personal  big finical dam projects. His over 500 mega dams project will be also  the last blow to the Horn of Africa’s  fragile ecological equilibrium. Egypt and Sudan will be the 1st victim of such megalomaniac project. (Prof. Muse Tegegne)

The new agreement, the Nile Basin Co-operative Framework, is to replace a 1959 accord between Egypt and Sudan that gave them control of more than 90 per cent of the water flow.


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Egypt warns that new Nile agreement could prove a ‘death sentence’

Cairo has jealously guarded the riches of Africa’s longest river. Now poorer nations have had enough. Daniel Howden reports

Monday, 31 May 2010

Egypt’s arable land stretches out over the map of North Africa like a green kite on a desert background. The string uncoils northwards from the Aswan high dam until it reaches the Nile Delta, where it opens into a triangle to meet the Mediterranean Sea.

This narrow fertile strip, fed by the world’s longest river, is where Egypt lives. Eighty million people are crammed into less than five per cent of the land. In most of the country it never rains and 90 per cent of the water on which the civilisation that built the pyramids depends comes from the river.

As Herodotus observed in the 5th century BC, Egypt is a gift of the Nile. And it is a gift that Cairo has worked assiduously to ensure nobody takes it away.

Two treaties signed more than half a century ago gave Egypt the lion’s share of the water from the Nile. But those deals, so crucial to one country, also set up an epic imbalance of resources that has led analysts to look to this river system as the likely theatre for the first of the long-heralded water wars. Now a fresh crisis has emerged to threaten Cairo’s hegemony of this most political of rivers as five of the 10 Nile basin countries have signed up to a new agreement that would give them a greater share of the waters and has been greeted in the Egyptian press as a “death sentence”.

The White Nile rises in East Africa in Lake Victoria and drains through Uganda into Sudan where it meets in Khartoum with the Blue Nile flowing from Ethiopia’s Lake Tana.

An exchange of letters in the Egyptian capital between the British ambassador and the Prime Minister of Egypt on 7 May, 1929 was sufficient to conclude the Nile Water agreement.

It read: “No irrigation or power works are to be constructed on the River Nile or its tributaries, or on the lakes from which it flows… which would entail prejudice to the interests of Egypt.”

In other words Egypt had monopoly of the waters. On behalf of its colonial possessions – Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – Britain, which was primarily concerned with the Suez Canal and the passage to India, had just signed away their most precious resource.

Egypt had the right to veto any project along the Nile and full rights of inspection. In 1959, this deal was overtaken by a new agreement between Egypt and Sudan splitting the waters 75 per cent to 25 per cent and guaranteeing Cairo “full control of the river”.

The results of this control are nowhere more clearly seen than at Lake Nasser, a man-made reservoir 550 kilometres long, created when Egypt completed the Aswan high dam. The country’s largest engineering project – constructed with Soviet assistance at the height of the Cold War — it took six years to build and another 5 years to fill.

Some 55.5 billion cubic metres of water gush from the Aswan dam into Egypt annually. It has enabled Cairo to regulate the life-giving annual flood, to irrigate its otherwise parched landscape, and at the point it was finished supplied half the country’s electricity needs.

With control of the Nile, Egypt’s agriculture has expanded fivefold in the ensuing years.

It also marks the effective border between downstream development and upstream poverty. Today, Egypt is approximately 10 times wealthier than Ethiopia. Militarily and economically it dwarfs every state on the banks of the river.

Without the water all this could change rapidly. “Egypt’s historic rights to Nile waters are a matter of life and death. We will not compromise them,” said Moufid Shehab, the Egyptian Minister of Legal Affairs.

Countries like Ethiopia, which accounts for 85 per cent of the river’s flow, never recognised the “colonial relic” treaties and are now seeking to right what they see as a historical wrong.

“Some people in Egypt have old-fashioned ideas based on the assumption that the Nile water belongs to Egypt,” Ethiopia’s premier Meles Zenawi said recently. “But the circumstances have changed and changed forever.”

Under pressure from upstream countries, Egypt agreed to take part in the Nile Basin initiative set up in Uganda’s Entebbe on the shore of Lake Victoria in 1999. While Cairo saw it as a talking shop with a mandate to share scientific data, the other states saw it as an opportunity to renegotiate the use of the Nile.

After a decade of talks with no sign of concessions from Egypt, five African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – made their own agreement on more favourable terms than the six per cent of water currently allowed them.

“We’ve been grappling with this since the 80s, Egypt didn’t want anyone to talk about the Nile,” said a senior UN official close to the talks. “Egypt has really pissed off other countries and this time unless there’s a miracle they will have to give ground.”

The Aswan is no longer the only mega-dam on the river. Ethiopia this month opened the 460MW Tana Beles dam, which would have been considered an act of war in Sadat’s time. A string of new dams are planned to join the Beles on the Blue Nile. On the White Nile Uganda is opening the controversial Bujagali dam.

The new framework agreement has been rejected by Egypt and its ally Sudan – while Eritrea has signalled its support for Cairo. Burundi is expected to back the new deal as soon as the current elections are over and DR Congo is expected to ignore lobbying from Egypt and follow suit.

With support from seven of the 10 riparian, or riverside, states the deal could be ratified and backed by the African Union.

Even Sudan’s support could be split along with the country itself if the south votes to break away from Khartoum at a referendum expected early next year. Diplomats believe the newly established South Sudan would back its upstream neighbours, while some are expecting the new state to even call itself the Nile Republic.

Behind the heated rhetoric of death sentences and lifeblood most observers believe that the current crisis will be resolved politically rather than militarily. The era in which Egyptian foreign policy was based on backing insurgencies and destabilising its southern neighbours may have past. David Grey, a visiting professor at Oxford University and senior water advisor to the World Bank, says the Nile Basin initiative for all its failures suggests a future in which shared water resources could yoke together former adversaries rather than divide them.

But he also warns of the far bigger crisis that’s coming:

“If you add climate change and growing populations the future is a very unpredictable, risky one.”

The Nile Basin is home to countries with rapidly expanding populations. Egypt’s population is expected to reach 121 million by 2050. Uganda’s population is expected to double long before then. The number of Ethiopians is projected to increase from 83 million to 183 million.

The bigger question is not whether a more equitable sharing of the Nile can avert a war, but whether the overexploited river can continue to meet the growing demands placed on it.

The great drought of the late 1980s provided a possible answer to that question. In Egypt, the drought is remembered as the “great water crisis” where the water level at the Aswan high dam dropped dangerously by 1988. Agriculture and industrial output were hit drastically, severely depleting foreign exchange reserves and hitting economic growth. A similar crisis now could destabilise the government with unpredictable consequences.

In Ethiopia the drought is remembered for the accompanying famine in 1984-5 – severely exacerbated by civil conflict and disastrous government policies – that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and brought the the country international attention.

Unless the current standoff is broken to provide for a unified management of the Nile basin for the first time then the next great drought could send the region back to the brink of a water war.

The Nile in literature

From John Keats’ ‘To The Nile’:

Nurse of swart nations since the world began,
Art thou so fruitful? or dost thou beguile
Such men to honour thee, who, worn with toil,
Rest for a space ‘twixt Cairo and Decan?

From ‘God dies by the Nile’ by Egyptian psychiatrist and writer Nawal El-Saadawi:

The light of dawn glimmered on the river, revealing the minute waves, like tiny wrinkles in an old, sad, silent face. Deep underneath, its waters seemed immobile, their flow as imperceptible as a moment of passing time, or the slow movement of the clouds in the dark sky.

From ‘Rhadopis of Nubia’, by Egyptian Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz:

They left their houses and hurried to the bank of the Nile to witness the first ripples, bearers of bounty and good fortune. The voice of the priest of Sothis resounded through Egypt’s still air, announcing the good news to the South: “Come celebrate the holy festival of the Nile!”

Uganda: Ethiopian led river Nile agreement signed without Egypt and Sudan


River Nile basin states have today signed an agreement on the Nile river basin cooperative framework in which they agreed to collectively work towards conserving river Nile and equitably using it’s water.

This follows a statement made by Mohammed Allam, minister of water resources and irrigation that “Egypt reserves the right to take whatever course it sees suitable to safeguard its share,” while adding that the north African country saw the matter as a national security issue. “Egypt’s share of the Nile’s water is a historic right that Egypt has defended throughout its history,” Mohammed Allam had threatened.

But his Tanzanian counterpart explained that “Egypt and Sudan can always join the rest and sign the agreement since there is a provision of one year in which member countries can sign.”

Although Kenya’s minister of water did not turn up to sign the agreement, the county’s ambassador to Uganda, major general Henry Okange who represented his country at the signing ceremony said that the minster failed to turn up due to state duties.

The ambassador promised that the water minister would sign the agreement in the near future. “Kenya stands by the countries which have signed the agreement. The signing of the agreement is an initiative of equitable utilization of river Nile water by countries in the Nile basin which is good,” he said.

The Nile basin countries said they were tired of first getting permission from Egypt before using river Nile water for any development project like irrigation as required by a treaty signed during the colonial era between Egypt and Britain in 1929.

Led by Ethiopia, which contributes to over 80 per cent of the Nile’s water resource and yet enjoys an insignificant share, upper riparian countries among the Nile Basin countries have long sought an equitable share and a departure from pre-independent and colonial treaties. Egypt and Sudan alone enjoy 90 per cent of the Nile River’s water resource.

Negotiations between the ten countries of the Nile Basin Initiative to sign a Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) have been ongoing for at least 13 years. Last month,negotiations between Nile basin member countries stalled over Cairo’s refusal to give its stamp of approval to a new Nile water share plan that could see a reduction of its water quota. Sudan has always supported Egypt.

Geologist confirms: Dams Ethiopia the end of the world for Egypt

BY ahmed ibrahem ibrahem Buray 24/05/2010

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, meets with President Joseph ...

Warned the Egyptian-American geologist known Rushdie Said the seriousness of Ethiopia to build dams on the Nile River for agriculture, “because this would be” the end of the world for Egypt, “he said.
He said that the crux of the problem of the Nile water back to a 1959 agreement made between Egypt and Sudan, according to which of countries sharing the Nile water comes from Ethiopia without leaving one centimeter to them.
Said revealed the numerous studies and books about the Nile River that there is a provision in the Convention states that “if requested by another part of the river the parties are negotiating to cede part of their share of this State.”
This came in a speech to a television program, against the backdrop of the signing of 5 African countries, the source of the Nile Basin countries of the seven, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya on a new framework agreement on the Nile River city of Entebbe, Uganda without the consent of Cairo and Khartoum.
For his part, suggested that Sudanese politician and veteran former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi solution to the problem of sharing the Nile waters is based on the use of vast territories in the Sudan, the optimal use in integrated farming “farmers” to meet the needs of all the Nile Basin countries willing to share water, in order to meet the burden fulfill the needs of the population food security in all these countries, including Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Which he considered Rushdie Said solution is unacceptable, “would detract from Egypt’s share in the Nile water, barely meet the needs of the Egyptian people note that Egypt does not have the alternative water resources in their possession the rest of the Nile Basin.”
He said that the best solution to this problem is a special formula weighing this matter and give Ethiopia the right to some of the water that comes from them,
At the same time pointed out that Egypt’s quota of Nile water amounting to 55.5 billion cubic meters, although it seems large quantity, but barely enough to cover the requirements of present-day Egypt in mind what the future?
And Dr. Rushdi Said Egyptian immigrant to the United States, which was celebrated from the days of ninetieth birthday, that Ethiopia has a lot of other water sources that are supposed to meet their needs,
Speaking for no other reasons hidden behind the right to ask Ethiopia to the Nile water is, the rejection of the Convention on the Egyptian-Sudanese since more than fifty years.

The Africom US’s Military Support for Africa …Why?

The US  is forced to put its   new Africa Command in Germany for now,only  Liberia, offered to host it.

Most African countries are scared considering it as a new colonization of the US by militarization the continent, since it has been only  half a century they came out of brutal colonization.

The us military command was created to unite responsibilities shared by three other US regional commands.

According to the US the key aim of Africom was to build the capacity of African countries for security and peacekeeping. theAfricans doubt the  US intentions as they felt a lose of the hard won national sovereignty.

The AFRICOM Crest.  Click for high-res version.

Gen William Ward - Africom commander

Gen William Ward Head of Africom

I believe that the U.S. military can be an effective long-term partner in Africa, because we share the same goal of an Africa that is secure, stable and developed in ways meaningful to its people and our global society. Our men and women in uniform bring capabilities to help the Africans achieve their security goals while demonstrating how pride in ones service can make a difference in how the people of a nation feel towards their military, their government, and each other especially in places where ethnic tensions remain a factor.

General Kip Ward , Commander, United States Africa Command

Modern Ghana

SCRATs: AFRICOM after the Human Terrain System
Modern Ghana
Research experience in North Africa, East Africa/Horn of Africa, Central Africa, or West Africa is desirable. The position requires travel within the US and 

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US militarisation: The tragedy of Somalia

By Explo Nani-Kofi

Saturday, May 29, 2010

As the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) force becomes ever more active in Somalia, questions must be raised as to the intentions of this militarised organisation, writes Explo Nani-Kofi. Nani-Kofi stresses that the African continent grows ever more vulnerable to a maturing breed of neocolonial occupation based on US-led proxy wars.

When Barack Obama was elected president of the US, it was supposed to be the end of the bad old days of George W. Bush. But in Somalia, the ‘war on terror’ continues.

March this year saw the start of a new US operation in support of the transitional government in Somalia.

According to the New York Times, American advisors had spent the last several months training Somali forces to be deployed in the offensive against factions of the Union of Islamic Courts movement, and the US had provided ‘covert training to Somali intelligence officers, logistical support to the peacekeepers, fuel for the maneuvers, surveillance information about insurgent positions and money for bullets and guns’.

This was something of a covert operation from the US point of view. A US official, who told the paper ‘what you’re likely to see is air strikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out’, said he was not allowed to speak publicly about it.

The Somali government, however, was happy to boast of US involvement. General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye, the new chief of staff of the armed forces, said of a military surveillance plane overhead, ‘It’s the Americans. They’re helping us.’

On 2 May, explosions in a mosque in Mogadishu’s Bakara market, a stronghold of the US-targeted Al Shabaab group, killed 45 people and triggered fighting between a pro-government militia and Al Shabaab and Hizbal al Islam, both factions of the Union of Islamic Courts movement. It’s not clear who actually set off the explosions, but it is beginning to seem that Somalia could be the US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) first overt war.

The Obama administration’s 2011 budget request for security assistance programmes in Africa includes $38 million for arms sales to African states, $21 million for training African officers and $24 million for anti-terrorism programmes. This is in addition to the 40 tonnes of arms and ammunition supplied to the Somali transitional government in 2009, and military aid to Ethiopia, which fronted for the US in the fight against the Union of Islamic Courts in 2006. AFRICOM has now taken over US security assistance programmes with Mali, Niger, Chad and Senegal, and the Defense Department is now considering forming a 1,000-strong marine rapid deployment force for Africa. Although AFRICOM gives the impression it is not a combat force, it looks as if this may change.

The justification for US involvement in Somalia is ‘Islamic extremism’. Al Shabaab is on the US list of terrorist organisations as a supposed part of al-Qaeda. On 14 March, General William (‘Kip’) Ward, commander of AFRICOM, singled out Somalia in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee as the east African country most ‘threatened by terrorists’, while Senator Carl Levin stated that ‘al Qaeda and violent extremists who share their ideology are not just located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region but in places like Somalia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger’. Kip Ward also spoke of support for the Somali government, which is being fought against by radical Islamist groups, as a responsibility that the US has to take up. This means that there is no separation between the US–UK presence in Afghanistan and AFRICOM’s operations in Somalia and other parts of Africa.

Writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 10 March, the last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994–95), Daniel H. Simpson, posed the question ‘Why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabaab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?’ He provided the answer himself: ‘Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The US Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for US troops and fighter bombers in Africa.’

AFRICOM, responsible for US military operations for the whole of the African continent except Egypt, was established in October 2008, but the idea goes back to the beginning of the decade, when the US National Intelligence Council estimated that the US will buy 25 per cent of its oil from Africa by 2015. Oil and natural gas seems to always sit nicely with this so-called war on terror.

The case of Somalia epitomises the proxy war situation in Africa and also smashes some of the myths around why African countries are in the situation they are. It’s sometimes argued that the different languages and tribes in many African countries are the cause of their problems. However, Somalia is one country with one language and one dominant religion, so by that reasoning it should have more internal harmony than its neighbours. The explanation for its problems lies in the history of colonialism and exploitation by Western powers. The breakdown of national cohesion in Somalia and the civil war in 1988, since when the country has been ungovernable from Mogadishu, was caused by its use in the Cold War and specifically by President Siad Barre’s decision to seek alliances with the US and apartheid South Africa against Soviet Union-backed Ethiopia. Subsequent international interventions, like the UN force in 1992 and the Ethiopian US-backed invasion in 2006 have been more about occupation than mediation.

The US proxy war in Africa is a mechanism to re-colonise the continent and extend the boundaries of the war on terror. It’s time to mobilise against it. To support the campaign against AFRICOM and the proxy situation in Africa, check the Sons and daughters of Africa Movement Facebook page, coordinated in Europe by Agnes Munyi-Vanselow and Explo Nani-Kofi of KILOMBO – Campaigning Against Proxy War Situation in Africa and AFRICOM. The latter is affiliated with the Stop the War Coalition in the UK.

AFRICOM’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia

By Rick Rozoff

Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010

“The United States Africa Command, also known as AFRICOM, is a new U.S. military headquarters devoted only to Africa. It is one of the U.S. Defense Department’s six regional headquarters. Command officials will work with African partners to achieve a more stable environment in which political and economic growth can take place.”(Text & photo – U.S. Department of Defense website)

Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the past two days in fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation’s presidential palace, and troops of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.

The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question “why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?”

He answered it in stating “Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.

“Flush with money, in spite of the expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense obviously feels itself in a position to undertake military action in Africa, in Somalia.”1

Fulfilling its appointed role, the New York Times leaked U.S. military plans for the current offensive in Somalia on March 5 in a report titled “U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital.” (Note that the Transitional Federal Government is presented as Somalia itself and Mogadishu as its capital.)

The tone of the feature was of course one of approval and endorsement of the Pentagon’s rationale for directly intervening in Somalia at a level not seen since 1993 and support for proxy actions last witnessed with the invasion by Ethiopia in 2006. The report began with a description of a military surveillance plane circling over the Somali capital and a quote from the new chief of staff of the nation’s armed forces, General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye: “It’s the Americans. They’re helping us.”

Afterward “An American official in Washington, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly” – a hallmark of the American free press – was, if not identified, quoted as maintaining that U.S. covert operations were planned if not already underway and “What you’re likely to see is airstrikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out.”2

The New York Times also provided background information regarding the current offensive:

“Over the past several months, American advisers have helped supervise the training of the Somali forces to be deployed in the offensive….The Americans have provided covert training to Somali intelligence officers, logistical support to the peacekeepers, fuel for the maneuvers, surveillance information about insurgent positions and money for bullets and guns.”3

Four days later General William (“Kip”) Ward, commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In his introductory remarks the chairman of the committee, Senator Carl Levin, reinforced recent American attempts to expand the scope of the deepening Afghanistan-Pakistan war, the deadliest and lengthiest in the world, to the west and south in stating that “al Qaeda and violent extremists who share their ideology are not just located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region but in places like Somalia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger.”4

In his formal report Ward pursued a similar tact and expanded the Pentagon’s “counter-terrorism” (CT) area of responsibility yet further from South Asia: “U.S. Africa Command has focused the majority of its CT capacity building activities in East Africa on Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Uganda, which – aside from Somalia – are the countries directly threatened by terrorists.”5

He also spoke of the current offensive by “the transition government to reclaim parts of Mogadishu,” stating “I think it’s something that we would look to do and support.”6

Senator Levin and General Ward included eight African nations in the broader Afghan war category of Operation Enduring Freedom, countries from the far northeast of the continent (the Horn of Africa) to the far west (the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea). The U.S. military has already been involved in counterinsurgency operations in Mali and Niger against ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda, not that one would know that from Levin’s comments.

“In an exercise last month near Bamako, Mali, American troops helped soldiers from Mali and Senegal in West Africa learn to guard their borders against infiltration by Islamic militants.” (The New York Times, December 12, 2008.)

In between South Asia and Africa lies Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. The New York Times report cited earlier reminded readers that “The United States is increasingly concerned about the link between Somalia and Yemen.” Indeed as Levin’s comments quoted above establish, Washington (along with its NATO allies) is forging an expanded war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and into Africa.7

That extension of the South Asia war has not gone unobserved in world capitals, and earlier this year Russian political analyst Andrei Fedyashin commented: “Adding up all four fronts – if the United States ventured an attack on Yemen and Somalia – America would have to invade a territory equal to three-fourths of Western Europe; and it is hardly strong enough for that.”8

Strong enough or not, that is just what the White House and the Pentagon are doing. The only other objection that can be raised to the above author’s description is that it too severely narrows the intended battlefront.

In the past six months Somali troops have been sent to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda for combat training and “most are now back in the capital, waiting to fight.”

In addition, “There are also about 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers, with 1,700 more on their way, and they are expected to play a vital role in backing up advancing Somali forces.”9

Last October the U.S. led ten days of military exercises in Uganda – Natural Fire 10 – with 450 American troops and over 550 from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The U.S. soldiers were deployed from Camp Lemonier (Lemonnier) in Djibouti, home to the Pentagon’s Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa and over 2,000 U.S. forces. The de facto headquarters of AFRICOM.

At the time of the maneuvers a major Ugandan newspaper wrote that they were “geared towards the formation of the first Joint East African Military Force.”10

In addition to using such a multinational regional force in Somalia, the U.S. can also deploy it against Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Uganda, Congo and Sudan, and could even employ it against Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Sudan, along with Somalia the only nations on the African continent not to some degree enmeshed in military partnerships with Washington and NATO. (Libya has participated in NATO naval exercises and South Africa has hosted the bloc’s warships.)11

Earlier this month the Kenyan newspaper The East African divulged that “American legislators are pushing for a law that will see another phase of military action to apprehend Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.”

The news source added that the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Bill adopted by the U.S. Congress last year “requires the US government to develop a new multifaceted strategy” and as such the new bill under consideration “will not be the first time the US government is providing support to the Uganda army in fighting the LRA.

“The US has been backing the UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Force] with logistics and training to fight the rebel group.”12

Last month it was announced that the U.S. Africa Command has dispatched special forces to train 1,000 Congolese troops in the north and east of their nation, where Congo borders Uganda.

Former U.S. diplomat Daniel Simpson was quoted above as to what in part is Washington’s motive in pursuing a new war in and around Somalia: To test out AFRICOM ground and air forces in Djibouti for direct military action on the continent.

A United Press International report of March 10, placed under energy news, offered another explanation. In a feature titled “East Africa is next hot oil zone,” the news agency disclosed that “East Africa is emerging as the next oil boom following a big strike in Uganda’s Lake Albert Basin. Other oil and natural gas reserves have been found in Tanzania and Mozambique and exploration is under way in Ethiopia and even war-torn Somalia.”

Emerging energy interests in Uganda’s Lake Albert Basin.

The region is, in the words of the Western chief executive officer of an oil prospecting firm, “the last real high-potential area in the world that hasn’t been fully explored.”13

The article added:

“The discovery at Lake Albert, in the center of Africa between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is estimated to contain the equivalent of several billion barrels of oil. It is likely to be the biggest onshore field found south of the Sahara Desert in two decades.”

It also spoke of “a vast 135,000-square-mile territory in landlocked Ethiopia that is believed to contain sizable reserves of oil. It is estimated to hold 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as well.”

And, more pertinent to the Horn of Africa:

“A 1993 study by Petroconsultants of Geneva concluded that Somalia has two of the most potentially interesting hydrocarbon-yielding basins in the entire region – one in the central Mudugh region, the other in the Gulf of Aden. More recent analyses indicate that Somalia could have reserves of up to 10 billion barrels.”10

Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies are also deeply involved in the militarization of East Africa.

On March 10 NATO extended its naval operation in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Ocean Shield, to the end of 2012, an unprecedentedly long 33-month extension. On March 12 “Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 will take over missions from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for the four-month assignment. The change will increase NATO’s contribution from four ships to five ships….”15

At the same hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee that AFRICOM commander William Ward addressed, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, America’s Admiral James Stavridis, “noted that 100,000 NATO troops are involved in expeditionary operations on three continents, including operations in Afghanistan, off the coast of Africa, and in Bosnia.” (Evidently Kosovo was meant for Bosnia.)

Stavridis, who is concurrently top military chief of U.S. European Command, said “The nature of threats in this 21st century [is] going to demand more than just sitting behind our borders.”16

He also said he finds “Iran alarming in any number of dimensions,” specifically mentioning alleged “state-sponsored terrorism, nuclear proliferation and political outreach into Latin America.”17

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently returned from Jordan and the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain where he pressured both nations to support the war in Afghanistan and Alliance naval operations.

“NATO’s top official said [on March 9] that he has asked Jordan and Bahrain to contribute to alliance naval operations fighting terrorism and piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden, as he ended a visit to the two countries. NATO is keen to improve cooperation with Arab and Muslim states, seeing them as important allies for a number of missions, including the all-important deployment in Afghanistan.”18

Regarding the Western military bloc’s almost nine-year Operation Active Endeavor in the entire Mediterranean Sea and its Operation Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden, Rasmussen said, “We would very much like to strengthen cooperation (with Bahrain and Jordan) within these operations.”19

While in Jordan he was strengthening military ties with NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – and in Bahrain firming up the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative aimed at the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have military personnel serving under NATO in Afghanistan.

In late February a delegation of the 53-nation African Union (AU) visited NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.

“NATO continues to support the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through the provision of strategic sea- and air-lift for AMISOM Troop Contributing Nations on request. The last airlift support occurred in June 2008 when NATO transported a battalion of Burundian peacekeepers to Mogadishu.”21

On March 10 AMISON deployed tanks to prevent the capture of the Somali presidential palace by rebels.

The North Atlantic military bloc, which in recent years has conducted large-scale exercises in West Africa and inaugurated its international Response Force in Cape Verde in 2006, also supports “the operationalisation of the African Standby Force – the African Union’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus similar to the NATO Response Force.”22

In May the European Union, whose membership largely overlaps with that of NATO and which is engaged in intense integration with the military bloc on a global scale22 will begin training 2,000 Somali troops in Uganda.

Brigadier General Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commanding officer of French armed forces in Djibouti, said “the Somali troops will be trained with the necessary military skills to help pacify and stabilize the volatile country.”

He issued that statement “at the closing ceremony of four-week French operational training of 1,700 Ugandan troops to be deployed” to Somalia in May. The French ambassador to Uganda said “The EU troops shall work in close collaboration with UPDF to train Somali troops.”23

The 2,000 soldiers to be trained by the EU will represent a full third of a projected 6,000-troop Somali army.

The U.S.-NATO-EU global triad plans an even larger collective military role in the new scramble for Africa. On March 4 and 5 a delegation from AFRICOM met with European Union officials in Brussels “seeking EU cooperation in Africa,” specifically in “areas where cooperation could be possible, notably with the soon-to-be-launched EU mission to train Somali troops.”24

Tony Holmes, AFRICOM’s deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, said “Somalia, that’s an area where we’re going to be doing a lot more, the European Union is already doing a lot and will be doing more….

“Somalia is very important for us. The European Union is involved in training Somalis in Uganda and that’s something we might be able to work closely with to support.”

The AFRICOM delegation, including Major-General Richard Sherlock, director of strategy, plans and programs, also discussed “counter-terrorism cooperation with the EU in the Sahel region, notably in Mauritania, Mali and Niger….”25

In late January the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, said “that the Alliance is in discussion with a Gulf state to deploy AWACS planes for a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan in support of its ISAF mission and also for anti-piracy off Somalia.”26

To demonstrate that NATO’s anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia has other designs than the one acknowledged, early this year a NATO spokesman announced that the bloc’s naval contingent in the Gulf of Aden “now has an additional task” to intervene against a fictional deployment of Somali fighters across the Gulf to Yemen.

The spokesman, Jacqui Sheriff, said “NATO warships will be on the lookout for anything suspicious.”27

As though Somali al-Shabaab fighters have nothing else to do as the U.S. is engineering an all-out assault on them in their homeland.

Five days after the New York Times feature detailed American war plans in Somalia, the Washington Times followed up on and added to that report.

U.S. operations are “likely to be the most overt demonstration of U.S. military backing since the ill-fated Operation Restore Hope of 1992….”

“Unmanned U.S. surveillance aircraft have been seen circling over Mogadishu in recent days, apparently pinpointing insurgent positions as the TFG [Transitional Federal Government] marshals its forces. U.S. Army advisers have been helping train the TFG’s forces, which have been largely equipped with millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. arms airlifted into Mogadishu over the last few weeks.”

The newspaper report further stated: “It’s not clear when the offensive will start. The word on the street is sometime in the next few weeks….”

The campaign has already begun.

“After securing Mogadishu, the offensive, supported by militias allied with the government, for now, at least, is likely to continue against al-Shebab in the countryside west and south toward the border with Kenya.”28

The People of Africa Reject AFRICOM – A U.S. Bid for Military Dominance (Updated) ( 0)

Calling New Election a confrontation for Melese’s new coming absolute power? Boycott would have been better than reelection demand …

EPRDF rallyEthiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

“Addis Ababa, May 25, 2010 Ethiopian People?s Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDF) is leading the 4th national elections by winning 499 of the 547 federal parliamentary seats, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) Chairperson announced here late on Tuesday. In a news conference he gave here today, the Chairperson, Prof. Merga Bekana said partner parties on their part won 35 seats, according to provisional results reaching the Board. He said EPRDF won the election with a majority vote winning 499 seats. According to Prof. Merga, EPRDF won 38 seats in Tigray, 137 in Amhara, 178 in Oromia, 122 in South Ethiopia Peoples State and 22 seats in Addis Ababa. EPRDF partner parties on their part won 8 seats in Afar states, 2 seats in Benishangul Gumuz, 2 seats in Gambella State while winning 21 seats in Somali State, according to the provisional election results reaching the board. He said EPRDF won one seat in each of Harari state and Dire Dawa City Administration while its partners won the rest. Prof. Merga said Forum had won only one seat in Addis Ababa while a private contender won one seat in South Ethiopia Peoples State. He indicated that the Board has not received the result of 1 constituency from Amhara, 7 constituencies from Bensihangul Gumuz, 1 constituency from Gambella and 2 constituencies from Somali states. Prof. Merga thanked the public at large, election contending political parties, religious leaders, governmental and non-governmental organizations for helping make the 4th national elections successful, free, peaceful, fair and credible.”???



Ethiopia opposition leaders call for new elections

Will Ross
BBC News, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s opposition leaders have called for a rerun of Sunday’s elections, saying they were flawed.

Head of the main opposition coalition Merera Gudina said he will not accept the results, which gave Prime Minister Meles Zenawi a landslide victory.

Mr Merera says two party members were killed by security forces, reports say.Supporters of Merera Gudina at an Oromo People's Congress (OPC) rally in Ambo, May 15, 2010Merera Gudina’s supporters were hoping to make gains

The EU and US have both criticised the polls, saying they fell short of international standards. Ethiopian officials have denied fraud.

Mr Merera, chairman of the Medrek coalition of eight main opposition parties, has called for a new election.

Earlier, another opposition leader Hailu Shawel had also called for a rerun of the elections.

The opposition has complained that its election observers had been beaten and driven away from polling stations in several regions.

Meanwhile, Mr Merera has said two members of his party were shot dead by security forces in the Oromiya region in the south of Ethiopia, Reuters news agency reports.

“The government is trying to prevent protests by massively repressing the people,” he said.

But a government spokesperson claims one man was shot when he stormed an office where ballots were being counted and the other was killed in self-defence by a policeman, Reuters says.

At a victory rally on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Mr Meles warned international observers to respect the election results, saying: “The people’s vote will not be overturned by foreign forces.”

According to the official election results, 499 out of 536 seats declared so far have been awarded to the governing party.

Medrek – which had been seen as the main challenger to Mr Zenawi’s party – has only won a single seat.

Mr Shawel says the results “don’t look real,” reports the AFP news agency.

Ethiopia’s last elections, in 2005, were marred by violent protests over alleged fraud which left about 200 people dead.

At that time, Mr Shawel was leader of the opposition coalition and was jailed, along with several other opposition leaders, for his role in the protests.

Most of those jailed were later pardoned and released, although one opposition leader remains in prison.

The BBC’s Will Ross in Ethiopia says opposition leaders risk being sent to prison if they continue their protests, since in the eyes of the Ethiopian authorities, there is a thin line between rejecting the election results and inciting violence.

Mr Shawel says he will not call on his supporters to protest, reports AFP.

Mr Meles – who has been in power since 1991 – put Sunday’s election win down to an impressive track record, especially when it comes to economic growth.

The government has worked hard to improve infrastructure, especially in the urban areas, and social services such as healthcare have become more accessible.

Hailu Shawel, who heads the All Ethiopia Unity Party, must realise that his request for a rerun of the election is highly unlikely to be granted.

His other option is via the courts.

But he knows he must tread carefully as Ethiopia’s government may not tolerate much criticism.

In the eyes of the Ethiopian authorities, there is a thin line between rejecting the result and inciting violence and so the opposition party leader risks a return to jail.

Ethiopianism is Pan Africanism by ANC

ANC and  Ethiopianism

Time to reflect on our gains and challenges

May 26, 2010 Edition 1

mathole motshekga

This year’s Africa Day celebration in Parliament was themed “Building and Maintaining Peace through Sport in Africa”.

Parliament must be commended for hosting the important event, which took place just a few days before the kick-off of the biggest sporting event on the planet – the World Cup.

Football has for ages served as a uniting sport for people of all races throughout the world.

It has brought hope during extreme difficulty; unity where there was division; courage in the face of systematic injustice; faith in what looked impossible; and victory over subjugation.

Given the continent’s history of conflict and instability, the World Cup must foster peace in Africa, and should be used to usher in a new era of unity and stability in the continent.

We are confident that this prestigious world event will not only leave a lasting legacy for South Africans, but for the continent as a whole. It is for this reason that we have called this event an “African World Cup”.

This year’s marking of this important day on the calendar of the African continent takes place two years after violent attacks targeted mainly at foreign nationals in communities in Gauteng and other parts of the country.

While those attacks were generally xenophobic in nature, they also bore some ethnic undertones as they were also targeted at South Africans.

The ANC and government moved swiftly to decisively quell the attacks and ensured that those behind the attacks were isolated by society and arrested.

As we celebrate this important day, we must as a nation and continent continue to consolidate our social stability and reaffirm our efforts to build a human rights culture. We must, through words and deeds, shun such ugly and repulsive acts both within our borders and elsewhere on the continent.

On Africa Day we must reaffirm our solidarity with the rest of the continent.

We will continue to empower our people to become their own liberators from poverty and underdevelopment.

The establishment of the AU and the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) were confirmation that Africa was focusing on developmental issues to create a better life for all.

While Africa continues to record successes on many fronts, we are also mindful of the many challenges still faced by the continent.

Extreme poverty characterised by the lack of access to basic education, health care and adequate nutrition remain some of the main challenges facing the continent.

The spread of diseases, especially HIV/Aids, continues to threaten Africa’s efforts to attain peace, stability and prosperity.

Parliament must use the Africa Day celebration to acknowledge the continent’s achievements and to take stock of challenges it still faces.

It is important to use that opportunity to reflect on the roots of the renascent ideology and its future.

We must use the celebration to recall that the founders of African nations were spiritual and religious people, guided by the desire to create non-racial, non-sexual, united and democratic and prosperous societies in which the value of all citizens was measured by their shared humanity.

Africa is a great continent that gave birth to human civilisation. It gave birth to sciences and philosophy which shaped modern sciences and society.

More specifically, Africa gave birth to humanity itself – sciences such as geometry, astronomy, astrology and mathematics.

Africa also gave birth to spiritual philosophy of humanism (Ubuntu/Botho) which gave the modern world a universal value system that took root during the European Renaissance, which was inspired by the recovery of Khemeti.

It is therefore not surprising that the founders of modern African nations appealed to the glory of ancient Ethiopia and Africa to propagate their (notion of) equality of Africans to other races.

The African Renaissance is an ideal that came from the people and must be rooted among the people to succeed.

To understand it we must remember that Africa was ravaged by the slave trade and colonialism.

These two inhumane systems virtually killed Africa.

For us to understand and nurture the renascent movement we need to understand its underlying ideas and motives.

African people were not only uprooted from their continent and enslaved abroad, they were denied their humanity and treated as second-class citizens in state and church, including cultural institutions.

Africans remember their disposition to associate with one another for mutual benefit. In the Americas, three types of organisations were established as a result of this disposition.

These organisations were the Prince Hall or African Masonic Lodges, and Ethiopianism that included Sylvester Henry Williams, founder of Pan Africanism, Booker T Washington founder of the Tuksgee Institute and mentor of John Langalibalele Dube – the founding president of the ANC.

The others were WEB du Bois and Marcus Garvey as well Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

The father of African Ethiopian Theology, Reverend Mangena Mokone, founded the Ethiopian Church of South Africa, which became the 14th district of the AME.

The AME was established in 1892.

In the same year Dube foretold the rebirth of Africa in his public lecture entitled Upon my Native Land.

In that lecture he foretold a rebirth of a spiritual, humane and prosperous South Africa.

The affiliation of the Ethiopian Church to the AME was concluded in 1896. From that year onwards many African students were offered bursaries to study in African/American colleges, where they were profoundly influenced by Masonic teachings of Prince Hall, Ethiopianism and Pan Africanism.

In 1898 Bishop Turner of the AME Church came to South Africa and ordained many priests in the Ethiopian Church.

The Pan African Movement took shape in 1900 when Williams convened the First Pan African Conference at which Du Bois delivered a keynote address. In that address Du Bois foretold that the colour line would be the greatest problem of the 20th century. The conference also condemned the atrocities perpetrated on African people during the Anglo-Boer war.

After the conference some delegates, including Williams, came to the Cape where they joined Bishop Copplin of the AME Church and other AME officials who propagated both Ethiopianism and Masonic teachings.

Ironically, the Pan Africanists used Masonic teachings and Ethiopian theology to promote universal brotherhood and sisterhood while Cecil John Rhodes and his followers used Masonic teachings to justify the suppression and exploitation of African and other races.

It was this racially discriminatory ideology that inspired the Boers and Britons to conclude the Treaty of Vereeniging which reconciled Boers and Britons on the basis of social exclusion of African people.

  • Mathole Motshekga, Chief Whip of the ANC, speaking at the Africa Day celebration in Parliament yesterday.
  • Melese vis Melese vis Melese ….. won by melese the African famous electoral drama comes to an end in Ethiopia

    From the the total 536 seats in Woyane parliament only one is won for an individual  runner the rest with his phantom parties  organized by himself 35 seats

    Melese won 499+35=535



    EU monitors slam Ethiopia polls

    The European Union’s chief election observer in Ethiopia has said that last weekend’s poll was conducted on an “uneven playing field” that favoured the 

    Ethiopia election results
    BBC News
    The opposition say some of their supporters were intimidated during the poll and that the electoral process was flawed. The BBC’s correspondent in Ethiopia

    Ethiopia Ruling Party Celebrates Election Win; EU Has Concerns

    The European Union says it has concerns about Sunday’s election in Ethiopia, won by the ruling party in a landslide. Ethiopia’s elections board says the 

    Opposition might challenge Ethiopian vote count in court

    Ethiopians waited in line yesterday to cast their votes in Addis Ababa. The election in Africa’s third most populous nation is being closely watched by 

    Ethiopia Election Results: Zenawi’s EPRDF Wins

    Incumbent Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has won the 2010 general elections, securing leads in 9 

    Ethiopia election marred by intimidation, say rights group

    Ethiopia: NEBE announces preliminary election results

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — May 24, 2010 (ENA) — The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced here Monday a preliminary election results drawn 



    Ethiopian ruling party garners 499 seats in elections

    DDIS ABABA, May 25 (Xinhua) — The Ethiopian ruling party has gained 499 seats in the 547-member parliament, media reported on Tuesday.

    The report quoted the Ethiopian National Electoral Board as saying the outcome emerged when 536 results were announced.

    Earlier on Tuesday, the National Electoral Board has announced that the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), is leading the fourth national elections by winning 477 of the 547 federal parliamentary seats.

    Public Relations Head with the Board, Mohammed Abdurahman, said in a statement on Tuesday that the EPRDF won 38 seats in Tigray, 137 in Amhara, 160 in Oromia and eight seats in Afar states, according to the provisional election results.

    Hundreds of thousands of members and supporters of the EPRDF on Tuesday celebrated party’s victory after announcement of provisional election results by the National Electoral Board.

    Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s current Prime Minister and Chairperson of EPRDF, accompanied by senior government officials, joined the huge crowd at Maskal Square, the grand one in Addis Ababa, capital of the nation.


    Human Right Watch

    Ethiopia: Government Repression Undermines Poll

    MAY 24, 2010

    (Nairobi) – Ethiopian government and ruling party officials intimidated voters and unlawfully restricted the media ahead of the May 23, 2010 parliamentary elections, Human Rights Watch said today.

    In assessing the polls, international election observers should address the repressive legal and administrative measures that the Ethiopian ruling party used to restrict freedom of expression during the election campaign, Human Rights Watch said.


    Ethiopians vote inside a polling station in the capital Addis Ababa on May 23, 2010. © 2010 Reuters

    “Behind an orderly façade, the government pressured, intimidated and threatened Ethiopian voters,” said Rona Peligal, acting Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Whatever the results, the most salient feature of this election was the months of repression preceding it.”

    In the weeks leading up to the polls, Human Rights Watch documented new methods used by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to intimidate voters in the capital, Addis Ababa, apparently because of government concerns of a low electoral turnout.

    During April and May, officials and militia (known as tataqi in Amharic) from the local administration went house to house telling citizens to register to vote and to vote for the ruling party or face reprisals from local party officials such as bureaucratic harassment or even losing their homes or jobs.

    The May poll was the first national parliamentary election in Ethiopia since the government violently suppressed post-election protests in 2005; almost 200 people, including several police officers, died after the 2005 poll and tens of thousands of people were arrested, including opposition leaders, journalists and civil society activists.

    In a March 2010 report, “‘One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure’: Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association in Ethiopia,” Human Rights Watch described the complex and multi-faceted way in which the government has sought since 2005 to silence dissent, restrict the media and independent civil society, and leverage government resources such as civil service jobs, loans, food assistance and educational opportunities to encourage citizens to join the ruling party or leave the opposition.

    The government’s efforts to ensure the election outcome continued right up to polling day in Addis Ababa, according to Human Rights Watch’s research in different areas of the capital, including in Merkato, Piazza, Wollo Sefer, Meskel Flower, Aya Ulet, Kera, Gotera, Hayat, Kotebe-CMC and Bole neighborhoods.

    “Intimidation to register and to vote for the ruling party is everywhere,” a resident of Addis Ababa told Human Rights Watch. “If the local administration is against you, they’ll be after you forever. They can come and round you up at will.”

    Residents of Addis Ababa described numerous forms of intimidation in Addis Ababa in recent weeks.

    Pressure to Register to Vote
    Many people told Human Rights Watch that tataqi, local kebele (or neighborhood) militia members came house-to-house asking to see registration cards and checking if people were members of the ruling EPRDF party.

    A couple living in the Meskel Flower area said they were visited on a weekly basis by members of the neighborhood militia who were checking whether they were registered as EPRDF members. The wife told Human Rights Watch:  “One of them approached my husband. ‘We know who you are,’ he told him. ‘If you don’t want to register, no problem, but then don’t come to the sub-kebele and ask for your ID renewal, or for any other legal paper. We won’t help you. It’s up to you, now.” The following day the couple registered.

    Pressure to Join the Ruling Party When Registering
    Different sources across the capital confirmed to Human Rights Watch that alongside registration, voters were requested to sign a paper, under a heading “Supporter of EPRDF,” that included ID number, age, and address.

    An Addis Ababa resident said, “There’s a lot of pressure for you to obey. They have your name, they ask you to sign. If you don’t, it means you’re against them. And they can come back to you whenever they want. At the end of the day, you just have to do what they force you to do.”

    Pressure to Vote for the Ruling Party
    Pressure to vote for the EPRDF appeared to take a number of different forms. Pressure was particularly acute among civil servants, people living in government-owned housing, and those living in poor neighborhoods.

    An elderly resident living in state-owned housing said local government officials visited her house a few weeks before the elections asking to see her registration card. She said they wrote down her house number and told her, “We are going to check. And don’t forget to vote for EPRDF. We provide you the house, we can have it back.” She said that she was frightened by the threat and registered even though she had not intended to vote.

    Civil servants are particularly pressured to vote for EPRDF, saying that ruling party officials remind them that it is the EPRDF government that employs them. Patterns of intimidation of teachers and others that were recently documented in Addis Ababa echo the examples previously documented across the country by Human Rights Watch in “‘One Hundred Ways Putting Pressure’.” For example, a teacher in a public school in Addis Ababa said: “A few weeks ago my headmaster called us all. He asked us to show him our registration cards. He wanted to know whom we were going to vote for as well. I refused. He harassed me and said, ‘You better get your card, and vote properly, otherwise after the elections you might lose your job.'”

    Residents also described an EPRDF pyramid recruitment strategy called One-for-Five. A coordinator (ternafi) had to identify five recruits or fellow voters (teternafiwoch) among family members, friends, colleagues or neighbors. Coordinators then tried to compel their five signers to go to the polling stations and vote all together.

    A woman in Aya Ulet area said, “A neighbor came to me. He said: ‘I know you voted for the opposition last time. Are you going to vote for them again? Do I have to report it to the kebele?’ I am a civil servant; I know that party officials and local administrators are the same thing. For fear of losing my job, the next morning I went to his place and signed.”

    Pressure on the Media and Foreign Diplomats
    Simultaneous with the increased pressure on voters, in the weeks before the polls the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi acted to restrict electoral scrutiny by independent media and foreign diplomats.

    The government issued several codes of conduct covering media and diplomatic activity. Initial drafts of the media regulation restricted foreign and local journalists from even speaking to anyone involved in the election process, including voters on election day, in violation of the right to freedom of expression. Several journalists in different countries told Human Rights Watch that when they applied for media visas to cover the elections, they were extensively questioned by Ethiopian embassy diplomats.

    The government told Embassy staff they needed travel permits for any movement outside of Addis Ababa between May 10 to June 20.

    “The government has used a variety of methods to strong-arm voters and try to hide the truth from journalists and diplomats,” said Peligal. “Donor governments need to show that they recognize that these polls were multi-party theater staged by a single-party state.”

    Repressive Context of the Elections
    Since 2005, Human Rights Watch has documented patterns of serious human rights violations by the Ethiopian government. Members of the security forces and government officials have been implicated in numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity both within Ethiopia and in neighboring Somalia. The pervasive intimidation of voters and restrictions on movement and reporting are serious concerns for the integrity of the electoral process, but represent only one aspect of the Ethiopian ruling party’s long-term effort to consolidate control.

    The EPRDF’s main instrument for stamping out potential dissent is the local administrative (kebele) structure, which monitors households and can restrict access to important government programs, including seeds and fertilizer, micro-loans and business permits, all depending on support for the local administration and the ruling party.

    Since 2008 the government has also passed new laws to clamp down on independent civil society and the media. The Charities and Societies Proclamation restricts Ethiopian nongovernmental organizations from doing any human rights work, including in the areas of women’s and children’s rights, if they receive more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources. Since the law’s adoption in 2009, the leading Ethiopian human rights groups have closed most of their offices, scaled down their staff, and removed human rights advocacy from their mandates. The new regulatory agency established by the Charities and Societies Proclamation froze the bank accounts of the largest independent human rights group, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council. At least six of Ethiopia’s most prominent human rights activists fled the country in 2009.

    Another law, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, has also been used to threaten with prosecution human rights activists and journalists for any acts deemed to be terrorism under the law’s broad and vague definition of the term. Several journalists also fled in 2009, including the editors of a prominent independent Amharic newspaper, and in February 2010 Prime Minister Meles acknowledged that the government was jamming Voice of America radio broadcasts.

    Human Rights Watch urged the international election observer teams from the European Union and the African Union to take into account in their public reporting the insidious apparatus of control and the months of repression that frame the 2010 polls.

    Ethiopia is heavily dependent on foreign assistance, which accounts for approximately one-third of government spending. The country’s principal foreign donors – the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, which provide more than US$2 billion annually in humanitarian and development aid, – were timid in their criticisms of Ethiopia’s deteriorating human rights situation ahead of the election.

    Human Rights Watch called on the principle donors and other concerned governments to publicly condemn political repression in Ethiopia and to review policy towards Ethiopia in light of its deteriorating human rights record.

    “Ethiopia is an authoritarian state in which the government’s commitment to democracy exists only on paper,” said Peligal. “The question is not who won these elections, but how can donors justify business as usual with this increasingly repressive government?”


    Somalia divides the West :- Who control the ground and high seas ?

    Two Decades and Counting But Stability Still Eludes Somalia

    Planned deployment of German ex-soldiers to Somalia draws 
    German ex-soldiers to work in SomaliaBERLIN — A private security company’s plan to deploy more than 100 German ex-soldiers to Somalia to work for a warlord has triggered intense media coverage and drew harsh criticism from lawmakers 

    America Secretly Plans For War With Iran
    General Petraeus, has ordered a ‘broad expansion’ of secret activity in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somaliaand Yemen among other countries. 

    German military security firm helps Somali warlord

    Monday, 24 May 2010

    German lawmakers have voiced concern about a deal between a German military security firm and a warlord hostile to the UN-backed government in Somalia.

    Government soldier in Mogadishu - file pic

    Rival militias have turned the capital Mogadishu into a killing zone

    Asgaard German Security Group, which hires former German troops, has signed a contract with Abdinur Ahmed Darman, who claims to be the Somali president.
    Rival militias have turned the capital Mogadishu into a killing zone

    MPs from three German parties said the deal would aggravate the conflict in Somalia and violate UN sanctions.

    But a BBC reporter in Somalia says Mr Darman is a marginal figure in the war.

    Mr Darman declared himself president in 2003, but has not lived in the country for about five years, and is regarded by most Somalis as a publicity seeker, the BBC’s Mohamed Moalimuu reports from the capital Mogadishu.

    Preparing for power

    Asgaard says it will provide services, including military training, only when Mr Darman becomes the country’s leader.


    Mr Darman’s Republican Party has an office in Mogadishu and occasionally issues statements – referring to Mr Darman as president – but is not considered a major political player.

    “As soon as he assumes control of state affairs again, with the approval of the UN, Asgaard GSG will take charge of training, equipping and supplying the fire service, public health service and disaster control, as well as the police and military,” a statement on Asgaard’s website said.

    “We want to do this in close co-operation with the German government, and we are in no way acting against their interests. At this point there are no German citizens in Somalia at the instigation of Asgaard GSG.”

    Somalia has been racked by violence for more than two decades.

    A leading German MP in the left-wing Linke party, Paul Schaefer, said Asgaard’s deal was worrying “because it’s a kind of shadow foreign policy, beyond parliamentary control”.

    A German liberal FDP politician, Rainer Stinner, said such a deal “clearly violates” UN sanctions prohibiting arms deliveries or training for Somali militias.

    Islamist insurgency

    Islamist groups control much of the south of the country, with the UN-backed transitional government headed by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed limited to small parts of the capital.

    President Ahmed – a former insurgent leader who was elected by Somali MPs in January 2009 – is in Turkey for a peace conference, where he told the BBC how he intended to tackle the Islamists.

    He said he wanted to build up a government army while offering an olive branch to radicals who might be turned.

    But the BBC’s Mark Doyle in Istanbul says it is far from clear if the president, described in the West as a moderate, will prevail.

    He has Western support now, because Washington hopes he will keep al-Qaeda at bay in East Africa, but

    Western support is a poisoned chalice in nationalist Somalia, he says.


    U.S. destroyer shadows ship under pirate control

    By the CNN Wire Staff
    May 24, 2010

    (CNN) — A U.S. destroyer is shadowing a ship off the coast of Somalia after it was taken over by 50 pirates, authorities said.

    The M/V Iceberg was identified last week after the USS McFaul conducted a 36-hour surveillance mission, the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces said in a statement. The USS McFaul began shadowing the Panamanian-flagged vessel May 19 before the M/V Iceberg reversed course and began heading toward the Somali coast.

    “We cannot be sure what the pirates’ plan was if they had not been interrupted,” said Rear Adm. Beom Rim Lee, commander of the Combined Maritime Forces task force.

    The destroyer USS McFaul is monitoring a Panamanian-flagged vessel taken over by pirates.

    The destroyer USS McFaul is monitoring a Panamanian-flagged vessel taken over by pirates.

    “The vessel may have been on its way to either assist other pirates in distress, or look for another merchant vessel to attack,” he said.

    The M/V Iceberg was last been seen off the coast of the Somali town of Garacaad, a known pirate haven, but its exact location was unknown until USS McFaul positively identified it. “Further investigation showed the name of the ship had been crudely painted over” in an effort to disguise it, which caused confusion in identifying it, the Combined Maritime Forces statement said.

    The USS McFaul had initially requested to board the ship to check on the crew. The M/V Iceberg denied it had been taken over, saying it was having mechanical difficulties. Eventually, crew members radioed back saying they had been taken hostage by heavily armed pirates, officials said.

    The M/V Iceberg has a crew of 24 from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines, officials said.

    Cmdr. Ronald W. Toland, Jr., commanding officer of USS McFaul, said he tried to ensure the safety of the crew first.

    “Given the report of heavily armed pirates on board, it was more prudent to monitor the ship’s movement, rather than attempt a rescue,” he said.

    2012 Precession the end of the old and beginning of new dimension

    by Dan Eden for ViewZone [See Dan Eden’s Confidential Message]

    Note: Since this article was first published, viewzone has received more information on “doomsday,” including visual and scientific evidence that a solar “extinction event” happened in the past. See Part 2 – The Previous Doomsday of 12,950 BC: what was it like? for details.

    ViewZone asked me to write a story about the Mayan Calendar. There is a common belief that the calendar holds a prophecy that the world will end in 2012. I knew very little about the whole topic when I began doing the research. I like to think I had an open mind. My investigation began with mainstream archaeology and expert interpretations of the calendar. But it soon took a turn that made my hair literally stand on end. I am now convinced that these prophecies are true.

    To understand what is likely to happen to Earth and its people, you will need to remain calm and try to follow the facts. It’s not as simple as some people describe. It requires an understanding of some fairly complicated science, but I think I can explain this in a way that you will easily understand.

    The Calendar — A Descrption

    First, the Mayan calendar is also sometimes called the Aztec Calendar. This calendar is recorded as a carving on the Aztec “sun stone,” currently on exhibit in the National Museum of Anthropology and History located within Chapultepec Park, Mexico City. There’s a lot we could say about this carved stone but most of those details are irrelevant to the “end times.”

    Our modern calendar, called the Gregorian Calendar, has daysweeksmonths and years. In the Mayan Calendar it’s more complex. In fact, it’s really three calendars at the same time.

    First there’s a religious calendar that takes 260 days to complete a full religious cycle. There are 20 “weeks” made up of 13 days. Each week has a special name, a graphic logo and unique meaning associated with it. This reminds me of the Chinese years which cycle through “the year of the rat” and “the year of the monkey,” etc., each with it’s special image and meaning.

    Graphic logos for each of the 20 religious weeks.

    Next there is the solar calendar. This has 365 days, like our modern calendar. It’s divided in 18 months of 20 days each. At the end of the cycle there’s five special days considered to be unlucky because they don’t belong to any month. Each of the months has a special name, graphic logo and some special significance, similar to the icons for the weeks in the religious calendar.

    So it is possible, for any specific date, the calculate the religious week and the solar month and to predict the influences that might be guiding fate. But that’s not really what’s involved with the prophecy of 2012. To understand that we must look at the third calendar, called the long count.

    While the first two cycles could be thought of as cogs or gears (see below) revolving through time, the long count is a linear number of days, starting from the first day, “1,” and counting through each day to the present. Any day in history can be recorded using the long count and, with some simple mathematics, the corresponding religious week and solar month can also be found.

    In writing this article, I thought about creating a javascript program that would do this calculation. My friend, Gene Matlock, then told me that when he was in Mexico, he found a place that sold wooden, mechanical calculators with gears that did just that. He said that Mexicans sometimes used these mechanical calendars to foretell the future or to find auspicious times for special events like marriage or births. Anyway, although it might be nice to know the religious and solar significance, it’s the long count that foretells Doomsday.

    Cog or “gears” can be used to compute the religious and solar cycles for any date.

    The days of the long count are numbered with an unusual system. Instead of writing numbers as we do, from right to left with each place being a multiple of 10 (i.e. 10000, 1000, 100, 10, 1), the Mayans had only 5 places.

    The first place recorded a number from 0 to 20. To the left, the second place could have a range from 0 to 17; the third from 0 to 19; the fourth from 0 to 19 and the last from 0 to 12. The numbers were written from right to left, like our system, separated by a dot. Instead of multiples of 10, the first place had a multiple of 1 (like our system); the second place a multiple of 20; the third a multiple of 360; the fourth a multiple of 7200 and the fifth a multiple of 144000.

    So a long count number, for example, could be written as and would be calculated as follows:

    (4 x 144000) + (12 x 7200) + (5 x 360) + (9 x 20) + (0 x 1) or a long count of 664,380.

    It’s not too difficult to realize that the maximum number which can be recorded this way would be12., although some researchers like to write it as This amounts to a long count number of 1,872,000 days or 5125.36 years of our modern calculations. Obviously, the calendar is very old!

    Over the years, archaeologists have found carved monuments that recorded the long count for known dates in Mayan history. Once a date was fixed in time, it was easy to determine “day 1” as August 11th, 3114 BC. And it was also easy to calculate the date at which the calendar would end —December 21st, 2012.

    Trust me, just because the calendar ends doesn’t prove that time, or the world, or life will end. We need to look carefully at December 21, 2012 and try to understand why the Mayans never calculated a date beyond this point in time. To do this we must move from Archaeology to the science of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    It’s all about the Sun

    It’s ironic (or maybe not) that the Mayan Calendar is often called the “sun stone.” While the calendar does have “solar” days, acknowledging the 365 days it takes for Earth to rotate around the Sun, it is also true that the Sun plays a key role in the final day of the “long count.” To understand what will happen to the Sun on December 21, 2012, we need to review some scientific terms like “ecliptic,” “barycenter,” and “sunspots.” These are important in the discussion that follows. We’ll start with the most difficult one first.

    Terms we will encounter…What is the Barycenter?

    You’ve no doubt heard that Earth revolves around the sun. Well, actually, that’s not quite true!

    Have you heard the term “center of gravity”? It’s a technical-sounding term for something pretty simple. It’s the exact center of all the material (that is, mass) that makes up the object. For example, if you have a straight stick, like a ruler or yardstick, there’s a place at the middle where you can balance it on your finger. That’s its center of gravity.

    Ruler's center of gravityBut the center of gravity may or may not be the point that is exactly in the middle, distance-wise, of the object. Some parts of the object may be heavier (denser) than others. If you have something like a sledge hammer that is heavier on one end than the other, the center of gravity will be much closer to the heavy end than the lighter end.

    Hammer's center of gravityTo get an idea of where the center of gravity is, rest the ends of any object like the ruler or a pencil on one finger from each hand. Slowly move your fingers together without dropping the object. Your fingers will meet underneath the object’s center of gravity. You can balance the object on one finger at that special place.

    The actual center of gravity could be close to the surface or deep inside, depending on whether the object is flat like a ruler or a dinner plate, or “three-dimensional,” like a box or a ball. And if you let the object spin (like when you throw it), it will try to spin about that point.

    In the case of the Earth and the sun, both bodies actually revolve, or spin, around the very center of the mass (similar to center of gravity) between them. This point is called the “barycenter.” Earth and the sun are “connected” by the gravity pulling them together. It’s just like the light end and heavy end of the sledge hammer. Compared to the size of the sun, Earth is about like a flea on a cat! So the center of mass between the Earth and the sun is almost–but not quite–the very center of the sun.

    In the case of a planet the size of Jupiter, which is 318 times as massive as Earth, the barycenter of Jupiter and the sun is a bit further from the sun’s center. So, as Jupiter revolves around the sun, the sun itself is actually revolving around this slightly off-center point, located just outside its center. Thus, a planet the size of Jupiter will make the sun (or any star) appear to wobble a tiny bit. This picture shows you that the center of mass and barycenter can be slightly different points. It isn’t meant to be very accurate!

    Barycenter of Jupiter and Sun

    We can take advantage of this bit of knowledge and look for large planets in other solar systems by learning to detect this type of tiny wobble in the star’s position.

    For now, let’s forget all the small planets and focus on Jupiter. It makes one complete trip around the Sun every 11.861773 years. There’s a new theory put forth by Dr. Rollin Gillespie which shows that Jupiter, and to a smaller degree the other less massive planets, may trigger the 11 year cycle of sunspots and solar flares.


    For now, let’s forget all the small planets and focus on Jupiter. It makes one complete trip around the Sun every 11.861773 years. There’s a new theory put forth by Dr. Rollin Gillespie which shows that Jupiter, and to a smaller degree the other less massive planets, may trigger the 11 year cycle of sunspots and solar flares.

    Here’s how it works.

    The  is not a single point in the Sun. Because the Sun is a rotating gaseous sphere, the barycenter forms a vertical, cylindrical “sleeve” that is partially inside and outside the main solar body. All of the planets have such a “sleeve,” one inside the other, depending on their relative mass and the location of their barycenters. The particular sleeve representing the mass of Jupiter intersects the solar surface at 35.9 degrees North and South. This is precisely where sunspot and flare activity begin and end during each 11 year cycle.

    The new cycle has already begun with the recent observation of a solar spot with reverse polarity. But some surprising activity on March 27, 2008, showed some huge eruptions with M-class radiation at about the equatorial region of the Sun. [ See Solar Map]. These surprising eruptions suggests a barycenter of disturbance from an object even more massive than Jupiter, placing the “sleeve” outside the Sun. Could this be the beginning of the Galaxy’s effects (keep reading to learn more about this) on our Sun?

    Scientists have noted that when Jupiter and Saturn are aligned on the same side of the Sun, the solar maximum (the period when we have the most sunspots and flares) is at its weakest; when they are on opposite sides of the Sun the solar maximum is at its strongest. The positions of these two planets on December 21, 2012 are ideal for extreme solar activity.

    Above: Position of Jupiter and Saturn on 12/21/2012.

    We recently learned that we had overlooked an even more significant alignment that we are presenting here for the first time [Above]. There is a straight-line alignment from Jupiter, the Earth, the Sun and (most significantly) the Galactic Center (a black hole). This alignment happens on December 20th, 2012 — just a few hours before the actual “doomsday.”

    These cylinders are usually quite orderly because the planets adhere to a narrow plane, called theecliptic which resembles a thin plate extending from the equator of the Sun. The planets hang out here because (in simple terms) this is the zone where the gravitation of the system is the strongest.

    We recently learned that we had overlooked an even more significant alignment that we are presenting here for the first time [Above]. There is a straight-line alignment from Jupiter, the Earth, the Sun and (most significantly) the Galactic Center (a black hole). This alignment happens on December 20th, 2012 — just a few hours before the actual “doomsday.”

    These cylinders are usually quite orderly because the planets adhere to a narrow plane, called the ecliptic which resembles a thin plate extending from the equator of the Sun. The planets hang out here because (in simple terms) this is the zone where the gravitation of the system is the strongest. (see below)

    We recently learned that we had overlooked an even more significant alignment that we are presenting here for the first time [Above]. There is a straight-line alignment from Jupiter, the Earth, the Sun and (most significantly) the Galactic Center (a black hole). This alignment happens on December 20th, 2012 — just a few hours before the actual “doomsday.”
    These cylinders are usually quite orderly because the planets adhere to a narrow plane, called the ecliptic which resembles a thin plate extending from the equator of the Sun. The planets hang out here because (in simple terms) this is the zone where the gravitation of the system is the strongest. (see below)


    We recently learned that we had overlooked an even more significant alignment that we are presenting here for the first time [Above]. There is a straight-line alignment from Jupiter, the Earth, the Sun and (most significantly) the Galactic Center (a black hole). This alignment happens on December 20th, 2012 — just a few hours before the actual “doomsday.”

    These cylinders are usually quite orderly because the planets adhere to a narrow plane, called theecliptic which resembles a thin plate extending from the equator of the Sun. The planets hang out here because (in simple terms) this is the zone where the gravitation of the system is the strongest. (see below)

    The planets orbit the Sun in a narrow plane called the ecliptic.

    But nature is never perfect. The Sun rotates at a slight angle (7.25 degrees), much as our Earth does. As it wobbles, it tilts the sleeves, causing them to clash with eachother and eventually disrupt the surface. Having the barycenters of the to most massive planets, Jupiter and Saturn, in maximum misalignment is especially disruptive. This disturbance, to put it simply, works its way to the surface and erupts in sun spots and solar flares or CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections).

    The last solar cycle was at its maximum in 2001. Each active solar cycle has a period when the flares are strongest, usually happening near the solar equator, called the “solar maximum.” This is significant because the next “solar maximum” event will coincide with December 21, 2012. But wait — there’s much more!

    Solar flares are pieces of the sun which leap into space, discharging radiation and strong electrical currents that travel outward into space. They often fall back to the surface of the Sun. Sometimes, a very strong flare, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), actually leaves the Sun and this deadly mass shoots out from the Sun towards the planets like a bullet. Usually these CME’s don’t hit anything but occasionally they hit a planet like Earth. Some believe a powerful CME once hit Mars.

    Most solar flares are small. But even a small flare can be dangerous. In 1989 a flare hit the North American continent and fried electric lines, zapped power grids in the US and Canada, and created large power backouts. Flares can also effect our moods and physical health. In theory, a large flare impacting the Earth could zap the ionosphere (there goes all the satellites, cellphones, GPS…) and irradiate the surface, killing every living organism that it touched.

    Solar flares and sun spots have an average cycle of 11.120412 years (estimated from one “solar maximum” to the next). Right now, 2009, we are just entering the active period of cycle number 24, after an unusually long period of quiet solar activity. This quiet period led some people at NASA to conclude that cycle 24 would be a very quiet cycle — contradicting the earlier predictions they made for an extremely violent cycle. Now they have redacted their call for a quiet cycle since the activity has again commenced. The scientists who study the Sun have also recently announced that they have measured the solar currents, deep inside the Sun, which correspond the Dr. Gillespie’s barycenter currents. But to date they have not been able to agree what causes these deep currents of solar material.


    The small discrepancy between the average 11.120412 year solar cycle and the 11.861773 year period of Jupiter is close enough to be significant but suggests that something else is also influencing solar disturbances. Sure, it could be attributed to the various positions of the other less massive planets, but it could also be something even more significant — the Milky Way.

    The Galactic Alignment of December 21, 2012

    The Perfect Storm

    Our solar system is part of a huge disc shaped collection of stars and planets called the Milky Way. We’re located somewhere on the edge of the disc, slightly on top of the narrow disc. But very soon we’ll be moving to the bottom of the disc. This change, from top to bottom, begins on December 21, 2012.

    Yes, that’s right. On the same day when our Sun is at it’s solar maximum, something will happen that’s never happened for thousands of eons of time — the ecliptic of our solar system will intersect with the Galactic plane, called the “Galactic Equator” of the Milky Way! [see star chart].

    If you imagine our solar system as a bunch of peas on a plate, with a huge meatball in the center, imagine the Milky Way as a city-size pizza with the “Guiness World Book Record Meatball” in its center!

    Prior to December 2012 we have been drifting on the top of the pizza, never really able to see the bottom. The plate and pizza are not parallel. They are moving at different angles. We’ve been drifting down, down, down… and on December 21st, 2012, we will be exactly level with the crust — forming an “x” at the Galactic Equator where galactic gravity is the strongest. After 2012, if we are still here, we will be passing through the bottom zone, viewing the Milky Way pizza from the South.

    Yes, there’s even more!

    By some amazing coincidence, not only will we be intersecting with the Galactic Equator, but we will be doing this precisely aligned with the center of the Galaxy where there is maximum mass! More mass means more gravity. More gravity means more influence from those barycenters in our Sun. That means exponential increases in solar disruptions — all coinciding on the same day! Whew

    Magnetic Somersaults – Other possibilities on December 21, 2012:

    In the first quarter of 2001, the Sun switched magnetic poles. This occurs every eleven years. Prior to this the Sun’s north magnetic pole was at the north rotational pole. Now the Sun’s north magnetic pole is at its south pole. Since opposite poles attract, the magnetic poles of the Earth and Sun are now at their most stable.

    Just about the time of 2012 Winter Solstice, the Sun’s poles will switch back. During this switch there will be a tendency for the Sun’s magnetic field to pull the Earth’s field with it.

    If the Earth’s magnetic poles switch, this would put stress on the planet aggravating earthquakes and volcanos, not to mention destruction of the electrical power distribution grid. And, if the switch happens fast enough don’t ever expect your computer to work again. But if you have old tube type equipment, keep it. It should survive just fine. It will work if you can find electricity.


    Red Shirt’s Massada of Thailand. A New Model of Urban Protestation for a regime change in Asia pacific.

    Thailand  is on of the few non colonized countries in the world like that of Ethiopia. Today its facing spocial crisies of  a post modern dimension more diffrent than that of   Ethiopia of 1974,   which dethroned the King of Kings Haile Selassie I.  In the contrary to the late Negus of Ethiopia, the King of  Thailand remians the only unifiing fuigure in a country divided radically in a classical sense of the terms haves  and have nots…

    Thailand  named Siam by the British  has  conflicting opinions on its origins stretching  over  4,000 years.  Some claim they orginated from from Szechuan in China . Some claim they are the soilders of Genghis  Kahan who remained behinded in the 13th cen.  The modern archology shows evidence of bronze metallurgy, that the Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia up unto China Mongolia.

    The early kingdoms were  North and became the kingdom of “Lan Na” and the other one is in further south the kingdom of “Sukhothai” under the hegimony of Kemers.

    Sukhothai was the first Thai kingdom. It was founded in 1238 by two Thai governors, Khun Bang Klang Thao (Si Inthrathit) and Khun Pha Muang who rebelled against the Khmers; and gave independence to the region. Sukhothai period was the most flourishing period of Thailand.

    During this time Thai had strong friendship with neighboring countries. It absorbed elements of various civilizations which they came into contact. Thai maintained and advanced their culture with China. The potters entered Thai artistry and extensive trade was established with Cambodia and India.

    After the death of Khun Pha Muang in 1279, Ramkhamhaeng King, the third son of Si Inthrahit, ascended to the throne. Under the Ramkhamhaeng King, Sukhothai had strong friendship with neighboring China. Ramkhamhaeng King organized a writing system which became the basis for writing and eventually developed to be the modern Thai alphabet.

    SCENARIOS – Is Thailand headed for more stalemate?

    Wed May 26, 2010 11:03am IST

    BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s government is pushing ahead with a reconciliation plan aimed at healing a social and economic divide and forestalling another uprising after the country’s worst political violence in modern history.

    The five-point reconciliation plan announced earlier this month calls for protection of the monarchy; reforms to address social injustice; an independent body to monitor media to ensure unbiased reporting; a committee to investigate recent political violence; and political reforms and constitutional amendments.

    Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has insisted he alone will decide if and when a new election will be held. He initially suggested Nov. 14 but that was rejected by the anti-government demonstrators blamed for the violence and rioting.

    Below is what could unfold in the next few months.


    Many areas are open to debate and the process therefore never takes off, leaving Thailand in a protracted stalemate with little indication of whether an election will take place to meet a key demand by the now-dispersed “red shirt” protesters.

    New leaders emerge within the red shirts and they question Abhisit’s suitability to lead a peace process, holding his government responsible for scores of deaths and injuries to hundreds of people, most of them protesters. An imminent no-confidence motion against Abhisit and several ministers by the red shirt-alligned opposition party, Puea Thai,is unsuccessful but serves to undermine the reconciliation plan.

    Puea Thai and the red shirts reject points in the reconciliation plan related to media, the judicial system and a probe into recent violence as one-sided and insincere.

    Abhisit’s elite backers, his supporters and the rival “yellow shirts” movement representing urban middle classes, are outraged he is reaching out to the red shirts, whom they brand terrorists for trashing the capital and damaging the economy.

    They rejected peace overtures before, so have no place in any reconciliation process, the government supporters say.

    LIKELIHOOD: Strong chance this will happen. Compromise and concessions are unlikely in the current climate, where gamesmanship, insincerity and divisiveness have prevailed on all sides.

    MARKET IMPACT: Foreign investors might take advantage of cheap Thai stocks during a protracted stalemate, but long-term investment will likely be curtailed as there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Tourists are still apprehensive and consumer confidence would remain low, although the government would have more time to work on economic stimulus measures.

    Thai Army captures main protest site, but rebellion spreads

    Looters descend after Bangkok’s day of bloodshed

    A day of death and surrender – but city still burns

    Red Shirts had good reason to protest

    Thailand’s monarchy is above politics

    Resistance, then surrender, in a doomed last stand

    Redshirts warn of civil war as Thai troops told to shoot on sight

    Home made rockets vs army snipers: on the frontline of the Thai protests

    Rural Anger Fuels Thailand’s Red Shirts


    A Thai protester throws wood on to a fire on a Bangkok street

    In Thailand the Red shirt Protesters  fortified themselves like that of Masada between 37 and 31 BCE against the Romans in the Dead sea area.  The last two months the Red Shirt of Thailand coming out of the rural poor and the urban under class started the first of its kind organized  an urban revolt fortified like that of Masada.  Since history does not repeat its self the same kind of way, the Red Shirts  survived the government crackdown by cutting electricity and water like that of  Massada the Romans cutting food and water . After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish rebels and their families fled Jerusalem and settled on the mountain top, using it as a base for harassing the Romans. In contrary to Massada the Red Shirts are not fighting a  foreign enemy occupying their land . They set new standred for regime chnage in Asia pacific and the rest of the third world.

    We can not denay the Thai  government has showed the best of its patience to end up the Massada of Thiland. They even proposed 5 point road map for the resolution of the protest which is rejected by the Red Shirt. Later days the government rejected any discussion with the reds.

    Today 18 years  after  1992 coup on the same day  the  the Red shirts of Bangkok who chose death rather than  surrnder were dfused and start burning their capital  city. May 19 Thai security forces backed by armored vehicles seized control of a protest site in central Bangkok and detained several of the group’s leaders after a six- week standoff which was easily accessible than that of historical Massada. The Red shirts were diffused but  not dispersed with all the crises of Thailand.

    The of the  leader of the ed shirt named ” Nattawut Saikuar, declared to his  supporters in a live broadcast from the camp’s main stage. “We want to stop more injuries and deaths,” he said before rushing off to the sound of sporadic gunfire.

    Street battles in the past week between security forces and demonstrators killed more than 40 people. The Red Shirts, who view Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s rule as illegitimate, drew thousands of supporters to their two-month protest, underscoring the nation’s widening class divide.

    Today’s clashes killed four people including an Italian journalist, Petchpong Kumjornkijjakarn, head of Bangkok’s medical emergency unit, told reporters. Gunfire could still be heard around the site after the government’s announcement.

    “If they move closer to the stage, more lives will be lost,” said Jatuporn Prompam, another protest leader.

    Kasikornbank Pcl, Thailand’s third-biggest bank by assets, said a fire broke out at a branch on Rama IV Road near the main protest area. Plumes of black smoke rose above the edge of the site. Soldiers advanced along Wireless Road and television footage showed army vehicles smashing through barricades.

    The Bank of Thailand ordered all financial institutions in the capital to close at 1 p.m. because of security concerns, it said in a statement. The benchmark SET Index rose 0.7 percent before closing at the morning break. The baht fell 0.1 percent.

    Red shirt supporters set fire to a city hall in Udon Thani Province in northeast Thailand. In northeast Khon Kaen, protesters broke into the city hall to demand an end to the military assault in Bangkok through Channel 3 TV which was set infire imidately  after as pro governmental media by the millitant black shirt faction of the RedShirt.

    Exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to whom many of the protesters express loyalty, called for direct talks between the government and rally organizers.

    Nine people were submitted to the Police General Hospital at the camp site with injuries this morning, three with gunshot wounds, director Jongjate Aojanepong said by phone today.

    “After today the divisions in the country will get even deeper,” said Michael Nelson, a visiting scholar at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. “How can you have a stable political system when two large areas of the country are no-go zones for the two major political parties?”

    Many demonstrators are loyal to Thaksin, a billionaire who won over the poor in the northeast of the country by giving them cheap health care and loans. The demonstrators, angered by one of Asia’s widest income gaps, say Abhisit embodies a privileged class of military officers, judges bureaucrats and royal advisers that sits above the law.

    Thaksin, who was ousted by the Thai army in 2006, fled the country in 2008 before a court sentenced him to two years in prison for helping his wife buy land from the government while still in power.

    Since 1946, when King Bhumibol Adulyadej took the Thai throne as an 18-year-old, Thailand has seen nine coups and more than 20 prime ministers. Only two of 17 constitutions since absolute monarchy ended in 1932 have mandated parliaments that are entirely elected. The king, who is revered across the nation, has been in hospital since Sept. 19 and hasn’t spoken publicly about the current demonstrations.

    Abhisit himself has never won a national election: He was picked by legislators in December 2008 after a court dissolved the pro-Thaksin ruling party for election fraud. The decision coincided with the seizure of Bangkok’s airports by protesters wearing yellow shirts who oppose Thaksin.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok

    For many observers, Thai politics is defined by a compelling but misleading image: the then prime minister, Suchinda Kraprayoon, andprotest leader, Chamlong Srimuang, sitting on the floor on 20 May 1992, while King Bhumibol Adulvadej admonishes the two former generals to settle their differences amicably. Prior to this royal intervention, scores of people, mainly unarmed demonstrators, had been killed in street protests against a government widely perceived as illegitimate. Four days later, Suchinda, the former army commander and 1991 coup maker, resigned.

    As the king declared prophetically, “There will only be losers.” Suchinda’s career was over: I saw him a few years ago getting off a Thai Airways flight in London, a broken man in a crumpled suit. The once feverishly popular Chamlong, an ascetic “half-man half-monk”, found his own route to the premiership permanently blocked.

    Given the terrible violence of recent weeks, and a death toll now matching that of May 1992, why does the king not intervene again?

    The idea that public royal reprimands are a standard Thai operating procedure is not really correct. A royal dressing-down is a last resort, one which relies on those who are summoned to submit meekly and go home quietly. Such interventions are a losing proposition for the political system, and potentially also for the royal institution itself, since the stakes are extremely high.At present, it is an open question how the redshirt leadership would respond to any summons.

    In practice, most royal moves take place behind the scenes, and are carried out not by members of the royal family at all, but by “network monarchy” – a loose alliance of courtiers, establishment insiders and freelancers who have no actual hotline to the palace, but are believed to be (or believe themselves to be) acting in the interests of the monarchy.In April 2006, responding to earlier public demands for monarchical intervention, the king made a major speech, in which he declined to act directly, and instead urged the judiciary to resolve the country’s political crisis.


    Since then, Thailand has experienced a striking judicialisation of politics: the courts have annulled an election, abolished political parties, and given more than a hundred politicians five-year bans from office.

    The only alternative to judicial interventions has been the rather disastrous military coup of September 2006, which completely failed in its real aim of reducing former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s remarkable popularity. Instead, the coup left a legacy of bitter colour-coded division between pro-Thaksin and anti-Thaksin forces.In recent years, the task of intervention has been delegated to other elements of the state. Whereas in 1992 the king’s words matched an emerging consensus that Suchinda had to go – and that Chamlong had gone too far – 18 years later there is no such common ground. Between redshirted Thaksinites and yellowshirted royalists run bloody scars that cut right through Thai society; and these are not wounds that any words of wisdom could easily heal.

    Looters descend after Bangkok’s day of bloodshed


    2009 Thailand

    Thailand: Red Shirt democratic movement faces armed might of the ruling elites

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Turn Left Thailand

    For the fourth time in forty years, troops have opened fire on pro-democracy demonstrators in Bangkok. Each time, the aim has been the same: to protect the interests of the conservative elites who have run Thailand for the past 70 years.

    For those watching the cold-blooded murder by soldiers on the streets of Bangkok, it may be tempting just to assume that the present chaos is merely about different coloured T-shirts and supporters of different political parties, as though they were mirror images of each other. This is not the case.

    What we have been seeing in Thailand since late 2005 is a growing class war between the poor majority and the old elites. It is of course not a pure class war. Due to a vacuum on the left in the past, millionaire and populist politicians like Thaksin Shinawatra have managed to provide leadership to the poor. The urban and rural poor, who form the majority of the electorate, are the “Red Shirts”. They want the right to choose their own democratically elected government. They started out as passive supporters of Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai government. But they have now formed a brand new citizens’ movement, for what they call “real democracy”. For them, “real democracy” means an end to the long-accepted “quiet dictatorship” of the army generals and the royal palace. This situation allowed the generals, the king’s advisors in the Privy Council and the conservative elites to act as though they were above the constitution. Les majeste (which outlaw “insulting” — criticism of — the monarchy) laws and intermittent repression have been used to silence opposition. Ever since 2006, these elites have blatantly acted against election results by staging a military coup, using the courts to twice dissolve Taksin’s party and by backing mob violence by the anti-democratic royalist  “Yellow Shirts”. The present misnamed Democrat Party government led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was manoeuvred into place by the army.

    Most of those in the Red Shirt movement support Taksin for good reasons. His government put in place many pro-poor policies, including Thailand’s first ever universal health-care system. Yet the Red Shirts are not merely Taksin puppets. There is a dialectical relationship between Taksin and the Red Shirts. His leadership provides encouragement and confidence to fight. Yet the Red Shirts are self-organised in community groups and some are showing frustration with Taksin’s lack of progressive leadership, especially over his insistence that they continue to be “loyal” to the crown.

    Over the past few days, the Red Shirts have shown signs of self-leadership to such an extent that the old Red Shirt politicians are running to keep up. A republican movement is growing. Many left-leaning Thais like myself are not Taksin supporters. We opposed his human rights abuses. But we are the left wing of the citizens’ movement for real democracy.

    The Yellow Shirts are conservative royalists. Some have fascist tendencies. Their guards carry and use firearms. They supported the 2006 coup, wrecked Government House and blocked the international airport last year. Behind them were the Thai army. That is why troops never shot at the Yellow Shirts. That is why the present, Oxford- and Eton-educated Thai Prime Minister has done nothing to punish the Yellow Shirts. After all, he appointed some to his cabinet.

    The aims of the Yellow Shirts are to reduce the voting power of the electorate in order to protect the conservative elites and the “bad old ways” of running Thailand. They see increased citizen empowerment as a threat and propose a “New Order” dictatorship, where people are allowed to vote, but most MPs and public positions are not up for election. They are supported by the mainstream Thai media, most middle-class academics and even NGO leaders. The NGOs have disgraced themselves over the last few years by siding with the Yellows or remaining silent in the face of the general attack on democracy. Despite being well meaning, their lack of politics has let them down and they have been increasingly drawn to the right.

    When we talk about the “palace” we have to make a distinction between the king and all those who surround him. The king has always been weak and lacking in any democratic principles. The palace has been used to legitimise past and present dictatorships. As a “stabilising force”, the monarchy has only helped to stabilise the interests of the elite. The immensely wealthy king is also opposed to any wealth redistribution. The queen is an extreme reactionary. However the real people with power among the Thai elites are the army and high-ranking state officials.

    If one is to understand and judge the violent acts which have been taking place in Thailand, we need a sense of history and perspective. Perspective is needed to distinguish between damaging property and injuring or killing people. With this perspective, it is clear that the Yellow Shirts and the army are the violent ones. A sense of history helps to explain why Red Shirt citizens are now exploding in anger. They have had to endure the military jackboot, the repeated theft of their democratic rights, continued acts of violence against them and general abuse from the mainstream media and academia. If they continue to resist, cracks may appear in the army. During the past four years Thai citizens have become highly politicised. Ordinary soldiers, recruited from poor families, support the Red Shirts.

    The stakes are very high. Any compromise has the risk of instability because it will satisfy almost no one. The old elites might want to do a deal with Taksin to stop the Red Shirts from becoming totally republican. But whatever happens, Thai society cannot go back to the old days. The Red Shirts represent millions of Thais who are sick and tired of military and palace intervention in politics. At the very least they will want a non-political constitutional monarchy. It is hoped that the Red Shirts will continue to move to the left during this round of struggle.

    Red Shirts shut down the ASEAN summit

    April 10, 2009 — In Pattaya, demonstrators — members of the National United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), aka Red Shirts — broke the police cordon around the hotel where the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) summit was to be held, demanding the resignation of the illegitimate government. The Thai government responded by declaring a state of emergency in Pattaya. The summit was cancelled.

    2008 Thailand

    Looking at Thailand’s crisis: some basics

    By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

    April 13, 2008 — When watching and commenting on the recent events in Thailand, observers need to hold on to some basic principles. These are:

    1. No government anywhere in the world has the right to use troops to gun down protesters in the streets, especially when they are not carrying firearms. The Abhisit government’s use of the army to kill people in cold blood is an outrage. It is not “restraint” nor “the application of the Rule of Law”. It puts the Thai government on the same level as the Burmese junta and its aims are the same too … to hang on to illegitimate power and protect the interests of the privileged.

    2. If observers want to pontificate about the “Rule of Law”, then they must first denounce the illegal military coup of 2006, the lack of partiality and accountability among the judiciary in dissolving the elected parties of government, the illegal seizure of Government House and the airports by the misnamed royalist Peoples’ Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the use of firearms and bombs by the PAD, the illegal bribes and threats to manoeuvre the Democrat Party into power, the illegal government-backed Blue Shirt gangs, who carried firearms and the illegal and extra-constitutional role of the palace and the king’s advisors in frustrating the functioning of democracy. None of the above cases have been punished.

    3. There is a clear line between democracy and dictatorship. “Thai-style democracy” is an elite myth. The Yellow Shirts have repeatedly failed to respect the democratic wishes of the majority of the population. They want more appointed public positions and less power to the electorate. They want a “New Order”. They want censorship. They back the draconian lese majeste law which stifle the basic right to freedom of speech. The Red Shirts may not be angels, but they want a genuine democratic process without interference from the military, the king’s advisors or the palace. They would prefer to use the more democratic constitution of 1997, rather than the present one drafted by the military.

    4. The anger of the Red Shirts over the past few days did not come out of nowhere. Since 2006 the majority of Thais have continually been abused politically by the elite Yellow Shirts, the mainstream media and middle-class academics. When pictures of Red Shirts smashing the PM’s car are shown, it is dishonest and bad journalism not to explain this.

    5. The majority of Red Shirts support Taksin, not because they like to “hero worship”, but because his government brought in a universal health-care system and other pro-poor measures. The Democrat Party and the Yellow Shirts opposed these policies all along and knew that they couldn’t win popular elections as a result. This is why they wanted a coup.

    6. Most of the Thai elite are corrupt, especially army generals and politicians. Why single out just Taksin? We need to punish them all or none at all.

    7. The entire Thai elite support the use of state violence, whether it be in the [mainly Muslim] south of Thailand, in the “war on drugs” or against unarmed protesters. Taksin has to take responsibility for gross human rights abuses while he was prime minister. So does the rest of the elite, including Abhisit and the generals. There is a long history of Thai state crimes and we need to challenge this. We can start with denouncing the cold-blooded murder by troops on the streets of Bangkok this April.

    [Giles Ji Ungpakorn worked in the faculty of political science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. He was forced to leave Thailand after being charged under Thailand’s anti-democratic les majeste laws. He is an activist with the socialist Turn Left Thailand group. Visit and]

    Nile African or Arab? The looming War

    World map

    Avoiding a Water War in the Nile Basin




    View more presentations from davidhshinn.

    Dar says ‘No’ as row over Nile heats up

    May 17th, 2010

    Tanzania yesterday rejected insistence by Egypt and Sudan that the new agreement on the Nile River Basin Co-operative Framework should recognise the two countries’ current Nile water uses and rights.

    With the Nile’s total flow of 84 cubic metres, Egypt gets 55.5 billion cubic metres of the water annually and Sudan gets 18.5 billion cubic metres under uses and rights based on old colonial agreements which have long been rejected by seven Nile Basin member states as invalid.

    The seven members are Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    The new agreement, which was signed on May 14 by four countries, including Tanzania, out of the 10 Nile Basin states, establishes principles governing the use, management, development and conservation of the Nile water resources and details the rights and obligations of Basin states.

    The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Prof Mark Mwandosya, told a news conference in Dar es Salaam that Tanzania recognised the sensitivity of water security to Egypt and Sudan, but access to the waters of the Nile River was a key requirement for the existence of all Basin Nile States.

    He said the bone of contention was Article 14 (b) of the agreement which states: “…not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin state”, adding that all countries agreed to this proposal except Egypt and Sudan.

    The minister said Egypt proposed that the article should have been replaced by the wording… “not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin state.”

    “This is not acceptable,” said Prof Mwandosya, adding that Tanzania and the other six Nile Basin countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and DRC had tried for over 10 years to negotiate for an agreement that was acceptable to all member countries.

    Asked whether the position shown by Egypt and Sudan pointed to water wars among Nile Basin states, Prof Mwandosya said: “I don’t think that the situation we’re facing could cause water wars. But I think water will make us to be more united. And we’re on the right course.”

    He said Tanzania would use its international stature to continue dialoguing with Egypt and Sudan so as to uphold the One Nile philosophy that has been cultivated over the years.

    He said Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia signed the Nile River Basin Co-operation Framework agreement in Entebbe, Uganda on May 14, adding that Kenya promised to sign the deal soon while Burundi and the DRC expected to follow suit.

    Prof Mwandosya said the agreement would remain open for one year until May 13, 2011 during which countries may initiate ratification process respective to each country’s Constitution and procedures.

    The Nile River Basin is shared by 10 countries of Tanzania, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. Its waters have been used for millennia.

    Stretching more than 6,600 kilometres from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, the Nile is a vital water and energy source for the countries through which it flows

    Uganda to continue Rive Nile talks

    New Vision – Gerald Tenywa – ‎18 hours ago‎
    UGANDA will continue negotiating with Egypt and Sudan, which are still opposed to signing the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement, 


    Egypt insists new Nile treaty is non-binding

    Daily Monitor – ‎18 hours ago‎
    By Evelyn Lirri (email the author) Egypt has described as non-binding a new agreement signed by four African countries on how to equitably manage resources 

    Taipei Times – ‎May 15, 2010‎

    Four east African countries sign 

    new deal creating a permanent commission to manage the River Nile’s w
    aters on Friday, putting them on a collision 
    Financial Times – William WallisHeba Saleh – ‎May 14, 2010‎

    Upriver Nile countries sign compact for water use

    The Associated Press – Godfrey Olukya – ‎May 14, 2010‎
    Four East African states have signed an agreement to seek more water from the River Nile – a move strongly opposed by Egypt and Sudan. BBC News – ‎May 14, 2010‎
    Al Jazeera – ‎May 14, 2010‎
    A controversial deal has been signed to share the waters of the world’s longest river. But Egypt and Sudan are not happy at four African countries signing a 

    Current Font Size:

    Times LIVE (blog) – ‎May 14, 2010‎
    The river Nile cuts through many African countries, but they cannot enjoy the waters because of some stupid 1929 colonial-era treaty singed by Britain 

    Four African countries sign new Nile treaty

    AFP – ‎May 14, 2010‎
    ENTEBBE, Uganda — Four African countries on Friday signed a new treaty on the equitable sharing of the Nile waters despite strong opposition from Egypt and 

    Nile agreement to be signed today

    New Vision – ‎May 14, 2010‎
    Delegations from seven of the nine Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) member countries intend to disregard an Egypt-Sudan boycott and move forward with the signing 
    Daily Nation – Walter Menya – ‎May 13, 2010‎

    Water ministers of five countries meet in Entebbe on Friday with the signing of the Nile treaty on the utilisation of the world’s longest

    CAIRO — A senior EU envoy urged seven east African countries on Thursday to settle differences with Egypt and Sudan over sharing the waters of the Nile 
    New Vision – ‎May 13, 2010‎
    African countries on the upper reaches of the River Nile plan to push their demand for changes in the allocation of its waters, saying Egypt gets too great

    Global Insider: The Nile River Basin

    WPR: What is the current status quo of water use in the Nile River basin? Wolf: The last actual treaty signed on the basin is one between Egypt and Sudan 

    New Nile pact, but old problems remain – Ethiopia

    By Staff Reporter Four of the upper Nile Basin riparian countries signed a new Nile water sharing treaty on Friday May 14, 2010 that could reverse the May 

    From Unknown to Uncertain: Nile Water Negotiations

    A major factor in the absence of a workable peace and security order in Northeast Africa is the unresolved issue of the Nile Waters and regional power order 

    Monday’s papers: Nile basin tension, Shura coverage

    Al-Masry Al-Youm – Hazem Zohny – ‎

    State-run papers lead with reports of yesterday’s meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh between President Hosni Mubarak and Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabar ..

    Egyptians discuss response to Ethiopian dam

    Al-Masry Al-Youm – Metwali Salem – ‎

    Ethiopia’s announcement on Friday of the inauguration of its new Tana Beles dam aimed to provoke Egypt’s anger and lead it to taking swift diplomatic 

    The Nile: More discord in prospect

    Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania agreed on the sharing of the Nile waters, in spite of the boycott of Egypt and Sudan, and signed an agreement – in 

    Egypt and Sudan Say No to Nile Basin Agreement

    WATER SUPPLY: Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment Maria Mutagamba (L) and Uganda’s Deputy Foreign Minister Isaac Musumba, 

    Egypt eyes diplomatic action to resolve Nile Basin dispute

    A senior Egyptian official said Sunday the coming weeks are to see intensive diplomatic actions by Cairo to resolve a water dispute which has for long 

    The Spokesman: Egypt will not join or sign any agreement that violates its

    Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry stated that the signing of a water cooperation agreement among some countries at the source of the Nile Basin does not 

    Egyptian economists reject Eritrea’s supports Egypt over Ethiopia on Nile 

    Sunday’s papers: Nile Basin media frenzy

    All the newspapers lead today with coverage of the what is being called the “Nile river crisis.” The media frenzy comes in response to a water-sharing 

    Egypt objects to new Nile basin agreement signed in Uganda

    Egypt Sunday objected to a new agreement signed by four Nile Basin countries in Uganda for changing the way the river waters are shared, even as the deal 

    Sudan Rejects Establishment of Commission

    Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Engineer Kamal Ali Mohamed has reiterated Sudan’s rejection to establishment of a commission that does not 

    Nile Waters: Only A Partial Agreement

    Only four countries – Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania – have signed, in Entebbe, Uganda, an agreement to share the management of the waters of the 

    Upriver Nile Countries Sign New Nile Treaty Without Down-river Countries

    4 Nile Basin countries sign water agreement

    EGYPT: Cairo scoffs at new Nile water agreement

    Los Angeles Times (blog) – ‎May 15, 2010‎

    Egypt, the largest user of Nile River water, has played down the importance of a new Nile Basin Cooperative Framework agreement that could limit how much 


    Egypt, the largest user of Nile River water, has played down the importance of a new Nile Basin Cooperative Framework agreement that could limit how much water flows into the country.

    The treaty, signed Friday by Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, will replace a 1959 agreement that secured Egypt its historic rights of Nile waters (55.5 billion cubic meters of water each year). Egypt and Sudan boycotted the meeting and have filed objections to the agreement.

    The new treaty comes after the collapse of negotiations between the river’s source countries, including Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda, and the downstream nations, Egypt and Sudan, during a convention in Sharm el Sheik last month. Egypt, however, is unfazed by the new accord.

    “Egypt and Sudan will not be legally committed to any agreements signed in their absence. The new treaty doesn’t mean anything to both countries,” Moufid Shehab, Egyptian Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, was quoted as saying by MENA news agency.

    “We don’t want to view it [the treaty] as a destructive act, but we never hoped this would happen because it completely goes beyond the frame of cooperation,” he added.

    Nile upstream countries, which also include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Kenya, have long demanded a new pact to regulate an equitable sharing of Nile waters. They also oppose Egypt’s veto power on new irrigation projects in their nations, a right granted to Egypt by a colonial agreement signed with Great Britain in 1929. Such changes could reduce how much water flows into Egypt before the 4,163-mile river reaches the Mediterranean Sea.

    While the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi were not represented during Friday’s accord, Kenya issued a statement of support and announced its willingness to sign the treaty as soon as possible. Egyptian experts have previously warned that jeopardizing the country’s shares of Nile water could expose Egypt to a serious water crisis within the next few years.

    China the Asia Pacific river hug assumes the full responsibility for the destruction of the Omotic People in Ethiopia by financing a dictator and drying Omo river

    Kenyan tribes protest dam construction

    East Africa’s Looming Famine – Gibe III
    Huffington Post
    But given the instance of drought in Ethiopia – plaguing the country for six  lending to conflict, famine, disease, as well as the artificial creation of 

    ENVIRONMENT: Blame on Chinese Dams Rise as Mekong River Dries Up

    17 Mar 2010  As the water level in the Mekong River dips to a record 50-year low, a familiar pattern of fault-finding has risen to the surface. China

    China’s Three Gorges Dam: An Environmental Catastrophe

    Three Gorges Dam is a disaster in the making, China admits – Times .

    China halts £20bn dam project – Telegraph

    12 Jun 2009 China has suspended a £20bn hydropower project because of environmental concerns, in a sign of the growing power of the country’s green 

    Three Gorges Dam in China

    Mekong nations meet China over dam fears

    [nggallery id=1]

    IRIN Africa | ETHIOPIA-KENYA: Dam “busters” say Gibe 3 puts 

    7 Apr 2010 “Lake Turkana receives [80-90] percent of its water from the River Omo; thus the impacts of the dam on the lake and the people who depend on 

    Omo Valley Tribes – Survival International

    Giant dam to devastate 200000 tribal people in Ethiopia – Survival 

    Ethiopia lands Chinese loan approval for mega Gilgel Gibe III hydro-power project

    A Chinese loan has been secured for Ethiopia’s biggest Hydropower project, Gilgel Gibe III, after years of pressure from foreign environmentalists blocked access to funding from international financial institutions.

    activist groups have however expressed misgivings over the project and insisted that it would adversely impact the livelihood of the surrounding communities in both Ethiopia and Kenya.


    Chinese government has approved a 500 million dollar loan to cover the project’s electro and hydro mechanical costs.

    Gibe, which is to have a 1.8MW power generating capacity, is expected to cost Ethiopia some 1.7 billion euros. A colossal sum for the poor east African country to shoulder alone. In 2006, it requested a loan from European Investment Bank (EIB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Italian Government in 2006.

    The militants embarked on dissuasive strategies including lobbying to put pressure on international financial institutions prevent funding for the project. According to them the dam will minimize the volume of water that flows into Lake Turkana from the Omo river.

    This financial challenge prompted Ethiopia to shift its focus from Western finance sources. China has agreed to provide the loan (500 million dollars) on a long term basis.


    The agreement reached between Ethiopia and China will see the former offer Gibe’s electro and hydro mechanical works to China.

    In line with this agreement, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) is expected to sign a deal Wednesday evening with Dongfang Electric Machinery Corporation ltd, a Chinese state owned company.

    Dongfang Electric Machinery Corporation ltd takes over Gibe’s electro and hydro mechanical work from Salini Construction an Italian Company appointed in 2006 to handle the engineering procurement contract of the project.


    The Chinese loan could also see Ethiopia reject AfDB’s loan approval, according to government sources.

    activist groups have however expressed misgivings over the project and insisted that it would adversely impact the livelihood of the surrounding communities in both Ethiopia and Kenya.

    The militants embarked on dissuasive strategies including lobbying to put pressure on international financial institutions prevent funding for the project. According to them the dam will minimize the volume of water that flows into Lake Turkana from the Omo river.

    This financial challenge prompted Ethiopia to shift its focus from Western finance sources. China has agreed to provide the loan (500 million dollars) on a long term basis.

    The agreement reached between Ethiopia and China will see the former offer Gibe’s electro and hydro mechanical works to China.

    In line with this agreement, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) is expected to sign a deal Wednesday evening with Dongfang Electric Machinery Corporation ltd, a Chinese state owned company.

    Dongfang Electric Machinery Corporation ltd takes over Gibe’s electro and hydro mechanical work from Salini Construction an Italian Company appointed in 2006 to handle the engineering procurement contract of the project.

    The Chinese loan could also see Ethiopia reject AfDB’s loan approval, according to government sources.

    China’s new dam seen as a water hog

    By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY

    XIAOWAN, China — Wearing cloaks of tree bark strands, villagers from the Yi ethnic minority tend wheat terraces that cascade downhill toward the riverbank.

    Still under construction, the 66-story-high Xiaowan dam is scheduled to be completed this year. Other countries accuse China of stealing water.

    “China’s dams have not caused this problem,” says Jeremy Bird, CEO of the Mekong River Commission, an organization that helps manage the river’s resources for Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

    But China’s refusal to provide data to the commission on the dams already is raising suspicions among analysts. This month, a Chinese delegation to the commission promised deeper cooperation but stopped short of adding to a promise to provide hydrological data for two smaller Yunnan dams.

    “The Chinese must come clean on how much water they are diverting at Xiaowan and, in the future, at Nuozhadu,” another dam that will boast an even bigger reservoir, says Alan Potkin, a development specialist at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University.

    Xiaowan is “an enormously large dam, bigger than anything in North America,” says Potkin, who worries that in two years’ time both Xiaowan and Nuozhadu could be filling reservoirs simultaneously. Potkin is urging the commission to ask China for the most critical data. But he knows the board can do little if China refuses. “It has very little leverage at all,” he says.

    Journalists have been kept at bay at Xiaowan. A USA TODAY reporter was held up by police for three hours while trying to get to the site and then refused entry.

    By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY Farmer Xu Piqing says he and fellow Shuanghe villagers should be busy harvesting crops, "but instead we have nothing to do" because of the drought.

    By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY
    Farmer Xu Piqing says he and fellow Shuanghe villagers should be busy harvesting crops, “but instead we have nothing to do” because of the drought.

    Local residents dispute that the drought stems from natural causes.

    Here in Yunnan province, White Fish Pond hasn’t seen fish for years, says Bi Xiuxian, who heads a small hydropower station on the Weishan River. For the past half-year, the river has hardly seen any water, either. So the privately owned power plant in the village of Lishimo is idle.

    “Poor management of water facilities is definitely a major reason for this drought,” complains Bi, an ethnic Yi. “We need new wells, better management of old wells, and more maintenance of water canals.”

    “China is developing so

    quickly and needs a lot of

    energy, but nature is not

    just for humans.”

    — Wang Yongchen, environmentalist

    Elders pray for rain

    China’s thirst for energy will likely keep the projects moving forward without much look back, say activists.

    “We need time to see the real results,” says Wang Yongchen, founder of Green Earth Volunteers, an environmental group, who has monitored China’s dam-building for several years. “China is developing so quickly and needs a lot of energy, but nature is not just for humans.”

    In Shuanghe village, Nanjian County, Yunnan province, farmer Xu Piqing stands on a bridge above the now-dry water canal that usually rushes into the Weishan River.

    “We should be busy now, harvesting corn and beans, but instead we have nothing to do,” says Xu, 43.

    Some villagers are taking action, though.

    This month, more than 100 elders will gather to pray for rain on the hilltop, lighting incense and kowtowing to the earth. It’s an annual ritual, but “this year will be the biggest ever,” Xu says.


    • Three Gorges Dam Campaign is now featured on Google Earth!

    The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest hydropower project and most notorious dam. The massive project sets records for number of people displaced (more than 1.2 million), number of cities and towns flooded (13 cities, 140 towns, 1,350 villages), and length of reservoir (more than 600 kilometers). The project has been plagued by corruption, spiraling costs, technological problems, human rights violations and resettlement difficulties.

    The environmental impacts of the project are profound, and are likely to get worse as time goes on. The submergence of hundreds of factories, mines and waste dumps, and the presence of massive industrial centers upstream are creating a festering bog of effluent, silt, industrial pollutants and rubbish in the reservoir. Erosion of the reservoir and downstream riverbanks is causing landslides, and threatening one of the world’s biggest fisheries in the East China Sea. The weight of the reservoir’s water has many scientists concerned over reservoir-induced seismicity. Since 2007, Chinese scientists and government officials have become increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impacts of the project.

    The Three Gorges Dam is a model for disaster, yet the Chinese government is replicating this model both domestically and internationally. Within China, huge hydropower cascades have been proposed and are being constructed in some of China’s most pristine and biologically and culturally diverse river basins – the Lancang (Upper Mekong) River, Nu (Salween) River and upstreamof Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River and tributaries.

    Governments and companies from around the world have helped fund and build the Three Gorges Dam. Yet through this project, China has acquired the know-how to build large hydropower schemes, and is now exporting similar projectsaround the world.

    While Three Gorges is the world’s biggest hydro project, the problems at Three Gorges are not unique. Around the world, large dams are causing social and environmental devastation while better alternatives are being ignored.

    International Rivers protects rivers and defends the rights of the communities which depend on them. We monitor the social and environmental problems of the Three Gorges Dam, and work to ensure that the right lessons are drawn for energy and water projects in China and around the world.

    Learn more about the problems with large dams and the global movement to protect rivers and rights.

    The Ark’s curses and Blessings

    The Makings of the Ark  & Tabernacle

    Solving History with Olly Steeds: Ark Treasures Video
    On an Ethiopian island close to the headwaters of the Nile, Coptic priests show Olly Steeds sacred artifacts that may have accompanied the Ark of …
    The Ark of the Covenant and Famine in Ethiopia

    The Ethiopians  and the Ark



    The Ark of the Covenant and Famine in Ethiopia

    I was just recently baptized in the Coptic Church in Phoenix, Arizona and ended up looking at this subject again for the first time in about four years. I had an excellent post showing that there were actually Two Tabernacles (with a break down of all the verses and the thought process involved) which reconciled all the various information from the Scriptures, but it is now, alas, lost in cyberspace, but if you trace out all the references in the Old Testament, with this knowledge, then it reconciles all the differences and makes perfect sense.

    Point is, because the offering of the Israelites was so generous, Moses was able to build two complete sets of Tabernacles and Arks for the Two Sets of the Ten Commandments.


    The  Jews and the  Ark


    The Islamic Version of the Ark

    After this, Solomon gave the first Tabernacle and Ark to the Queen of Sheba (Scripture tells us that he refused her nothing that she asked for) where it made its way to Ethiopia because he wanted to consolidate his rule and decided that having two Arks might be an impairment to this goal.

    Now, a third Ark was actually made around the time of Jeremiah who hid the Second one (which he subsequently took to Egypt with him when he was forced to leave Israel and, legend has it, he got on a boat with it and sailed to the British Isles where he took it onto another boat and was gone for a year or too and came back without the Ark) and placed the third in the Temple just before the Babylonian Invasion and this is the Ark that was seen by the Priest for a moment when Israel took Jerusalem in 1967 (and possibly the one that the blood from the crucifixion of Y’shua dripped onto if you believe one source).

    Now, the significance of the first Ark being in Ethiopia is that, during the year 2008 I went on a tare for Ancient (Antediluvial) wisdom and knowledge and read a whole host of books on various subjects including on the Great Pyramid and, during the course of those studies, I determined that Ethiopia was known in the Antediluvial World as the Home of the Gods. There is actually a Hieroglyph (which actually means God) for them and their land and it is composed of, what to me looks like Three Flags standing for the Trinity so, in a sense, the Ark would just be returning home, in a manner of speaking and this gives reasoning and motivation for Y’hava to allow the Ark to depart from Israel in the first place.

    Now, it appears that Ethiopia has a history of Famine which most of us knew already, and that there is possibly another one on the way from what a couple of articles on the net recently said (circa June 2009).

    I mentioned above that the Ark that the Ethiopians were given was the one that was responsible for the drought and famine in Israel in the days of David and this, then, indicates that, in fact, Ethiopia still has the Ark of the Covenant, regardless of those who say that it was sold back to the Israelites in the 80’s for 42 Million Dollars or stolen by the Scots a while back.

    Now, the problem is that the Ark was supposed to be atoned once every year on Yom Kippur and this, assuredly, has not been done and thus, about once every generation the sins of the people or politicians gets to the point where judgment is poured out until atonement is achieved and then they are good for another 20 or 30 years or so.

    If we have reached that point again then there is a couple of options they could try in order to stop the famine.

    They could have the Guardian, Abba Tesfa Mariam, try and ask the Lord what the problem is and how to make reconciliation so that the famine can be stayed.

    The other – risky – option is for Abuna Pauolos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, to have communion at the Church were the Ark is and then, after Transubstantiation and before anyone takes communion, take the Chalice with the Blood into the Holy of Holies and anoint the Mercy Seat in the same manner that the Levites would on the day of Atonement and then, in theory, the Ark would be reconciled with the House and people of Ethiopia for the life time of that Bishop and then, when another Bishop is elected, he should go through the same process once during his ministry (this is based on the Blood of Y’shua being greater then of the animal sacrifices, but still limited by the Priestly Office itself and thus, with the cities of refuge a person was stuck in the city until the High Priest died taking his sins with him to the grave, and a new High Priest was elected), probably on Yom Kippur of the year he comes into office.

    Because the Levitical Priesthood was decommissioned at the time the High Priest ripped the Holy Robe at Y’shua’s trial, it is not possible to use that Priesthood (or those sacrifices including that of the Ashes of the Red Heifer) until such a time as the Lord re-commissions it and, therefore, Atonement must be performed by the Christian Priesthood and the only sacrifice we offer is the Eucharist.

    It is my hope that someone will see to it that this information gets to the appropriate people so that something can be done about this situation before it gets any worse.


    Ethiopian Election 9th Debate to Assure Melese’s land slide Victory supported by Bomb blasts & Intimidation

    Election 2010 – 9th Round 1-1st Debate. May 06, 2010
    Ethiopian Election 2010 – 9th Round 1-1st Debate. May 06, 2010
    Ethiopian Campaign Has Become ‘War’ on Opposition, Leader Says
    By Jason McLure May 7 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s ruling party has increased harassment of opposition supporters before a May 23 election in the Horn of 


    Two killed in Ethiopia bomb attack: official

    ADDIS ABABA — Attackers hurled a bomb at a political meeting in Ethiopia, killing two people and wounding 14 others just over two weeks before national elections, a government spokesman said Friday.

    The blast happened in Adaba in the Oromya region of southern Ethiopia on Thursday as members of a party from the ruling coalition were hosting a 20th anniversary ceremony, spokesman Shimelis Kemal told AFP.

    “The suspects hurled the bomb at a ceremony attended by the region’s deputy administrator Abdulaziz Mohammed. There were two deaths from the blast while 14 sustained heavy and light wounds,” Shimelis said.

    Shimelis said the blast did not wound any of the politicians, who were from the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation, a member of the ruling EPRDF coalition.

    “Three suspects have so far been apprehended, one of whom was a former soldier who was discharged for disciplinary reasons,” he said, declining to point to any group for responsibility.

    Authorities have in the past blamed the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front for past attacks, and some opposition politicians have been arrested with links to the rebel group.

    The blast was the second in the African nation in the space of two weeks, following an explosion in a small town along the border with Eritrea on April 24 which killed five people.

    Ethiopia goes to the polls on May 23. The Oromya region has the country’s largest constituencies.

    Around 30 million people have registered to vote for Ethiopia’s fourth elections since the Communist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam was toppled in 1991.

    Ethiopia govt, opposition exchange murder accusations

    Fri May 7, 2010 5:42pm BST

    * Three politicians murdered in two months

    * Investors watching closely as election approaches

    * Ruling party, opposition trade murder accusations

    By Barry Malone

    ADDIS ABABA, May 7 (Reuters) – Ethiopia’s ruling party accused the opposition on Friday of killing one of its candidates ahead of this month’s national election, in an allegation denied by the main opposition alliance.

    Both sides have stepped up rhetoric ahead of the May 23 election — the first vote in the Horn of Africa country since 2005 when a disputed poll ended with street riots and the jailing of politicians.

    Ethiopian government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said one of the ruling party’s candidates had been stabbed to death, in a first murder accusation against Medrek, the country’s main opposition coalition.

    “Itana Idossa was stabbed to death by Medrek members a week ago after he left a meeting,” he said. “Police have apprehended suspects — Medrek activists.”

    Medrek dismissed the accusation. “The people who killed him have no connection with us,” Merera Gudina, leader of one of the coalition parties, the Oromo Peoples’ Congress, told Reuters.

    The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front is expected to win the election comfortably. Medrek is seen as the biggest political force challenging the 19-year-old government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

    At the time of the 2005 vote, the government said the violence was part of a plan to force an unconstitutional change. Security forces killed 193 people on the streets and top opposition leaders were imprisoned. Seven policemen were killed.

    The opposition says their candidates and voters are harassed and intimidated. The government, for its part, says the opposition plans to incite street violence and discredit the poll because it has no chance of winning.

    The political climate in Ethiopia is watched closely by investors eyeing oil and gas exploration and large-scale farming projects there.

    Last month, a senior Medrek official, Bulcha Demeksa, said an opposition activist was bludgeoned to death with a gun butt by ruling party members.

    The ruling party responded by saying the man died of cancer and vowed to prosecute Bulcha. On Thursday, the man’s father told Voice of America radio station that his son was beaten to death by government militia men.

    Both killings happened in the Oromia region, home to Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, the Oromo, who number 27 million out of 80 million people.

    In March, a Medrek candidate in the north of the huge country, Aregawi Gebre-Yohannes, was attacked and stabbed to death. The opposition says his killing was a political murder, but the government says he died in a bar fight. A man has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for his murder. (Reporting by Barry Malone, editing by George Obulutsa and Maria Golovnina)

    Ethiopian Patriotic Day May 5, 2010, For Mussolinian Melese Zenawie it passed as any other day…

    Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had long held a desire for a new Italian Empire. Reminiscent of the Roman Empire, Mussolini’s new empire was to rule over theMediterranean and North Africa. His new empire would also avenge past Italian defeats. Chief among these defeats was the Battle of Adowa which took place in Ethiopia on March 11896. Mussolini promised the Italian people “a place in the sun”, matching the extensive colonial empires of the United Kingdom and France.

    Meyazia 27 Square (Arat Kilo) May 5, 1941

    Ethiopia was a prime candidate of this expansionist goal for several reasons. Following the Scramble for Africa by the European imperialists it was one of the few remaining independent African nations, and it would serve to unify the Italian-held Eritrea to the northwest and Italian Somaliland to the east. It was considered to be militarily weak, and rich in resources.


    Italy was able to launch their invasion without interference primarily due to the United Kingdom and France placing a high priority on retaining Italy as an ally in case hostilities broke out with Germany. To this end, on January 71935France signed an agreement with Italy giving them essentially a free hand in Africa to secure Italian co-operation. Next, in April, Italy was further emboldened by being a member of the Stresa Front, an agreement to try and control German expansionism.In June, non-interference was further assured by a political rift that had developed between the United Kingdom and France following the Anglo-German Naval Agreement.

    The Italo–Ethiopian Treaty of 1928 that delimited the border between Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia stated the border was 21 leagues parallel to the Benadircoast. Acting on this, they built a fort at the Walwal oasis (Italian Ual-Ual) in the Ogaden desert in 1930 and garrisoned it with Somalidubats (irregular frontier troops commanded by Italian officers).

    In November of 1934, Ethiopian territorial troops escorting the Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission, protested Italy’s incursion. TheBritish members of the commission soon withdrew to avoid an international incident but Italian and Ethiopian troops remained encamped in close proximity. In early December, the tensions mounted to a clash that left 150 Ethiopians and 50 Italians dead. This resulted in the Abyssinia Crisis at the League of Nations.


    The League of Nations exonerated both parties for the Walwal incident in September 1935. Italy soon began to build its forces on the borders of Ethiopia in Eritrea and Italian Somaliland.

    With an attack appearing inevitable, the Emperor Haile Selassie ordered a general mobilization. His new recruits consisted of around 500,000 men, many of whom were armed with nothing more than spears and bows. Other soldiers carried more modern weapons, including rifles, but many of these were from before 1900 and were badly outdated.


    According to Italian estimates, on the eve of hostilities the Ethiopians had an army of 350,000 men. Only about one-quarter of this army had any kind of military training and the men were armed with rifles of every type and in every kind of condition.

    In general, the Ethiopian armies were poorly equipped. They had about 200 antiquated pieces of artillery mounted on rigid gun carriages. There were also about 50 light and heavy anti-aircraft guns (20 mm Oerlikons, 75 mm Schneiders, and Vickers). The Ethiopians even had some Ford truck-based armored cars and a small number of Fiat 3000 World War I-era tanks.


    The service-able portion of the Ethiopian air force included three tiny and outmoded biplanes.

    The best Ethiopian units were Haile Selassie‘s “Imperial Guard.” These troops were well-trained and better equipped than the other Ethiopian troops. But the Imperial Guard wore a distinctive greenish-khaki uniform of the Belgian army which stood out from the white cotton cloak (shamma) worn by most Ethiopian fighters, and proved to be an excellent target.

    In April 1935, the Italian build-up in East Africa started in earnest. In a few months, five regular army divisions and five Blackshirtdivisions arrived in Eritrea. One regular division and a few Blackshirt battalions arrived in Italian Somaliland. These units alone, which did not include Italian units already in East Africa, native units, or units arriving during the war, represented 7,000 officers and 200,000 men.

    The equipment for the build-up alone included 6,000 machine guns, 700 pieces of artillery, 150 tankettes, and 150 aircraft.

    On October 31935Marshal Emilio De Bono advanced into Ethiopia from Eritrea without declaration of War. De Bono had a force of 100,000 Italian soldiers and 25,000 Eritrean soldiers under his command. A smaller force, under the command of General Rodolfo Graziani, advanced into Ethiopia from Italian Somaliland.

    By October 6Adwa was captured by De Bono’s forces. Adowa was the site of Italian defeat in the First Italo–Ethiopian War (1895-1896). By October 15, De Bono’s forces moved on to capture the holy capital of Axum. The invading Italians looted the Obelisk of Axum after capturing the city.

    On October 7, the League of Nations declared Italy the aggressor and started the slow process of imposing sanctions. These did not extend to several vital materials, such as oil. The British and French argued that if they refused to sell oil to the Italians, they would then simply get it from the United States, which was not a member of the League (the British and French wanted to keep Mussolini on side in the event of war with Germany, which by 1935 was looking like a distinct possibility). In an effort to find compromise, the Hoare-Laval Plan was drafted (which essentially handed 3/5ths of Ethiopia to the Italians without Ethiopia’s consent on the condition the war ended immediately), but when news of the deal was leaked public outrage was such that the British and French governments were forced to wash their hands of the whole affair.

    By mid-December, De Bono was replaced by General Pietro Badoglio because of the slow, cautious nature of his advance. Haile Sellassie decided to test this new general with an attack, but his forces were repelled due to the Italians’ superiority in heavy weapons like machine guns and artillery.

    On January 201936, the Italians resumed their northern offensive at the First Battle of Tembien between the Warieu Pass andMek’ele. The fighting proved inconclusive and ended in a draw on January 24.

    Following the capture of Amba Aradam (Battle of Enderta) on 15 February, the Italians advanced again on the northern front, commencing the Second Battle of Tembien on 27 February. This resulted in an Italian victory and the fall of Worq Amba.

    At the Battle of Maych’ew on 31 March 1936, the Italians defeated a counteroffensive by the main Ethiopian army, including the Imperial Guard, under Haile Selassie.

    During the final months of 1935 the Italian had also advanced from the south through the Ogaden Desert from Somalia. There were clashes on the River Dewa (30 October), Hamaniei (11 November) and Lama Scillindi (25 November). On 31 December the Italians occupied Denan.

    Between January 12 and January 161936, the Italians defeated the southermost Ethiopian army in the Battle of Genale Wenz. After a February lull, the Italians began a major thrust towards the city of Harar. On March 29, Graziani’s forces firebombed and subsequently captured the city. Two days later, the Italians won the last major battle of the war, the Battle of Maychew. Haile Selassie fled into exile on May 2, and Badoglio’s forces took the capitalAddis Ababa, on May 51936.

    Italy annexed the country on May 7, and the Italian kingVictor Emmanuel III, was proclaimed emperor on May 9. Italy merged Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somaliland into a single state known as Italian East Africa.

    In addition to conventional weaponry, Badoglio’s troops also made substantial use of mustard gas, in both artillery and aerial bombardments. In total, the Italians deployed between 300 and 500 tonnes of mustard gas during the war, despite having signed the1925 Geneva Protocol. The deployment of gas was not restricted to the battlefield, however, as civilians were also targeted by the Italians, as part of their attempt to terrorise the local population. Furthermore, the Italians carried out gas attacks on Red Cross camps and ambulances.[15]

    The armed forces disposed of a vast arsenal of grenades and bombs loaded with mustard gas which were dropped from airplanes. This substance was also sprayed directly from above like an “insecticide” onto enemy combatants and villages. It was Mussolini himself who authorized the use of the weapons:

    “Rome, 27 October ’35. A.S.E. Graziani. The use of gas as an ultima ratio to overwhelm enemy resistance and in case of counterattack is authorized. Mussolini.”

    “Rome, 28 December ’35. A.S.E. Badoglio. Given the enemy system I have authorized V.E. the use even on a vast scale of any gas and flamethrowers. Mussolini.”

    Mussolini and his generals sought to cloak the operations of chemical warfare in the utmost secrecy, but the use of gas was revealed to the world through the denunciations of the International Red Cross and of many foreign observers. The Italian reaction to these revelations consisted in the “erroneous” bombardment (at least 19 times) of Red Cross tents posted in the areas of military encampment of the Ethiopian resistance. The orders imparted by Mussolini, with respect to the Ethiopian population, were very clear:[16]

    “Rome, 5 June 1936. A.S.E. Graziani. All rebels taken prisoner must be killed. Mussolini.”

    “Rome, 8 July 1936. A.S.E. Graziani. I have authorized once again V.E. to begin and systematically conduct a politics of terror and extermination of the rebels and the complicit population. Without the lex talionis one cannot cure the infection in time. Await confirmation. Mussolini.”

    The predominant part of the work of repression was carried out by Italians who, besides the bombs laced with mustard gas, instituted forced labor camps, installed public gallows, killed hostages, and mutilated the corpses of their enemies. Graziani ordered the elimination of captured guerrillas by way of throwing them out of airplanes in mid-flight. Many Italian troops had themselves photographed next to cadavers hanging from the gallows or hanging around chests full of detached heads.

    One episode in the Italian occupation of Ethiopia was the slaughter of Addis Ababa of February 1937 which followed upon an attempt to assassinate Graziani. In the course of an official ceremony a bomb exploded next to the general. The response was immediate and cruel, as he said “Avenge me! Kill them all!”. The Black Shirts of the Fascist Militia fired randomly into the Ethiopians present at the ceremony killing large numbers, and immediately after poured out into the streets of Addis Ababa where they killed the Ethiopian civilians that they encountered. They also set fire to homes and organized the mass executions of a large groups of people.[17] The massacre claimed lives of 30,000 Ethiopians.

    When victory was announced on 9 May 1936 from the balcony of Palazzo Venezia, the Italian population (who had not been informed of the use of mustard gas by their troops) was jubilant.

    On 30 June 1936, Emperor Haile Selassie gave a stirring speech before the League of Nations denouncing Italy’s actions and criticizing the world community for standing by. He warned that “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow”. As a result of the League’s condemnation of Italy, Mussolini declared the country’s withdrawal from the organization.

    The Italian Empire was officially recognized by the Empire of Japan on November 18, 1936.[18]

    The occupation was marked by recurring guerrilla campaigns against the Italians, and reprisals which included mustard gas attacks against rebels and the murder of prisoners.

    In early June 1936, Rome promulgated a constitution bringing Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland together into a single administrative unit divided into six provinces, Italian East Africa. On June 111936, Marshal Rodolfo Graziani replaced Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who had commanded the Italian forces in the war. In December the Italians declared the whole country to be pacified and under their effective control. Ethiopian resistance nevertheless continued.

    A failed assassination attempt against Graziani occurred on February 191937. During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace (the former Imperial residence) in Addis AbabaEthiopia, Abraha Deboch and Moges Asgedom, two men of Eritrean origin, attempted to kill Viceroy Graziani with a number of grenades. The Italian security guard fired indiscriminately into the crowd of civilian onlookers. Over the following weeks the colonial authorities executed about 30,000 persons in retaliation – including about half of the younger, educated Ethiopian population.

    This harsh policy, however, did not pacify the country. In November 1937, Rome therefore appointed a new governor and instructed him to adopt a more flexible line. Accordingly, large-scale public works projects were undertaken. One result was the construction of the country’s first system of improved roads. In the meantime, however, the Italians had decreed miscegenation to be illegal. Racial separation, including residential segregation, was enforced as thoroughly as possible. The Italians showed favoritism to non-Christianethnicities such as the OromoSomali, and other Muslims (some of whom had supported the Italian invasion) by granting them autonomy and rights effectively abolishing slavery and abrogating feudal laws previously upheld by the dominant Amhara rulers of Ethiopia, in an attempt to isolate the Amhara, who had supported Haile Selassie I.

    Early in 1938, a revolt broke out in Gojjam led by the Committee of Unity and Collaboration, which was made up of some of the young, educated elite who had escaped the reprisal after the attempt on Graziani’s life. In exile in Britain, the Emperor sought to gain the support of the Western democracies for his cause but had little success until Italy entered World War II on the side of Germany in June 1940. Thereafter, Britain and the Emperor sought to cooperate with Ethiopian and other local forces in a campaign to dislodge the Italians from Ethiopia and British Somaliland, which the Italians had seized in August 1940, and to resist the Italian invasion ofSudan. Haile Selassie proceeded immediately to Khartoum, where he established closer liaison with both the British headquarters and the resistance forces within Ethiopia.File:EritreaCampaign1941 map-en.svg

    Ethiopia (Abyssinia), which Italy had unsuccessfully tried to conquer in the 1890s, was in 1934 one of the few independent states in a European-dominated Africa. A border incident between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland that December gave Benito Mussolini an excuse to intervene. Rejecting all arbitration offers, the Italians invaded Ethiopia on Oct. 3, 1935.Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-36), an armed conflict that resulted in Ethiopia’s subjection to Italian rule. Often seen as one of the episodes that prepared the way for World War II, the war demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the League of Nations when League decisions were not supported by the great powers.

    Under Generals Rodolfo Graziani and Pietro Badoglio, the invading forces steadily pushed back the ill-armed and poorly trained Ethiopian army, winning a major victory near Lake Ascianghi (Ashangi) on April 9, 1936, and taking the capital, Addis Ababa, on May 5. The nation’s leader, Emperor Haile Selassie, went into exile. In Rome, Mussolini proclaimed Italy’s king Victor Emmanuel III emperor of Ethiopia and appointed Badoglio to rule as viceroy.

    Italian East Africa - 1936-1940 it.svg

    In response to Ethiopian appeals, the League of Nations had condemned the Italian invasion in 1935 and voted to impose economic sanctions on the aggressor. The sanctions remained ineffective because of general lack of support. Although Mussolini’s aggression was viewed with disfavour by the British, who had a stake in East Africa, the other major powers had no real interest in opposing him. The war, by giving substance to Italian imperialist claims, contributed to international tensions between the fascist states and the Western democracies.

    Melese   Like his role Model  Mussolini Will be Hanged  in Addis … the moment  of truth  will not be long