Sunday, March 31, 2013

Prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia - Birtukan Mideksa writes Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Independent journalists in Ethiopia face grave threat of imprisonment if they criticise the state or its laws.

Although Ethiopia has its first new prime minister in 17 years - so far, the government has failed to right a long history of wrongs. With prisoners of conscience still languishing in its prisons, Ethiopia must receive the clear message - especially from allies like the United States - that continued human rights violations will not be tolerated.
My journey to become a political prisoner in Ethiopia began as a federal judge fighting to uphold the rule of law. Despite institutional challenges and even death threats, I hoped to use constitutional principles to ensure respect for basic rights.
But, having witnessed firsthand the government disregard for fundamental constitutional rules, I joined the opposition and became the first woman to hold a high-level position in an Ethiopian political party.
Our party - the Coalition for Unity and Democracy - contested the 2005 elections with a multiethnic platform based on economic liberalism and respect for individual rights. As momentum gathered, many hoped change had finally arrived in Ethiopia.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Eritrean-born man tied to terror group sentenced to more than 9 years

(CNN) -- A man originally from Eritrea was sentenced Wednesday to more than nine years in U.S. federal prison after pleading guilty last year to conspiring with Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked terror organization, prosecutors said.
Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, a 38-year-old resident of Sweden, received his 111-month sentence in a New York City federal court, said Preet Bharara, U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Ahmed traveled to Somalia to receive military training from the terror group, federal officials said. Al-Shabaab has made several public statements threatening to harm the United States.
"Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed traveled thousands of miles to align himself with al-Shabaab, to aid their campaign of terror and to learn their 'ways of war,'" Bharara said in a statement. "Today, his journey ends in prison and marks the latest victory in our constant effort to protect Americans from terrorism at home and abroad."

Karuturi to Borrow From Sovereign Fund After First Ethiopia Crop

Karuturi Global Ltd. (KARG), the world’s largest rose grower, said it will borrow more than $100 million from a sovereign wealth fund to invest in farming in East Africa after selling its first produce from a plantation in Ethiopia.
The company, based in Bangalore, India, produced 21,000 metric tons of corn in the last quarter of 2012 that sold for about $6.5 million in Ethiopia, Managing Director Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi said in a phone interview on March 27. The harvest, grown on its plantation in western Ethiopia, showed the project was “not a disaster” after floods destroyed a 60,000- ton corn crop in September 2011, he said.
The deal with the unidentified fund comes after development banks declined to provide assistance because of “unfair” criticism of commercial farming by advocacy groups, Karaturi said. “Hundreds of millions” of dollars will be advanced to the company by the end of April and invested in Ethiopian projects as well as Kenyan flower farms, he said.

$5 million appeal for humanitarian assistance for stranded Ethiopians in Djibouti

IOM Djibouti Appeals For Funds to Aid Vulnerable Stranded Migrants
African Press Organization (APO)/ IOM Djibouti is urgently appealing for USD $5 million under the UN Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) 2013 to be able to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to a growing number of vulnerable, stranded Ethiopian migrants in Djibouti.
IOM Djibouti has received no funding under the CAP to date, despite the continuing need to support vulnerable migrants, particularly the women, who are increasingly being abused on the migration route by human smugglers and traffickers. (The US$72 million sought by humanitarian agencies in Djibouti under the 2013 CAP is currently only 6% funded.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ethiopian Women Risk Abuse in Saudi Arabia

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Ethiopian women are leaving their villages to work as maids in Saudi Arabia, lured by foreign wages which far outweigh their potential earnings at home. When they arrive, some discover they have few rights and face risks which include sexual abuse. Bloomberg's Eric Coleman reports. (Source:Bloomberg)


Ethiopian Housemaid, who killed co-worker, smiles on hearing death sentence

Victim was stabbed several times to death in July

 A 28-year-old Ethiopian maid was convicted of premeditated stabbing to death her co-worker and compatriot and was given the death penalty.

FYO smiled when she heard the verdict announced by presiding judge Maher Salamah Al Mahdi.

According to the records, on July 9, FYO got hold of the victim HSS, Ethiopian, alone in their employer’s wardrobe room where she stabbed her several times in her face, neck and belly wanting to kill her.

Other workers heard screams of the two women coming from the wardrobe room located in the yard of the villa. They tried to open the door but it was locked from inside. The women inside were fighting and screaming. Both of them did not respond to the workers’ shouts to open the door. One of the workers climbed a ladder and from the bathroom’s small window saw traced of blood in the basin. So they called the police while the women’s screams stopped.

Ethiopian pop: Debo Band brings its all to The Dance Hall

Let’s just say if Debo Band dines out in Kittery after their gig, they’re not going to fit at a four-top.
The word "debo" is an archaic Ethiopian expression that, at its core, means "collective communal effort." It makes perfect sense then, that Sub Pop recording artists, Debo Band use that word as the base of their band name.
They play Ethiopian dance music, steeped heavily in the spirit of the Ethiopian Pop scene that was at its height from the late '60s into the 1970s. The Boston based collective are a large outfit, currently touring as a 10-piece band (their debut record showcases a slightly larger, 12-piece group), who relish in the working definition of their name. Every member has to pull their own weight.
Not only is it a communal effort to write, practice, and deliver the music they play, it's also a communal effort to make the Debo Band a sustainable touring entity. From cooking meals, to figuring out lodging, and transportation, the Debo Band truly embodies a working, holistic collective spirit.
The spirit, community and mesmerizing blend of musicality that is Debo Band will be making an appearance at the Dance Hall in Kittery, Maine on Friday, March 29 — an event that is sponsored by 3S Artspace, and Education for All Children (EFAC) and the Dance Hall.

Equally as fascinating as the music on Debo Band's self-titled Sub Pop debut is founding member (as well as the man responsible for tenor and baritone saxophones, and embilta within the band), and Ethiopian American Danny Mekonnen.
Mekonnen wound up in Boston after graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington (he also grew up in Texas). In Boston he continued to study music, and found himself as an ethnomusicology Ph.D., candidate at Harvard.

Gelada monkeys in Ethiopia cheat on their partners like Humans

CONNIVING: A study has found that gelada monkeys in Ethiopia cheat on their partners.
Johannesburg - Humans aren’t the only creatures in the animal kingdom who cheat and try to deceive their partners.
Researchers from the University of the Free State (UFS) were amazed to find that primates really do monkey around.
A long-term research study on gelada monkeys in Ethiopia found that not only do they cheat on their partners, but they deviously try to cover up what they are doing. If caught, the dominant male beats up the pair of lovers.
Geladas, also known as the “bleeding-heart baboon”, are the first animals that have ever shown proof that humans are not the only ones who cheat on their partners and try to hide the act.
Researcher Dr Aliza le Roux, from the department of zoology and entomology at UFS, said they worked alongside researchers from the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania for three years watching the behaviour of the primates.

Attempt to deport Ethiopian terror link man fails

Home Secretary Theresa May has failed in a bid to deport a 33-year-old Ethiopian who had "thrown in his lot" with Islamist extremists "committed to terrorism".

The Court of Appeal said there was a risk that the man - who was not named in a ruling - might be subjected to "ill treatment" if returned to Ethiopia.
Three appeal judges overturned a ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) - which had upheld Mrs May's decision to deport the man, who has a wife and children in the UK.
They said Siac had "erred" in ruling that assurances given by the Ethiopian government were "sufficient" to prevent the man being "subjected to ill treatment" contrary to human rights legislation.
Lord Justice Jackson - the most senior of the three appeal judges - said he had reached his decision with "little enthusiasm".
He said he had "no doubt" that Mrs May had been entitled to conclude that the man's deportation was "conducive to the public interest on national security grounds".
But he said "everyone within our shores" is entitled to protection under human rights legislation - "even those" involved or connected with terrorism.
The man - referred to as J1 in a written judgment handed down today after an appeal court hearing in London in February - had appealed against Siac's decision to uphold Mrs May's decision to deport him to Ethiopia.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Too Young to Wed: Destaye Short Film

Fifteen-year-old Destaye and her husband divide their time between working in the fields and taking care of their 6-month-old baby. At the time of their marriage, when Destaye was age 11, she was still in school and her husband expressed interest in letting her continue her education. Since the birth of their son, however, she has had to fulfill her duties of being a wife and mother exclusively. This short film by Jessica Dimmock and Stephanie Sinclair examines this young girl’s journey as a child bride in Ethiopia. Duration: 6 minutes.
Too Young to Wed: Destaye from TooYoungtoWed on Vimeo.

Ban Ki-moon appoints Tegegnework Gettu of Ethiopia chief for General Assembly and conference management

Tegegnework Gettu. Photo: UNDP
25 March 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Tegegnework Gettu of Ethiopia as the new Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), it was announced today.
With about 1,200 staff at United Nations Headquarters in New York and 2,200 worldwide, including the conference management staff at the UN Offices at Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi, DGACM is the largest department in the UN Secretariat.
Among the department’s staff are committee secretaries and research clerks, meeting planners and protocol officers, translators and verbatim reporters, interpreters and editors, graphic designers and printers, conference officers and administrators.

Ethiopia In Movement

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University Director ad interim James McCann led a four-person roundtable panel sponsored by the Pardee Center at the 18th International Conference on Ethiopian Studies in the city of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia on October 31-November 2nd. Ethiopia in Movement, made by award-wining Ethiopian filmmaker Aida Ashenafi captures the panelists in the heart of the city. Panelists include former Pardee Post-doctoral Fellow Heran Sereke-Brhan, Stefan Bruene, (Hamburg University and Intergovernmental Authority on Development), Masresha Fetene, Vice President for Research, (Addis Ababa University), and His Excellency Xavier Marchal, European Community Ambassador to Ethiopia. They raise issues that range from intellectual property, commercial farming versus conservation, use of longer-range perspectives to open dialogues between antagonistic state agenda, and the need for basic science education in regional higher education.

An Opportunity Amidst Ethiopia's Chaos

Stephen Hayes is president and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa.
Moving through Addis Ababa is as close to a microcosm of Africa as anywhere on the continent. There is construction everywhere, as African cities are expanding. The streets of Addis are full of smoke and fume from belching autos, usually older models, and like most major cities anywhere, are jammed at rush hour. Goats, stray dogs and pedestrians are to be dodged and stopped for as they move across your vision ahead. There are no traffic signals anywhere in this city of five million, and so all intersections are to be negotiated carefully or by bluff. To those who hesitate, frustration is soon ahead.

Pundits ponder if Gebrhiwet was the best ever junior men's winner – Bydgoszcz 2013

For those members of the media and teams who made it to the 40th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, the detailed analysis provided of the junior men's race provided made jaw-dropping reading on Sunday evening (24).
The Ethiopian winner Hagos Gebrhiwet covered the 8km course in a stunning 21:04. 
Even allowing for a considerable drop off in pace, it's not inconceivable that Gebrhiwet could have covered 10km of cross country in under 27 minutes and and many people were pondering whether he might just have been the best ever junior men's champion in the four decades of the race
Of course, by the nature of cross country races even at a global championship, there have been some slight variances in distance and some extremely diverse conditions in the four decades since the event came under the auspices of IAAF.
However, nearly all bystanders were in agreement that, including trying to balance all the relevant factors, Gebrhiwet could have uncorked the best performance ever seen in his category
Three runners have finished in a faster time than Gebrhiwet but just by a few seconds and on courses that were up to a kilometre shorter than the one negotiated in Myslecinek Park. (Full details of past winners and course distance can be found in Facts and Figures – Bydgoszcz alongside this article.)
It is a sobering thought that the very first winner of the junior men's title at the Championships, Scotland's Jim Brown, would have ended up around 900 metres in arrears of Gebrhiwet if they had been racing together on Sunday.

Ethiopia says foils Somali rebel plot to seize U.N. staff

ADDIS ABABA | Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:09pm EDT
(Reuters) - Ethiopia's intelligence agency said on Monday it has detained eight members of Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist militant group who it accused of plotting to kidnap U.N. workers.
The arrests were the latest in a crackdown on people charged with having links to fighters in neighboring Somalia, where Ethiopia has deployed troops to support Mogadishu's battle against al Shabaab and its six-year insurgency.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ethiopia’s Tsgabu Grmay wins stage 5 of Tour de Taiwan

The amazing start to the season for Team MTN-Qhubeka continued on Friday when Tsgabu Grmay won stage 5 of the Tour de Taiwan.
This is a landmark result as it’s the Ethiopian’s first professional victory and the first ever win for Ethiopia in professional cycling.

“This is really great, I am so happy not just for me but also for African cycling and for Ethiopia,” Grmay said after stepping down from the podium. “This is my first professional victory and I am really happy. The last 30km was up and down and the race was fast. I attacked with 5km to go and they caught me then I attacked again with 3km to go and no one responded and I rode to the line alone.
“The team was really looking good today. We were looking to Louis [Meintjes] or me to attack on the last climb. Dennis [van Niekerk] was in the breakaway, which was the perfect situation for us. The team has just been amazing.”
The day saw a perfect display of teamwork from Team MTN-Qhubeka. Van Niekerk spent the day in the break with two other riders which meant the rest of the team did not have to take responsibility in the peloton. Once he was caught, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Meintjes controlled Grmay’s attacks on the climb which allowed him to ride away.

Ethiopian housemaid attacked with hot cooking oil by her employer

The victim suffered first and second-degree burns on her head and back.
Victim fighting for her life after suffering first and second-degree burns
Sharjah: A female employer of an Ethiopian housemaid who works illegally in the UAE has been summoned by the Sharjah police for questioning in connection with allegations that an assailant poured hot cooking oil on the maid’s head and back, causing serious burns across the victim’s body.
The housemaid is scheduled to undergo skin grafting surgery on Monday, more than a month after being hospitalised following the incident in her sponsor’s Mirdif villa in early February.
The employer could not be reached on her telephone by Gulf News by press time on Sunday.
Al Qassimi Hospital officials said the maid has been fighting for her life in the intensive care unit (ICU) after suffering first- and second-degree burns. The victim has been heavily medicated as the ICU team helps nurse her back to health.

Ethiopian Maids caught hiding cash and gold in pillows jailed

Two Ethiopian maids who stole cash worth Dh254,971 as well as gold jewellery and watches and hid them inside their pillows have been awarded three months of jail each.
The Dubai Court of First Instance also ordered the duo to be deported after they completed their jail terms.

According to the records, the two maids SAA, 25, HFB, 26, exploited their position of trust when their employer’s family moved into a new house. They knew that the cash and the jewellery was kept in bags in a wardrobe.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ethiopian nanophotonics scientist Solomon Assefa becomes one of Young Global Leaders Class of 2013

The World Economic Forum has announced its Young Global Leaders Class of 2013, a group it describes as the best of today's leaders under the age of 40. African Voices highlights some of the most inspiring Africans who made the list.
 Solomon Assefa
Solomon Assefa is an Ethiopian nanophotonics scientist working for tech giant IBM. His work focuses on developing chips that make it easier to communicate data via pulses of light, rather than electrical signals.

Assefa, who holds a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is also the co-founder of the MIT Africa Internet Technology Initiative, a program that sends students from the prestigious university to teach internet skills to African youth and teachers in a number of African countries. He has been named by MIT Technology Review as one of the leading 35 innovators aged under 35.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

AU Somali force readies for possible Ethiopia pullout

African Union forces battling Islamist insurgents in Somalia are preparing troops to take over should Ethiopia withdraw more soldiers from the region, their commander said Thursday.
"We have in place contingent measures to ensure that areas in Bay and Bakool...remain stable and secure in the event of further Ethiopian troop withdrawals," said Andrew Gutti, commander of African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM), referring to southwest Somali regions currently controlled by Ethiopia.
Ethiopian troops, the strongest military power in Somalia's southwest ever since their November 2011 invasion, pulled out of the town of Hudur on Sunday, the capital of Bakool region.
Hours later, Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab swept into the town, their most important territorial victory for over a year.

Imane Merga confident in bid to defend world title

Imane Merga
Ethiopian Imane Merga is in confident mood he can translate his burgeoning track prowess back onto the park to successfully defend his title at the World Cross-Country Championships on Sunday.
Merga, who narrowly missed out on a medal in the 10,000m at the 2009 world track championships, was still a relatively unknown quantity when he produced a devastating turn of speed to see off a quartet of Kenyan rivals two years ago in Punta Umbria.
The Ethiopian went on to claim a bronze at the 2011 worlds in Daegu but missed out on the London Olympics, a fact he says will help drive him on.
"Last summer was a disappointment. I had some slight injuries in July and lost my chance to go to the Olympics, but since November I have been steadily improving," the 24-year-old told the IAAF.
"Training has been going very well. I feel very strong, very confident and I'm very motivated to do my best to defend the title I won in Punta Umbria two years ago."
But it is Ethiopia's arch-rivals Kenya who have previous form in Bydgoszcz, dominating the 2010 worlds there when Joseph Ebuyer and Emily Chebet claimed the individual senior titles, while the junior races and both team events also all went the way of the east African nation.
And Merga's hopes of victory might diminish given that runners in Bydgoszcz are expected to have to compete in sub-zero conditions, and perhaps on a slippery or frozen course after several days of snow falling on the Polish city.

Illicit pleasures in Ethiopia Addled in Addis

Shoulders and posteriors in action

An increasingly comfortable urban middle class is learning to enjoy itself

 THE brightly lit bars lining alleys off Bole Road in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, come to life around midnight. Folk melodies mix with electronic beats. Customers wiggle posteriors and rotate shoulders in fast dance-bursts derived from traditional music. Some disappear with hand-holding waitresses through a narrow door to a “kissing room”, only to return a quarter of an hour later more exuberant than ever. And it’s only Monday.
Illicit joys are proliferating in Ethiopia, even if its prim statist government sees pleasure as an enemy of development. Nightclubs are hazy with marijuana smoke. Qat, the leaf of a mildly narcotic plant, is ubiquitous; drivers talk of “taking a short qat” when stopping their cars to stock up. Two years ago non-medical massage parlours were confined to hotels frequented by foreign businessmen. Now Addis may have about 200 such establishments. Gratification costs the equivalent of three packs of Western-brand cigarettes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ዶክተር ያዕቆብ ኃይለ ማርያምና የሰማያዊ ፓርቲ አመራሮች ታስረው በዋስ ተፈቱ

የፋሺስት ኢጣሊያ የአዲስ አበባ ገዢ በመሆን በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ኢትዮጵያውያንን ላስጨፈጨፈው የጦር ወንጀለኛ ማርሻል ሮዶልፎ ግራዚያኒ፣ በአገሩ ኢጣሊያ የተሠራለትን ሐውልትና መናፈሻ ለመቃወም፣ መጋቢት 8 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. ሰላማዊ ሠልፍ ለማድረግ ሲወጡ መታሰራቸውን የገለጹት ዶክተር ያዕቆብ ኃይለ ማርያምን ጨምሮ፣ ስድስት የሰማያዊ ፓርቲ ሥራ አስፈጻሚዎችና ሌሎች ከ30 በላይ ሰዎች መጋቢት 9 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. በዋስ መለቀቃቸውን ተናገሩ፡፡
‹‹ለፋሽስቱ የጦር ወንጀለኛ ለማርሻል ሮዶልፎ ግራዚያኒ ክብር መስጠት የአባቶቻችንን መስዋዕትነት ማራከስ ነው›› በሚል መሪ ቃል የተዘጋጀውን ሰላማዊ ሠልፍ ያስተባበሩት፣ ባለራዕይ የወጣቶች ማኅበርና ሰማያዊ ፓርቲ ሲሆኑ፣ ዋና ዓላማውም በኢትዮጵያውያን ላይ ሞት፣ እንግልትና ግፍ ለፈጸመው የጦር ወንጀለኛ ሐውልት ሊገነባለትና መናፈሻ ሊሠራለት እንደማይገባና የኢጣሊያ መንግሥት አፋጣኝ ዕርምጃ እንዲወስድ ለማድረግ እንደነበር አዘጋጆቹ ለሪፖርተር ገልጸዋል፡፡

በመሆኑም ለአሥር ቀናት ሰላማዊ ሠልፉ እንዲሚደረግ በተለያዩ የመገናኛ ብዙኃን መነገሩንና የሚመለከተው የመንግሥት አካል በደብዳቤ መጠየቁን የገለጹት አዘጋጆቹ፣ ቀኑ ደርሶ ወደ መነሻው የካቲት 12 የሰማዕታት ሐውልት አደባባይ ሲጓዙ የገጠማቸው፣ ሠልፉ ተጀምሮ ወደሚያበቃበት ኢጣሊያ ኤምባሲ መሄድ ሳይሆን በተቃራኒው ወደ ፖሊስ ጣቢያ መወሰዳቸውን አስታውቀዋል፡፡ መላው ዓለም እያወገዘው የሚገኘውን የግራዚያኒ ሐውልት ግንባታና መናፈሻ ሥራ ለመቃወም መጋቢት 8 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. ከጠዋቱ 3፡30 ሰዓት የካቲት 12 ሰማዕታት ሐውልት አደባባይ መገኘታቸውን የገለጹት ዶክተር ያዕቆብ ኃይለ ማርያም፣ በድንገት አንድ የፖሊስ ኃላፊ ደርሰው ‹‹አልተፈቀደላችሁም፤ ሕገወጥ ሠልፍ ማድረግ አትችሉም፤›› በማለት በስፍራው የተገኙትን ዜጎች በመማታት፣ የሞባይል ስልክ በመቀማትና በመጎተት ወደ መኪና ውስጥ አስገብተው ወደ ፖሊስ ጣቢያ እንደወሰዷቸው ተናግረዋል፡፡

Saudi Gazette claims abuse by Ethiopians


Lately, there have been news items about Ethiopians committing crimes and infiltrating the southern borders of the Kingdom. Many writers in the Arabic press have gone ballistic and while commenting on these incidents have said things that have clearly hurt the sentiments of the Ethiopians residing in the Kingdom. Recently, in fact, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia issued a statement in an attempt to clarify the situation. However, even after that the criticism of Ethiopians continued.

There has been a counterattack by some Ethiopians and this paper has received many letters which were not only highly critical of Saudi Arabia but which also contained abusive comments about Saudis and Muslims in general.

I am a very open and accepting person. But false and bigoted remarks do upset me. And, like some of the Saudis writing in the Arabic press, many of these Ethiopians went overboard!

The Arabian Peninsula is separated from the Ethiopian mainland by a narrow strip of water, and bilateral relations go back to the time of early Islam when the first group from Makkah went to King Najashi to seek refuge from persecution. Throughout history and before borders were defended, a flow of people and goods from both sides went back and forth uninterrupted.

ሰው ዋጋው ስንት ነው-ኢትዮጵያውያን በሳውዲአረቢያ በረሃ

Ethiopian Parents Seek Answers After Mysterious Death of Daughter, 18, in Uptown

 Abduselam Ali, the father of an 18-year-old who was found dead in an Uptown apartment, is seeking answers about his daughter's death.
UPTOWN — An Ethiopian family in Uptown is searching for answers after the mysterious death of their 18-year-old daughter, whose body was found in an apartment this month just two blocks from her home.
Mona Ali, 18, was found dead in the 4600 block of North Winthrop Avenue. Autopsy results were pending Friday.
Mona Ali's was body was found at 1:30 p.m. March 9, in an apartment in the 4600 block of North Winthrop Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. She was pronounced dead at the scene, which is not far from where she lived with her family in a high-rise building in the 4800 block of North Winthrop.
The results of her autopsy were pending Friday evening, and police said they were still investigating the case.
"It's tough, very hard. Very, very hard," her father, Abduselam Ali, said on Friday.
The night of March 8 was the last time Mona Ali's family saw her alive, they said.
She was getting dressed to go to a party and told her parents she was waiting for a family friend, 18-year-old Issa Issa, to give her a ride, according to her father. He said she left the house about 9 p.m.
"She went out with her friends to a party. We don't know exactly what happened," he said.
But in an interview, Issa said he was working at the time and that he did not pick Mona Ali up.
Issa said Ali told him she took a taxi from her house to an Edgewater hookah lounge to hang out with friends from Harold Washington College, where she, like Issa, was a student.
He met the group at 11 p.m. after he got off work. Some of the group later ended up "driving around the city," and eventually went to hang out at Montrose Harbor until after 1 a.m., he said.
Issa drove some of the others in the group to their cars, he said.
When they pulled up to Ali's home, she told him, "'I'm not going home,'" Issa said. She instead asked him to drop her off at an apartment two blocks away, near Leland and Winthrop. He had dropped her off at that address "two or three times" before, but he did not know whom she was meeting, and he did not see if she actually went inside, he said.
"That was the last time I talked to her in person," Issa said.
What happened next and with whom she met is unclear. Attempts to interview residents in the building were unsuccessful.
Issa said she texted him at 2:30 a.m. asking about her cellphone charger, which was in his car.
Abduselam Ali said that he and his wife spent the morning of March 9 calling their daughter's cellphone after they awoke at home and realized that she was not there. Nobody answered until about 2 p.m. — when police picked up and told them their daughter was dead, he said. Police Sgt. Jason Clark, who works out of the Town Hall Police District, said that Mona Ali's body "was indoors when [police] found her."
Police said there were no obvious visual signs of foul play when they found her body, but would not comment further and have not released any other details about their investigation.
Her family and friends were in a state of shock after hearing about her death.
"She was very cool and very calm. She never had any problems with anybody," her father said.
Mona Ali, 18, was found unresponsive in an Uptown apartment March 9, 2013, police and family said.
A graduate of Senn High School in Edgewater, Ali was in her first year of studies at Harold Washington.
"We had this group of people, and we used to always hang and have lunch together," said Noora Yousuf, 20, who was in Senn's ROTC program with Ali before both graduated in 2012. Yousuf said Ali would "never smoke or drink in her life."
Yousuf saw Ali a week before her death, but thought Ali was playing a practical joke when she didn't respond to texts Yousuf sent last weekend.
“Mona stop messing with me. Mona pick up,” one of the texts read.
Yousuf said when she visited the Ali family Monday, she hoped the whole thing wasn't true and her friend would still be alive.
"I walked into her apartment, and I still had this little hope that I'd see her there — I had this hope in me that I’d see her," she said.
But it was only Mona Ali's grieving family and friends.
"Her father is really strong," Yousuf said. "He told me, 'Whatever happened is written already.' ”

ሪፖርተር ጋዜጣ የኦንላይን ቴሌቭዥን ስርጭቱን ጀመረ

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Painted faces, scarred bodies, wooden guns and extravagant headdresses: Amazing photographs reveal the lost world of the Omo tribes of Ethiopia

  • Incredible photographs allow a glimpse into the lost world of the Omo tribes
  • Some 200,000 people live peacefully and close to nature in one of the most far flung, yet beautiful parts of the world
  • Photographs published in new book 'Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa'With large eyes staring out behind his brilliantly painted face this young child is a proud member of one of east Africa's most fascinating tribal groups.

    His face decorated with coloured clay and a crown of greenery topping his little head, the youngster belongs to one of the tribes living in the remote Omo Valley, tucked away beyond the towns and cities of modern life.

    This incredible set of pictures allows a glimpse into the lost world of the Omo tribes, who live peacefully and close to nature in one of the most far flung, yet beautiful parts of the world.

  • Proud: With his painted face and crown of greenery this child is a proud member of one of the tribes who call the Omo Valley in Ethipia home

    Camouflaged: A group of children disguise themselves with vegetation for a hunting trip near their African home

    Sharp shooter: A young boy plays with a wooden gun. Although the tribes' rustic lifestyles are far removed from modern towns and cities influences have crept in

    Ritual: The tribes people's way of life is largely untouched by modernity

    Intricate: This young child is shown with intricate face paint, a bright red flower in his mouth and strings of hand-strung beads

    Incredible: The photographs have been published in a new book: 'Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa', published by Thames and Hudson
    Illustrated: The book highlights the ways of the Omo tribes who live close to nature with their painted faces, scarified bodies and extravagant headdresses with plants and feathers cleverly combined
    Intricate: Some of the tribes people decorate their faces and bodies with coloured clay as often as three times a day

    A flower in your hair: This youngster sports a floral headdress and a brightly painted face and body
    Traditional: A woman with her face painted in white circles wears a crown of dried corn and a mouth plate
     Their painted bodies and intricate headdresses combine as what photographer Mr Silvester described as 'a kind of coquetry, seduction, pride and celebration'.

    Many of the indigenous people living in the valley decorate their faces and bodies with coloured clay as many as three times a day.

    The Omo Valley is renowned as being one of the most unique places on earth because of the wide variety of people and animals that inhabit it.

    Located in Africa's Great Rift Valley, the region is known for its culture and diversity.

    Famous: The Omo Valley is renowned as being one of the most unique places on earth because of the wide variety of people and animals that inhabit it

    Decorative: The tribe members often fashion their beautiful headdresses out of flowers
    Celebration: Photographer Hans Silvestre described the paint and head dresses worn by his subjects as a 'kind of coquetry, seduction, pride and celebration'

    At play: These two children both wear headdresses and clothing made from plants, as well as having their bodies painted

    The tribes that live in the lower Omo Valley are believed to be among the most fascinating on the continent of Africa and around the world.

    Among the numerous different tribes are Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bodi, Bumi, Daasanech, Dorze, Hamer, Kara, Konso, Kwegu, Mursi, Tsemay, and Turkana people.

    Tours are offered of the region, which is so remote that it does not even show up on GPS devices.

    Climbing high: A young boy, his face decorated with a large red cross and naked apart from his grassy headdress climbs a tree
    Hidden: A youngster clings to a tree in the region which is so remote it can not even be found on a GPS device
    Standing proud: On older member of one tribe forgoes body paint in favour of an animal skin to cover his head
    Tribal: This man wears a traditional mouth plate with his straw-covered beaded headdress
    Secret: Despite his painted body this man manages to blend in amongst the Ethiopian vegetation
    Balancing act: A young child balances a branch laden with seed pods
    Taking the plunge: A child takes a dip in the waters of the Omo river

    Two of a kind: Two children from one of the Omo tribes which populate the remote Omo Valley in Ethiopia

    An Ethiopian salesman dragged to death by car

    Johannesburg - An Ethiopian salesman was dragged by his neck tied to a car after a gang overpowered him the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg heard on Monday.
    Siyabonga Mtshali pleaded guilty to the murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping of Thomas Emarat Ebamo.
    In his guilty plea, Mtshali said an acquaintance told him he wanted to steal a foreigner's car.
    Ebamo was duped into following them to a forest on the pretext that he would be paid.
    He was overpowered and tied up.
    A seatbelt was used to tie his neck to his own vehicle.
    He was dragged around and when the driver stopped he was dead.
    His body, which was hidden in a drainpipe and covered with branches, was found days after the murder.
    It was partially decomposed.
    Mtshali was arrested 10 days later and made a full disclosure of his involvement.

    Monday, March 18, 2013


    Ethiopian Dawit Shiferaw Bekele arrested for smuggling 490 pounds of marijuana

     Heflin police Tuesday released more information about the 41-year-old driver arrested Monday after police discovered the van he was driving was carrying 490 pounds of marijuana.

    Dawit Shiferaw Bekele, from Falls Church, Va., was charged with trafficking, resisting arrest and driving without a license, said Heflin’s interim police chief, Capt. A.J. Benefield.

    Bekele was pulled over for improper lane usage about 4 a.m. Monday driving eastbound on Interstate 20 near the Hollis-Heflin exit. He gave police permission to search the van.
    Police officers pose with 490 pounds of marijuana found in a van on Interstate 20 this morning. (Photo courtesy of Heflin PD)
    When police searched the white rental van they found the plastic-wrapped cubes of marijuana, worth about $490,000, police said.

    Bekele was still in custody Tuesday afternoon, Benefield said.

    There could be more arrests in the case, Benefield said. The van was rented in Atlanta by another person, he said.

    Benefield declined to comment further.