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  • PM Hailemariam fires Urban Development and Housing Minister Mekuria Haile.

    Mekuria Haile is member of the executive committee of SEPDM and EPRDF. It has been rumored in the past weeks that SEPDM, Hailemariam's home party, had sacked Mekuria Haile. There was no official statement regarding that.

    Mekuria Haile is the second executive committee member of EPRDF to be sacked in 2016. Two months ago, Zelalem Jemaneh, executive member of OPDO and EPRDF, was sacked and later detained.

    The ruling party has decided to make a series of expulsions and reshuffle in the coming weeks. Source Daniel Birhane.

     

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  • David Cameron Pens to Ethiopia Fearing Andargachew Tsegie Trial Situation

     

    David Cameron writes to Ethiopia amid fears for death-row Briton

    By agency reporter

    MARCH 18, 2016

     David Cameron has intervened twice to secure UK access to a Briton who was kidnapped by Ethiopian forces in 2014, it has emerged, amid Foreign Office concerns that there has been “no substantive progress” on the case.

    The government has confirmed to Buzzfeed News that since 2014, the Prime Minister has written twice to his Ethiopian counterpart to ask for regular British consular access to Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege. Mr Tsege is a British father of three who was kidnapped and rendered to Ethiopia by the country’s security forces in June 2014. Mr Tsege, a political activist who has called for reform in Ethiopia, appears to be held under a sentence of death that was imposed in absentia in 2009. British officials have asked the Ethiopian government for regular consular access to Mr Tsege, and for a ‘legal process’ for him in Ethiopia, but have stopped short of requesting his release. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22741)

    News of the Prime Minister’s interventions came as a July 2015 briefing from the Foreign Secretary’s office to Downing Street emerged. In the briefing, officials note that the UK’s strategy on Mr Tsege’s case had achieved “no substantive progress” since 2014, and that “our repeated requests for regularised consular access have not been granted” by Ethiopia; “despite multiple assurances given to the foreign secretary by the Ethiopian foreign minister.” The briefing concludes by describing the UK’s relationship with Ethiopia as an “otherwise successful partnership.”

    The news follows the recent voicing of concerns for Mr Tsege by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez. In his annual report to the UN’s Human Rights Council, which meets this month, Mr Mendez said there was “substantial” evidence that the Ethiopian government had subjected Mr Tsege to “torture, ill-treatment, prolonged solitary confinement and incommunicado detention.”

    Calls for Mr Tsege’s release have already been made by the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the European Parliament, and human rights organisation Reprieve, which is assisting his family in London.

    Harriet McCulloch, deputy director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: “Andy Tsege was unlawfully sentenced to death in absentia by Ethiopia’s government, and has since suffered a series of terrible abuses – including kidnap, rendition and torture. Yet, nearly two years on from Andy’s disappearance, it appears even David Cameron’s interventions aren’t moving Ethiopia to grant the UK’s basic requests. Britain must take a much firmer line, and ask Ethiopia to release Andy – as the UN and others have done.”

    *Further detail on Mr Tsege’s case can be found on the Reprieve website, here.

    * Reprieve http://www.reprieve.org.uk/

    [Ekk/4]

     

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  • Yemen and its Political turmoil

     

    Gunmen execute 16 people, including 4 nuns, in Yemen retirement home

    A team of gunmen unleashed a massacre at a retirement home run by Catholic nuns in Yemen Friday, killing 16 people including four nuns, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said.

    The gunmen then moved from room to room, handcuffing the victims before shooting each of them in the head. A nun who survived said that she hid inside a fridge in a storeroom after hearing a Yemeni guard shouting "run, run."

    Missionaries of Charity, an organization established by Mother Teresa, runs the home in the chaotic southern port city of Aden, which descended into lawlessness after a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city from Shiite Houthi rebels last summer.

    Yemen's civil war has split the country in two. The northern region, where Shiite rebels are in control, has been struck by an extensive air campaign by a Saudi-led coalition. The southern region, which is controlled by the internationally-recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia, is suffering from a power and security vacuum. The Islamic State terror group and al-Qaida affiliates have exploited the lawlessness and created safe havens in the south.

    No terror group immediately claimed credit for Friday's slaughter.

    Khaled Haidar told The Associated Press that he counted 16 bodies including that of his brother, Radwan, in the home. All had been shot in the head and were handcuffed. He said that in addition to the four nuns, six Ethiopians, one Yemeni cook, and Yemeni guards were among those killed.

    Haidar said his family was the first to arrive at the house and that he spoke to the surviving nun, who was crying and shaking. Haidar said that his family later handed her over to a group of southern fighters in charge of security in the local Aden district of Sheikh Osman.

    Vikas Swarup, the spokesman of India's External Affairs Ministry, said the attackers had asked the guard to open the gate on the pretext of visiting their mothers at the retirement home.

    "On entering inside, (they) immediately shot dead the gatekeeper and started shooting randomly," he said, adding that the assailants escaped soon after the attack.

    The bodies were transferred to a police station and then a hospital run by the aid organization known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF. An official with MSF confirmed that 15 bodies had arrived at the hospital. Haider said his family took his brother's body for burial.

    There are around 80 residents living at the home. Missionaries of Charity nuns also came under attack in Yemen in 1998, when gunmen killed three nuns in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.

    Al-Qaida controls several southern cities and ISIS has claimed responsibility for a wave of deadly attacks in Aden, including a suicide bombing that killed the city's governor and several assassination attempts on top officials.

    Aden's churches have also come under attack. In the summer, a Catholic church in the district of Crater was torched and sabotaged by Islamic extremists.

    Yemen's war has killed at least 6,200 civilians and injured tens of thousands of Yemenis, and 2.4 million people have been displaced.

    Two of the killed nuns were from Rwanda and the other two were from India and Kenya, Missionaries of Charity spokeswoman Sunita Kumar said. Earlier, Yemeni and Indian officials reported that all four killed nuns were Indian but such conflicting information on casualties is not unusual in the chaos of Yemen's civil war. India's foreign ministry had initially cited information it got from its embassy in Yemen.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Source: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/04/gunmen-kill-16-including-4-nuns-in-yemen-retirement-home.html

     

     

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