Archive for the ‘Ethiopian News’ Category

Smooth handover of power critical to building Kenya’s reputation as a stable democracy

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

The life of Ethiopian poet Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin

Sunday, March 10th, 2013 http://www.tsehaipublishers.com ትጎበኙ ዘንድ ይሁን፡፡

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ESAT Ethiopian News from Amsterdam – 09 March 2013

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

ENTC congratulates the people of Kenya

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Disinformation against ESFNA

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

21-year-old Ethiopian becomes Miss Israel (video)

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta is declared the winner of Kenya’s presidential election

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta wins Kenya presidential election – AP

Friday, March 8th, 2013

ESAT Ethiopian News from Amsterdam – 08 March 2013

Friday, March 8th, 2013

With 87% of the votes counted, Kenyatta leads by 50% against 43.3% for Odinga

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Ethiopia’s paranoid regime started to crackdown on Facebook

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

ESAT Ethiopian News from Amsterdam – 6 March 2013

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Obama lost in Kenya

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Outcome of Kenya’s Presidential Election to be Announced on Friday

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

U.S. quietly resumed deportations to Somalia

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 http://www.sctimes.com/article/20130306 … ns-Somalia

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Ethiopians flood into Somaliland

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 http://somalilandsun.com/index.php/in-d … n-quandary

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A runoff between Odinga and Kenyatta is likely

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Horrific tale of torture and death for Eritreans in Sinai

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21670929
BBC News, Sinai

Lamlam, 17, is one of thousands of people who make the treacherous journey from Eritrea to Egypt each year. Many fall victim to unscrupulous people traffickers, who kidnap them and demand ransom money from their families.

"The kidnappers would make me lie on my back and then they would get me to ring my family to ask them to pay the ransom they wanted," she says, lifting up the back of her shirt to expose a rash of deep scars.

"As soon as one of my parents answered the phone, the men would melt flaming plastic over my back and inner thighs and I would scream and scream in pain.

‘Please help me’
I will never forgot the desperate words, broadcast on the BBC, of an Eritrean refugee who was being held hostage in Egypt’s north Sinai.

"It’s bad, bad. Have no enough food, enough water," a tearful and desperate man called Philemon Semere told me on the phone last November.

"Always hit by sticks and burnt by fire and electricity. Daily burning by fire. My body is burning. Please, please help me, Mike."

Semere, along with two other Eritrean refugees, is still in the hands of his kidnappers who have threatened to kill him if his family fails to pay the $25,000 they are demanding.

When I asked the leader of the kidnappers how he could justify torturing and murdering hostages he replied without any sense of shame or regret: "A lot of people I have killed here. This is my work, I live by this work."

Listen to the interview

"This, they hoped, would put extra pressure on my mother and father to find the money."

A man standing next to her gently places a hand on her shoulder as she finishes speaking.

Zere, his faced swathed in a red and white scarf, was one of those kept with her in a windowless basement room for almost a year.

"They had about four of five of us tied up together and they would pour water on the floor and then electrocute the water so that all of us would get electrocuted at the same time," he says.

"They would starve us, they would burn us and they would not let us sleep."

Zere says that nine out of the 20 people held hostage with him died. But, he tells me, by that point those still alive would have welcomed that fate.

"All of us were actually hoping for death because that would have been an escape from the torture."

In fact Lamlam and Zere were able to escape – rescued by a local Bedouin leader, Sheikh Mohammed al-Maniri.

A small building at the back of his house is now home to a dozen people that he has rescued.

Sometimes though, he says, it is too late.

"Many people we bring here have been really badly tortured.

"In two cases recently some of those we rescued died, here in this house, because they had been injured so much."

‘Hundreds of bodies’

The UN has described the growth of the kidnap and people trafficking trades in Sinai as one of the most unreported humanitarian crises in the world.

It estimates that 3,000 Eritreans alone fled their repressive and impoverished country last year.

Many headed for the swollen refugee camps of neighbouring eastern Sudan, now home to more than 90,000 people.

The UN says that 70% of the new arrivals then vanish.

Many fall into the hands of ruthless and well-armed people-smuggling gangs as they try to make their way to Israel or Egypt in search of a better life.

Whilst some do make it through, others are sold on to different gangs two or three times as they are trafficked north.

Hostage victims are often taken to the largely lawless, desert area of north Sinai, where their kidnappers can operate with near impunity.

In 2012, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said that a "criminal network" of smugglers and traffickers was "taking profit of the desperate situation of many Eritreans".

Egyptian security forces do operate in this region but only in limited numbers because of a long-standing peace agreement with neighbouring Israel.

In the mortuary in the town of El Arish, the extent of the carnage caused by the gruesome kidnap trade is even more evident.

"Since the revolution there have been hundreds of bodies because the borders have been more lax," says mortician Era Ki, as he points towards the deep-freeze cabinets in front of us.

"The corpses usually have torture-style injuries.

"The ones that come from the Bedouin [people-traffickers] have always been tortured to get their families to pay ransoms.

"If their families can’t pay, they have no use for them and torture them to death."

Even those whose families somehow manage to pay the large ransoms demanded, often feel they cannot go home now that their relatives have been financially ruined.

Berhane, an Eritrean refugee I met living in a squalid Cairo slum is one.

After being beaten, tortured and electrocuted for months before his family paid $30,000 (£20,000) for his release, he says he has constant terrifying flashbacks and cannot face going home.

Berhane has this message for any Eritreans thinking of following in his footsteps: "Stay where you are.

"Whatever you do, don’t let yourself fall into the hands of the traffickers."

Mike Thomson’s Assignment, Escape from Sinai, will be broadcast on the BBC World Service on Thursday 7 March at 09:05 GMT.


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Uhuru Kenyatta takes commanding lead after half of the votes counted

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

ESAT Ethiopian News from Amsterdam – 05 March 2013

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013