Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Two Medecins du Monde aid workers kidnapped in Ogaden, Ethiopia and taken to Somalia's central region of Galguduud by well-armed gunmen

Two aid workers working for Medecins du Monde in Ethiopia have been abducted from the Ogaden region that borders Somalia, the French aid agency says.

Eyewitnesses say the man and woman, whose nationalities are not known, have been taken to Somalia's central region of Galguduud by well-armed gunmen.

The aid workers in Ogaden, Ethiopia's Somali region which is suffering from a severe drought, were kidnapped on Monday.

"The organisation is in permanent contact with the authorities, its team on the ground as well as other actors on the field," AFP news agency quotes Medecins du Monde as saying in a statement.

Somalia has been wracked by conflict since 1991 and ethnic Somali rebels have been fighting an insurgency for years in Ogaden.

Full story by BBC News Tuesday, 23 September 2008 14:21 UK: Aid workers kidnapped in Ethiopia.


Friday, September 19, 2008

MBEKI IN CRISIS - Jonathan Rugman's film from Ethiopia: 'Nomads blame Ethiopian military for starvation'

Excerpt from today's Channel 4 News Snowmail, authored by Britain's top investigative news reporter and presenter Jon Snow, Friday 19 September 2008:
In South Africa the bell has been tolled for Thabo Mbeki. The ANC have told him to resign as president and if he doesn’t they have said they will pass a vote of no confidence. It’s a moment that has all the hallmarks of a Shakespearean tragedy.

Mbeki, the exile, has always fought both his own conscience and his foes, many of whom are people who slogged through the battle against Apartheid inside the country.

He’s an intellectual and for a president, an honest man, but he made a catastrophic and alienating mistake over the origins of AIDS and has never recovered. Now after years of building difficulties he stands accused of conspiring to get his anticipated successor, Jacob Zuma, prosecuted for corruption and so barred from succeeding him.
More snippets from the Snowmail:
If you want to reply to Snowmail please email and put Snowmail in the subject header.

If you missed Jonathan Rugman's film from Ethiopia last night, catch it here:

Catch Tony Blair on the Daily show

McCain v Obama: ad wars
Note, Tony Blair makes a rare television appearance across the pond. He is about to start his teaching career at Yale, marking the occasion with an appearance on satirical US news programme The Daily Show (see above link) which will be shown on More 4 at 8.30 tonight.
- - -


SA's Mbeki says he will step down (BBC)

BBC report Saturday 20 September 2008 - excerpt:
South African President Thabo Mbeki will accept a call to resign by the governing African National Congress (ANC), his spokesman has said.

Mukoni Ratshitanga said Mr Mbeki would leave his post once "all constitutional requirements have been met".

It comes days after a High Court judge suggested that Mr Mbeki may have interfered in a corruption case against his rival, ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

Mr Zuma was expected to succeed Mr Mbeki in scheduled elections next year.
SA's President Thabo Mbeki agrees to step down

Photo: Mr Mbeki has denied interfering in the case against Jacob Zuma (AFP/BBC)
- - -


South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki has agreed to step down. The metaphorical pistol having been put to his temple by his own party the ANC. His position, it seems, untenable after a long-running battle in and out of the law courts with his arch-rival Jacob Zuma. - Channel 4 News Tomomail, Saturday 20 September 2008.


Ethiopian needy 'not getting aid' (BBC)

Food aid is not getting to the people in Ethiopia's troubled Somali region quick enough, a top US official says.

Full story: BBC September 19, 2008 Ethiopian needy 'not getting aid'.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

UN says Ethiopian food shortage now alarming

The UN humanitarian office said Monday that food shortages in Ethiopia have reached alarming levels following widespread drought in the country. - September 9, 2008 (
- - -

UN humanitarian chief visits Ethiopia

Food security in drought-stricken Ethiopia at alarming levels, warns UN

Photo: John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (UN News Centre)

Source: September 3, 2008 UN News Centre report entitled Ethiopia’s food crisis tops agenda on final day of UN humanitarian chief’s visit
- - -

Food security in drought-stricken Ethiopia at alarming levels, warns UN

The food security situation in Ethiopia has deteriorated to alarming levels in the wake of drought conditions throughout much of the Horn of Africa country, and relief agencies are grappling with shortages of supplies, the United Nations warned today.

Some 4.6 million people in Ethiopia are need of food aid due to a combination of drought and high food prices, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

UN humanitarian chief John Holmes, who just returned from a visit to Ethiopia, told reporters last week that it was clear that “the crisis remains very severe, and the numbers of people affected are continuing to rise.”

Source: September 8, 2008 UN News Centre report entitled Ethiopia’s food crisis tops agenda on final day of UN humanitarian chief’s visit