MILITARY FUSION CENTRE PRESENTS
Horn of Africa: Land & Sea
08 May 2012
A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) states that Eritrea is theworld’s most restrictive nation for media, followed by
North Korea, Syria and Iran. CPJ further found that these countries are among the ten countries most notable “for barring internation-al media, putting dictatorial controls on domestic media and imposing” other restrictions on electronic recording and blocking of websites. In addition, there is often an absence of privately owned or independent media, as well as restrictions on the movements of journalists. CPJ further stated that Eritrea has denied access to foreign reporters and the government controls all domestic media.
reports thatEthiopia expelled two Arabs after the two men visited the Grand Anwar Mosque in the capital and “disseminated
materials and made inflammatory statements”. A Muslim religious leader in the Oromia region was arrested by Ethiopian securityforces one week prior, accused of radical statements. An attempt by a group of Muslims to free him resulted in the deaths of four demonstrators and the wounding of 10 policemen. Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry has since issued a statement accusing the group of trying to declare jihad against the government.
US President Barack Obama has invitedfour African leaders,including Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, to participate in a
session on food security during the G8 leaders’ summit, reports
. The working session will take place at Camp David on 19May and the agenda includes discussion on food security concerns in Africa considering that the United Nations’ (UN) food priceindex, which measures monthly price changes for cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar,remains relatively high.Eskinder Nega, an imprisoned Ethiopian Journalist and blogger,was honoured with PEN America’s “Freedom to Write” award,
. Nega opened his first newspaper,
, in 1993 and had been publishing articles critical of the government. The paper was open only briefly before being shut down by Ethiopian authorities. Nega was arrested on 14 September 2011 and a judge foundhim guilty on terror charges on 23 January 2012. He “could face the death penalty for advocating peaceful protests” in Ethiopia. Un-der Ethiopia’s anti
terrorism proclamation last year, the government has arrested almost 200 journalists and opposition politicians. Inthe last decade, “more journalists have fled Ethiopia than any other country in the world”, reports CPJ. On 04 May 2012, CPJ reportsthat Temesghen Desalegn, editor of
an independent Ethiopian newspaper,was sentenced to a fine of USD 113 and a suspend-
month prison term for contempt of judiciary charges.
, published Nega’s courtroom statement from his hearing on 28March, where he declared his innocence and questioned the “independence of the court and the fairness of the proceedings”.
According to a 65
page Human Rights Watch (HRW)report,Kenyan Defence Forces and police arbitrarily arrestedand mistreated
Kenyan citizens and Somali refugees between November 2011 and March 2012 in the North Eastern province. These abuses werecommitted in response to attacks by militants suspected of links to al Shabaab who had attacked security forces as well as civilians.HRW asserts that instead of conducting an investigation of the attacks, the Kenyan Defence Forces and the police responded withviolence against civilians in the area. HRW interviewed 35 Kenyan citizens and 20 Somali refugees in the Dadaab camp, all victimsof the security forces’ abuse. According to the article, the victims report rape and attempted sexual assault, beatings, arbitrary deten-tion, extortion, looting and destruction of property, and other forms of physical abuse. The HRW report also notes that Somalia’sTransitional Federal Government (TFG) troops are accused of being involved in beating more than 115 civilians in Mandera, a townclose to the Somali border. The Kenyan government has promised to investigate the abuses but no arrests on these allegations have been made.
According to a 15 April 2012 UNHCR report, the Dadaab refugee camp nowhosts 464,380 people, , Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki,
urges the international community, in cooperation with UNHCR, to helpfacilitate repatriation of Somali refugees, reports
Shabelle Media Network
. The president stated that they have hosted more than 630,000 Somali refugees in the Dadaab camp, which isa population that is not sustainable and creates a strain to the available resources. Kibaki said that the refugees can go back to areasfree of al Shabaab and other safe areas in Somalia, thanks to the efforts of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Kenya De-fence Forces and the TFG. Kibaki further calls on the international community to support the “Somali people to stabilize and recon-struct their country”.
In order toincrease security and expand TFG control outside the capital, the United States is stepping up its training of Ugandan
troops who will join the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), reports
. The United States assists in the funding of the AMISOM force and provides assistance to the transitional governmental institutions in Somalia. According to the UN the TFG’smandate is ending on 20 August 2012, reports the
UN News Centre
. A committee of the Traditional Elders was formed to select the