Seven Days Update, Vol. 20 No. 23
Scores of Ethiopian Muslims have been killed and dozens wounded or arrested on Aug. 3, when government forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators throughout the country, according to Ethiopian activists who took part in the demonstrations. The confrontation began after activists rallied across different cities demanding the release of three Imams; Mohammed Abdalla, Abdulkadir H/Kadir and Mukhtar Safi, arrested in Wabe town earlier this week, OPride website reported on Sunday. Marching peacefully early Saturday morning from the town of Wabe to Kofele to petition regional administrators for the release of the arrested imams, federal police tried to block protesters near a small town called Totolamo. Later on, it opened fire on peaceful demonstrators killing at least six, said one protester who gave his name only as Hussein due to fear of repercussions. Hussein said the whole area looked like a war zone, describing the scene of the confrontation as “full of panic and blood” clouded with tear gas. The bloodshed followed a statement in the government media that said the ongoing Muslim protests will no longer be tolerated. According to a CNN report, witnesses said at least 25 Ethiopian Muslims were killed (Onislam, August 4).
An international institute for the training of peace-keepers will be established in Ethiopia. The institute, which will be set up in collaboration between UNDP and the Ethiopian government, will serve as a training facility for peacekeeping organizations within and around East Africa. The center will equip peace-keepers and institutions with advanced skills in conflict analysis (applied research), training design, and for peace-building interventions. - The Government of Japan is set to provide $14.77m for the establishment of the institute (AllAfrica.com, July 29).
Following the proposal of Ayka Addis, the Turkish garment firm, to establish an industrial zone and bring a total of 50 Turkish textile companies to Ethiopia, the government has been working on allocating land to establish the zone. The construction, to be overseen by Ayka Addis, will involve several five-storey buildings which will be rented out or sold to the new comers. The General Manager of Ayka Addis, Mr. Turkoglu, said that the company has been a Turkish international garment firm for more than 25 years and it was in close contact with all the major garment manufacturers in Turkey. He said there were discussions with them for most of the last two years and “most are willing to relocate at the earliest possible moment." The relocation of the companies is expected to allow for the creation of two billion dollars in export revenue per annum and create more than 60,000 job opportunities (WIC, Aug. 2).