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Ethiopia denies crackdown on Semayawi opposition

Mud-_Xuk_ItoobiyaSome 1,500 people attended the pro-government rally against extremism

Some 100 members of Ethiopia's opposition Semayawi (Blue) party were arrested and some badly beaten over the weekend, the party says.

Party chairman Yilekal Getachew said equipment such as sound systems were confiscated ahead of a rally on Sunday which was banned.

Communication Minister Shimeles Kemal denied there had been a crackdown.

The government said the venue had already been booked by a pro-government group condemning religious extremism.

The governing EPRDF maintains strict control over public life in Ethiopia.

The public protest Semayawi organised in June was the first major demonstration on the streets of Addis Ababa since 2005 when hundreds of protesters were killed in violence.

It was called to demand the release of jailed journalists and activists.

The rally planned for Sunday was to call for political reforms.

Mr Shimeles said that any group which wanted to organise a public protest had to seek a permit.

He said the authorities could not refuse to grant a permit but could insist that the event be held at a different time or place to that requested.

Hailemariam Desalegn took office as prime minister a year ago, following the death of long-time leader Meles Zenawi.

Ethiopia is a US ally against Islamist militants in the region

 

Swedish police against Somali Shop assistant Abdi Jama and broke his wrist

Shopkeeper Delgash Ramadhan has still not been able to digest what took place in her grocery Chronograph Life in Växjö yesterday morning.

- I myself have taken this very personally. I feel very offended, she says.

The incident occurred after a police patrol stopped a car that according Smålandsposten coated with EXERTION ban. One of the men who were in the car then ran from the vehicle and a police officer gave chase after him. The unknown man fled into Krono life and went into the kitchen behind the store where Abdi Jama and his colleague sat and had coffee.

Fractured wrist

- Another man runs after him. I may later find out that it's a police officer, for he legitimates itself not. He had the baton in one hand and pepper spray in the other, saying Delgash Ramadhan.

The hunted man managed to escape in the turmoil that erupted in the kitchen. The two shop assistants who suddenly and unprepared ended up in a police chase went the worse.

- Police run into the kitchen, spray them straight in the eye and hit with batons, said Delgash Ramadhan.
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Abdi Jama is now with his right arm in a cast after breaking wrist in the scuffle. He claims that it was the police baton blow that caused the injury.

- The first thought that struck me when the police ran into was that there was a fire in the house, so I tried to take me out. When I take the doorknob hit me on the hand police with batons, said Abdi Jama.

Police investigated

Delgash Ramadahn says Abdi Jamas colleague has sore eyes after police should have sprayed pepper spray on him.

The police were on Saturday afternoon did not give any information about what happened in the store. Abdi Jama and Delgash Ramadahn have notified the police conduct. According Växjö police press officer Robert Loeffel have the matter sent to the police internal affairs unit in Skåne.

 

For alternative vision of Somalia

Calanka_SomaliaMOGADISHU: Somalia’s troubled capital Mogadishu hosted TEDx talks Saturday, as academics, activists artists and entrepreneurs gathered to challenge the negative images of the infamously dangerous and war-ravaged city.
 
The talks, held in a conference hall in Mogadishu under tight security but also broadcast on the Internet, examined “the ideas, innovations and traditions that once built and will again rebuild this country.” The TEDx talks are an offshoot of the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conferences that began over 30 years ago in California as an annual haven where elite thinkers got together to explore life from challenging or unusual perspectives under the slogan of “ideas worth spreading.”
 
The Somalia talks — held in Mogadishu for the second year — showcased the best of the capital, while still recognising how far Somalia has still to come.

Borama News Desk
 
 

Mogdishu TEDx talk challenged by security threats

By ABDI GULED and JASON STRAZIUSO
Associated Press
muqd4MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - The short talks by artists and intellectuals at events known as TEDx have been held 7,500 times in more than 150 countries, but there may not be an event more challenging or dangerous as the TEDx talk being held in Mogadishu this Saturday.
Then again, there may be no city in the world that needs its smartest and strongest voices heard as much as Somalia's capital, which is clawing its way forward to move beyond its bombs-and-bullets past.
Baghdad and post-conflict Tripoli, Libya have each hosted recent TEDx talks. But Mogadishu is probably the most challenging place for the talks, according to Nate Mook, the co-organizer of Saturday's event.
Originally the second TEDx talk in Mogadishu was to be held in June. But that month al-Shabab rebels attacked a United Nations office center, killing eight U.N. employees and five Somali civilians, so the event was rescheduled.
TED's theme is "Ideas Worth Spreading." The main yearly TED event attracts high-power names like Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. TEDx events are smaller, community-based events held around the world to showcase local ideas and talent.
Saturday's lineup will showcase Somalia's budding stars. Iman Elman is a 21-year-old commander in Somalia's military in charge of a battalion of nearly 100 men. Mohamed Mahamoud Sheik, a 25-year-old entrepreneur, noticed in 2012 that Somali men were hand-carrying their suits on flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi. Why? Somali's capital had no dry-cleaning services, so he started one.
Security will be "the No. 1 priority of the day," Mook said. Audience members at Saturday's talk will pass through security checkpoints and be individually searched, and they may not even know yet where it will take place.
"We don't announce where the event is taking place. We are very particular about the invitations that we give out," said Mook, a 31-year-old from Washington, D.C.
Arranging Internet access to beam the English and Somali language talks to the world has been a big challenge. But Mook helped with Mogadishu's first TEDx talks last year, and says he is much more excited about this year's event.
"The amount of interest and support for Somalis all over the world to hear about these positive stories has been immense. In many ways TEDx provided, it opened a door to a place that was inaccessible for a really, really long time," Mook said.
Somalia fell into anarchy in 1991 when warlords ousted the president. Al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists from the group al-Shabab controlled the capital from 2006 until they were pushed out by African Union and Somali forces in 2011. That military success heralded a blossoming of the sports, business and arts scene in Mogadishu, although deadly al-Shabab attacks still take place.
Ahmed Jama, a British-Somali chef, spoke last year and will speak again this year. He said last year's talk "connected me to the world." The talk won him an invitation to a cooking event in Denmark.
"Despite challenges, it's a sign of peace and inspiration. It's helping Mogadishu to show its positive side of life and development. They bring in prominent and inspiring speakers who draw positive attention to Mogadishu," Jama said.
Ilwad Elman, who helps run the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Mogadishu, spoke at last year's TEDx event and is a co-organizer this year. Her goal is to cultivate and celebrate social entrepreneurship in Mogadishu by allowing the country's leading thinkers to reach a wider audience. She said last year's event inspired Somalis to return to Mogadishu to open businesses.
"Despite the known risks associated with organizing a globally live-streamed event of this caliber," said Elman, "I believe it's most worth it because of the real potential that our viewers will act on the ideas shared with them this year, just as they did last year, and ultimately contribute to eradicating current risks we face in organizing this event."
___
Straziuso reported from Nairobi, Kenya.
 

Body found in road in Shoreview, Minn.

so_mntThe Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota BCA are investigating a death in Shoreview, Minn., after a body was found in the road Thursday morning — and FOX 9 has learned it may be connected to a Twin Cities gang war that may have found its fourth life in the past couple of months.

The body of a man was found in the area of Hamline Avenue and County Road I. He did not have ID on him, and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner has yet to identify him.

The body was dumped sometime before dawn in a quiet, upscale neighborhood. Sources told FOX 9 the man was a young Somali American.

The man could be the latest casualty in a deadly war between two Somali gangs — the Somali Outlaws and the Madhibaan with Attitude, or MWA. They’ve had a longstanding rivalry stretching back years, and the body found on Thursday is hardly the first found in the history of the feud.

A BLOODY SUMMER

Two weeks ago in Burnsville, a gunman injured one man and killed 23-year-old Abdifatah Mahumod.

On the Fourth of July, Muhyadin Farah was shot and killed inside an apartment at Lake Street and Grand Avenue in south Minneapolis.

A month before, Mohamed Aden was shot to death while sitting in his car outside a party at University and Lowry avenues in northeast Minneapolis.

The latest discovery marks four killings, all possibly connected and all unsolved.

LANGUAGE BARRIER SLOWS INVESTIGATION

Law enforcement has known about the rivalry, and half a dozen intelligence bulletins have gone out; however, language can be a barrier for police.

A few police sources familiar with the intelligence on the two gangs told FOX 9 News the key point in the rivalry stems from a double murder in south Minneapolis that took place six years ago. Two young Somali men were gunned down in an alley, and the two suspects fled the country.

The groups themselves are also loosely affiliated, which presents an additional challenge because police don’t know who all the players are.

SOMALI YOUTH RESPOND WITH OUTREACH

“It’s definitely not one thing. That’s what we know for a fact,” Abdul Mohamed told FOX 9 News. “A lot of different things, we’re trying to figure out.”

From their situation room, the youth group Ka Joog has been trying to get a handle on the violence. In Somali, “ka joog” means “stay away.” In this case, it’s from gangs and other temptations.

Mohamed spoke to one of the gang members two weeks before he was killed.

“They themselves don’t realize they’re in it until it’s too late,” Mohamed explained. “That’s when we have to get in there and pull them out.”

Ka Joog tries to accomplish that goal through education and outreach.The group is an impressive collection of young men who are about the same age as those currently killing one another.

“We opened up the first chapter of Boy Scouts because we’re no longer just Somali. We’re Americans,” one member said.

While police may eventually find the killers, the members of Ka Joog say they want to find the solution.

“We’ve been silent much too long — especially when it comes to our own people losing their lives,” Mohamed told FOX 9.

Deputies would only describe the investigation as an “isolated incident,” adding that the public is not believed to be at risk.

Source Fox9

 
 

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