Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The "Make Addis Ababa like Baghdad" Plot

This voluminous report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea dated July 18, 2001 is a must-read. A portion of the 417 page report deals with the alleged plot by the Eritrean regime to "make Addis Ababa like Baghdad" during the African Union summit in January of 2011. Here is the report's conclusion on the failed plot.
Only one detainee interviewed by the Monitoring Group, team leader Omar Idriss Mohamed, appears to have been in regular contact with the OLF leadership in Asmara. All other team members were isolated from OLF structures from the moment of recruitment and received all training and orders directly from Eritrean officers. According to Omar, only Dawud Ibsa, Chairman of OLF, was aware of the existence of this special operation and its objectives, and he does not appear to have exercised any command or control over its actions. The Monitoring Group therefore concludes that this operation was effectively an Eritrean intelligence activity, falsely flagged as an OLF initiative.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We must help the famine victims...

...in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and other Horn of Africa countries. There is enough blame to go around why there is a recurring famine in that part of the world. We can have that discussion at a different time. The time now is to help in whatever ways we can.

This NY Times photographer paints a grim picture of the famine condition in Somalia.

The are may ways you can help. Here are the emergency fundraising links to some of the reputable relief agencies I know. There are many more. Just google...

Catholic Relief Services

World Vision

Friday, August 05, 2011

The never-ending famine

The BBC and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have teamed up to expose how the Ethiopian government systematically uses aid from donor nations to punish areas that support its political opponents. The current drought in the Horn of Africa is creating famine conditions that are exacerbated by government and rebel activities. This never-ending cycle of war and famine in that part of the world is demoralizing to put it mildly.

Read all the details here: Ethiopia Aid Exposed

The accompanying BBC video report can be found here:
Ethiopia 'using aid as weapon of oppression'

A BBC radio interview with Angus Strickler, the investigative journalist, who went to Ethiopia undercover can be listened to here.

Before and after satellite images of burned villages in the Ogaden region from 2007.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Probability of pregnancy for healthy women

Gene Expression is one of my favorite blogs to read. The blogger recently posted an article on the probability of healthy women getting pregnant by age. A prospective couple who want to have a healthy child should especially take note of the second graph.