Three Swedes freed from Ethiopia

May 19th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

19 May 07 | BBC

Three Swedish men have been released by Ethiopia after being detained for five months on suspicion of helping Islamist militants in Somalia. A spokeswoman for Sweden’s foreign ministry said the three men (more…)

19 May 07 | BBC

Three Swedish men have been released by Ethiopia after being detained for five months on suspicion of helping Islamist militants in Somalia. A spokeswoman for Sweden’s foreign ministry said the three men, who were originally arrested in Somalia, were now back in Sweden

Spokeswoman Nina Ersman said the three had not been charged with any offence.

Ethiopia has said it detained a number of people after its army helped drive Islamists out of Somalia’s capital.

Two of the men are Swedish nationals and one has permanent residency status in Sweden. Their names have not been released.
19 May 07|BBC

Sweden’s foreign ministry had been demanding the release of the detainees for several weeks.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all foreign ministry officials who made this possible,” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in a statement.

Ethiopian troops helped drive Islamist militants out of Mogadishu
A lawyer for the three men said there had been no notification from Ethiopia that they would be released.

Ethiopia’s government said in April that it had detained 41 people from 17 countries after its army helped Somalia’s transitional government drive militias allied to the Union of Islamic Courts out of Mogadishu at the end of last year.

Some detainees were deported from Kenya, where many Somalis fled the fighting in Mogadishu.

Ethiopia has defended the detentions as part of its efforts to combat international terrorism in the Horn of Africa.

Human rights groups say US agents have been allowed to interrogate the detainees as part of the hunt for al-Qaeda suspects in the region.

  1. andhunu
    | #1

    somalia today
    A senior Italian envoy flew into Mogadishu on Saturday urging warring Somalis to embrace a ceasefire and throwing Rome’s endorsement behind an upcoming national reconciliation conference.

    Patrizia Sentinelli, Italy’s deputy foreign affairs minister, met with President Abdullahi Yusuf and Prime Minster Ali Mohamed Gedi on her one-day visit to Rome’s former protectorate which has been in chaos for the last 17 years.

    “Security can only be realised through a ceasefire,” she said in Mogadishu, where there has been a relative lull after fighting earlier this year between allied Somali-Ethiopia troops and insurgents killed at least 1,300 people.

    The Somali government, which says it has defeated insurgents including militant Islamists and some elements of the local Hawiye clan, has called a reconciliation conference for mid-June involving hundreds of delegates from across Somalia.

    “We request that the (conference) be an all-inclusive political process,” Sentinelli added.

    “(We agreed) clans would independently and freely select their representatives… We have an official promise that the (conference) will take place in a harmonious way,” she added.

    The conference was delayed from April due to the fierce fighting in Mogadishu. Street battles have given way to isolated guerrilla-style attacks in recent days.

    A spokesman for the government, set up in 2004 in the 14th attempt to restore central rule to Somalia since warlords ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, welcomed Italy’s support.

    “The Italians have said they are ready to help the (conference) succeed,” the spokesman said.

    “The president said anybody is welcome to attend the conference even if it is these boys who roam with guns in the streets. They should leave their guns and attend,” he added.

  2. HOME
    | #2

    Eritrea & Oromo allies reportedly killed 157 Ethiopia nationals

    May 20, 2007 08:44 PM

    According to a clandestine radio broadcast, Eritrea armed OLA and ONLA militants killed 157 Ethiopians this week. The Voice of Oromo Liberation station, which has been on air since 1988, detailed that the joint operation has also wounded 75 other Ethiopians. The OLA and ONLA are

    the military wings of Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front, respectively. Internationally reported & confirmed as being financed and armed by the Eritrean government for many years, both the rebel groups also have offices in the Eritrean capital.

    After the OLF was gradually hindered from using northern Kenya as a staging ground to attack Ethiopia, it was since utilizing the anarchy in Somalia as a base to attack Ethiopian security forces. However, Ethiopia’s presence in Somali since late December of 2006 has reduced OLF and ONLF’s options. The rebel groups have thus utilized east Ethiopian borders as well as arm smuggling operations by and thru south western Djibouti remote borders.

    The ONLF also attacked a Chinese-run oil field in Abole region in April 2007, massacring 65 Ethiopians and 9 Chinese. During the same operation, the ONLF reportedly killed ethnic Somali Ethiopians as well. In contrast, the OLF has not performed mass killings for almost two years when it “massacred some 400 members of the Gebera, an ethnic group in Oromia,”? in 2005. Another massacre occured in 1998 when OLF members near the Kenya border killed 216 people in Bagalla.

    Speaking in the Oromiffa language, the OLF radio station was heard asking this week for all Oromos in Ethiopia to “rise up against tyranny.”? Since the two rebel groups are not labeled as terrorist groups by America yet, the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs spokesman recommended the United States government to tag the two OLA and ONLA groups as international “terrorist organizations.”? Together with other smaller opposition factions from Ethiopia, these two rebel organizations make up the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy(AFD) – which is widely recognized as an Eritrean government project against the Ethiopian government.

    According to sources from Ethiopia, the government has not mentioned about any recent causality, nor has it confirmed whether the recent attacks occurred or not.

  3. zalalm
    | #3

    Monday 21 May 2007.
    May 20, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) “” Two Ethiopian rebel groups carried out a joint military operation against the Ethiopian army in the eastern part of the country. A rebel statement alleged 157 soldiers were killed during the attack.

    In a joint military operation, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA) have killed 157 soldiers of the Ethiopian army in various places in the Warder zone of the Ogaden region in eastern Ethiopia.

    According to Voice of Oromo Liberation, between 10 and 15 May 2007, commando units of the OLA and ONLA conducted attacks in various places in the zone of Warder killing over 82 Ethiopian soldiers and wounding over 75 others.

    “The regular troops particularly badly suffered in a battle that occurred at a place called Biyo Daye. Following this battle various types of materiel and many hand grenades and ammunition were captured from the enemy.”? The rebel radio said.

    OLA, the military wing of the OLF and ONLA, the military wing of the ONLF said they would step up joint military operations against the Ethiopian army.

    The Ormo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) are members of an opposition coalition (Alliance for Freedom and Democracy) formed on May 22, 2006. The other members of the AFD are the Sidama Liberation Front (SLF), the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) and the Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF

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