Tuesday, 31 July 2012

India hit by Power blackout

Streets are packed with heavy traffic jam due to power outage in central New Delhi, India, July 31, 2012. More than half of Indian population were affected Tuesday after a massive power outage hit the country for the second day in a row. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)

Police in Kenya release picture of a man in connection with Diplomat death

Wanted by Police

Kenya Police through its spokesman Mr. Eric Kiraithe on Tuesday, July 31 released a photographs of a man going by the names Muhammed Ahmed Mohammed Hassan who is wanted by their counterparts from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in connection with a case of murder involving the late  Mrs. Olga Fonsesca Jimerez who was until her tragic death the charge D'affairs of Venezuelan Embassy in Nairobi.

Police have appealed for any person with information on his whereabouts to report to the nearest police station or police officer. They also issued a warrant of arrest for him.

Kenyan court upholds general elections date in March,2013

A Kenyan court on Tuesday,July 31  upheld a previous ruling that the country's next general elections should be held on March 4, 2013.

The Court of Appeal said that the date set out by the country's electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should be followed. Four of the five Court of Appeal bench sitting in Nairobi ruled that the elections should be held 60 days after the dissolution of Parliament, set for January 15, 2013, while one judge dissented arguing that the next elections should be held on or before January 15, 2013.

Court of Appeal president Justice Erastus Githinji made the majority judgment which Justices Kalpana Rawal, David Maranga and Hannah Okwengu agreed with while Justice Martha Koome dissented. Kenyan political parties are currently positioning themselves for the first-ever election since the passing of a new Kenyan constitution in 2010.The new constitution was created as a tool to avoid a repeat of the violence that was also blamed on the lack of a transparent political structure and credible state institutions, including the courts. The appointment of a new Chief Justice, the new electoral chief and several other independent officeholders, were amongst measures taken to restore confidence in the state institutions destroyed by ethnic biases.

Meanwhile,the Ugandan military is setting up a rapid response brigade for civil and military emergency operations during disasters in the East African country.

Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta, Director of the National Emergency Coordination Operation Center at the Office of the Prime Minister was quoted by the state owned New Vision daily as saying that the brigade will consist of 4,000 personnel drawn from various military units. "The rapid response force will comprise of medical teams, engineers, specialized search, rescue and evacuation teams plus logistics teams that will be always ready to handle disasters in any part of the country," he said.The brigade formation follows various deadly landslides in mountainous areas in eastern Uganda, where rescue efforts were hampered by lack of well prepared and equipped personnel to handle such situations. "On the two occasions in 2010 and this year when landslides occurred in Bududa district, the army working with police and community members had to use ineffective tools like hand hoes and spades to excavate bodies buried by mounds of soil," said Oketta. The landslides in June struck the eastern Ugandan district of Bududa, killing at least 18 people, resurrecting memories of the March 2010 and August 2011 landslides in the same district that left over 250 people dead and hundreds displaced.  (Xinhua)

Maradona may be headed to China

Diego Maradona

July 30 (Xinhua) -- Argentinean soccer star Diego Armando Maradona is considering an offer to coach in China, Argentina's sports press said Monday.

The Argentinean sports daily "Ole" said Maradona "met in Dubai with envoys from a Chinese club and is enthusiastic about the idea of coaching over there."Maradona, 51,
was recently fired from his post as coach of the United Arab Emirates' Al Wasl club, which he coached for a season with little success.The Mexico 1986 Soccer World Cup
champion traveled to Dubai to negotiate terminating his contract with the Arab club.

The paper said that while in Dubai, Maradona met with Chinese envoys and Argentinean agents Daniel Dos Reis and Diego Cativa, who served as contacts. Dos Reis said
Maradona "seemed enthusiastic about the opportunity" and was "now discussing money issues." Fellow Argentinean Sergio "Checo" Batista is currently coaching in China,
but relations between Batista and Maradona have not been good since Batista succeeded him as coach of Argentina's national team after Maradona vacated the post in July
2010. (Xinhua)

Keitany read to end Kenya jinx at Olympics women marathon

Mary Keitany of Kenya and her son recieve a trophy from Prince Harry (L) during 2012 London Marathon in London, UK, April 22, 2012. Mary Keitany won (Photo File Xinhua)

By John Kwoba

July 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya made history in Beijing four years ago when it ended the jinx in men's marathon with Samuel Wanjiru winning gold.

Until 2008, Kenya was still waiting for its first men's marathon medal despite the country boosting of the best talent in the road race distance. Similarly, Kenya was yet to feel
the texture of women's gold at the games, ever since its debut in 1956.  Twice the country has come close to lifting the women's marathon title - in Beijing and Athens - but
Catherine Ndereba, missed it slightly taking only managing to win silver.

However, this is bound to change in London as Kenya parades some of the best athletes in the 42km distance. London marathon champion Mary Keitany carries the country's
hopes. "I have been in training and know the type of expectations Kenyans have ahead in Olympics," she said. "It will not be easy, but I too does not train or enter a race
worried or looking at what the opponent is planning. I only focus on my own strength and I know I can win that gold."

Keitany will not be a lone ranger chasing gold for Kenya. However, her quick time and consistence has portrayed her as the steel around which the silk of Edna Kiplagat, the
world marathon champion, and Priscah Jeptoo, the London marathon bronze medalists, will be wrapped on.It will be the fourth time that Kiplagat will be pulling on the
Kenyan jersey, but the world marathon champion has never felt the pressure and aspiration of a country as is the case of the London Olympics."It is an honor to compete for
Kenya in the Olympics. It is not everyday that one gets the chance to run for Kenya, let alone at the Olympics. So for me to get this opportunity, I really appreciate."We have
very many athletes and some are very good. Better than me. But I was picked and the expectation is high. I do no plan to desert them," she said.

The trio run in London marathon in April. They ruled the roost with Keitany taking gold ahead of Kiplagat while Jeptoo was third. Now they are dreaming of repeating the same
in London on Aug. 5 when the women marathon race will be run. "The team of marathon women is strong, just like the others in camp. But we are hungry for this marathon
gold. If you are dominating in big city marathons, it is certainly not too much to ask for this gold in London," said Kinyua.Kenya has over 10 runners in the top 30 this season
in marathon. Three of the top six worldwide will be in London and hopefully, the athletics officials say gold will finally be delivered to Nairobi. (Xinhua)

Somali President visits Afgoye as Uganda sends Police to Mogadishu

Somali President:Sheikh Sharif

By Our Reporters

Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Monday,July 30  paid a surprise visit to the town of Afgoye, 30 kilometers north-west of Mogadishu, after locals complained about continuous robbery and coercion acts by pro-government soldiers.
President Sharif and his entourage held talks with local elders to listen to their complains before meeting government officials in the area.
 The president apologized to local residents for any misconduct by the government soldiers in Afgoye and its environs, promising to immediately address their concerns and deal with errant officers.

Meanwhile Uganda has send a contingent of 140 personnel to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, to train police officers there in different roles.
This is the first time any African country is deploying a formed Police Unit (a team of 140 police officers, which is deployed as a group) in Mogadishu.
Previously, African countries were sending individual police officers to work under the African Union. The Director of Interpol and International Relations, Mr Asan Kasingye, said in Kampala that the police unit will be commanded by Mr John Nuwagira from the Field Force Unit.

Obituary:Hellen Nyaboke Momanyi

Late Hellen Nyaboke Momanyi

It is with humble acceptance to God’s will that we announce the passing on of Hellen Nyaboke Momanyi of Gachuba division, Nyamira North County which occured on 20th July 2012 at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Wife of Simion Momanyi. Mother to Bernard Momanyi (Capital FM), Mary Kerubo, Jackline Moraa, Naomy and Bifforn. Grandmother to Linda, Meghan, Dylan, Stephany and Bravin. Mother in law to Diana Kiriungi (UN) and Alfred Orina. Daughter of Ochi Obiri and Esther Kemunto. Step daughter to Nyarangi, Nyaboke and late Sabina. Sister to Shem (Total Kisii Service Station), Alice, Mosoti, Saboke, Peninnah and Oriki. Step sister to Joseph (Ministry of Forreign Afairs), Makario, Grace, Antonis, Magoma (Kenya Forest Service, Voi), late Manyura, Nyangaresi, Jomo, Makarios, Nicholas, Mong’are, Sabina, Mokeira. Sister in law to Osoro, Thomas, Marcela, Omwenga, John, Dorcas and Mary.

The cortege leaves Chiromo mortuary on Thursday August 2, 2012 and burial will take place on Friday August 3, 2012 in Bosiango village, Gachuaba division, Nyamira North County.

(May she rest in God’s hands)

Gunmen attack Nigerian VP`s residence,kill one

Nigerian VP Sambo

July 30 (Xinhua) -- The residence of Nigeria's Vice President Namadi Sambo in central north Kaduna state was attacked on Monday by unknown gunmen, killing a cobbler and injuring the policemen guarding the house.

Sambo's residence in Zaria, which is under construction, was razed during the post-election violence which claimed several lives across some part of the north last
April.Security sources told Xinhua that the three gunmen who came on a motor bike at about 11:00 a.m. local time opened fire on the mobile policemen attached to the
residence under construction. In the process, one of the policemen was shot on the leg and another one on the hand.

The source said a cobbler who was shinning shoes for one of the policemen attached to the residence was also hit by a bullet killing him on the spot. State police spokesperson
Abubakar Balteh told Xinhua that three gunmen stormed the residence, and opened fire on the policemen guarding the house but that they were repelled.Meanwhile, a team
of security operatives had taken over the entire vicinity where the house is located and hindered both human and vehicular movement in the area. (Xinhua)

Somalia Assembly debates thorny constitutional articles

Delegates of the Somali National Constituent Assembly read the draft constitution during the opening session of the
assembly in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, July 25, 2012. (Xinhua/Faisal Isse)
July 30 (Xinhua) -- Almost a week into the debate of Somalia's new constitution, delegates at the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) in Mogadishu say they are now tackling
thorny issues in the draft document.

The new Somalia constitution has been in the making for years and it was only last week when more than 800 delegates drawn from all the country's clans and regions came
together to debate, review and vote on it. The nine-day exercise is part of wider plan known as the roadmap that was drawn up last year in an attempt to move the country
out the prolonged transitional period that lasted for the past decade. Some delegates have expressed dissatisfaction over a number of articles in the constitution which they
argue contravenes against the teaching of Islam while some opposite sections of the document relating to the statues of the capital Mogadishu and language, among others.

However Somali government says it remains neutral about the debates and is just a facilitator to the process of implementing the roadmap intended to lead to formation of a
new parliament and the election of a president. Abdurrahman Hoosh Jibril, Minister of Constitutional Affairs, who is chairing the NCA meeting, says proceedings of the
meeting were going smoothly: "The talks to endorse the constitution are moving forward. We have opened the gathering successfully with participation from senior
leadership and representatives from the international community. The 825 delegates have been divided into ten groups with each dealing a different topic in the constitution.
"I hope they will make a report on issues that are not clear and present it to the next parliament," Jibril told Xinhua.

The draft Somali constitution bans the practice of female circumcision which it describes as cruel and degrading customary practice and says is tantamount to torture but
some want some form of the practice known as "the Sunni circumcision" to be legalized. Female circumcision is widely practiced in Somalia where most girls are often
circumcised before the  age of seven.Abdelaziz Salah, a delegate from the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland, the assembly will finds some of the articles on female
circumcision disagreeable and against the teaching of Is lam and that they will work to change it."Regarding the female circumcision whom the constitution prohibits, we think
that is wrong and we demand the Sunni circumcision as our religion allows," Salah told Xinhua.Salah also expressed opposition to definition of child as "a person less than 18
years of age", saying he would like to see it harmonized with Islamic teaching which he claims holds a child to be a person under the age of 15 years.

The new Somali constitution guarantees the right of abortion to Somali women if the procedure was aimed at saving the life of the mother. The article drew some criticism
from religious clerics who said the article encourages "extramarital sexual permissiveness" in society. Another contentious issue is the status of Mogadishu which the current
draft constitution does not specify as the capital of the republic but that will be determined in the "constitutional review process." The draft constitution gives Somali women
30% representation in the upcoming parliament and in government positions but some Somali clan elders, charged with selecting the next parliament, objects to it and may
not nominate to represent their clans.

Government officials vowed that any traditional clan elder who refuses to nominate a woman to represent will be "named and shamed. "The Somali government hopes the
national assembly will vote on the constitution before Thursday and if the constitution is not endorsed in the Constituent assembly, it will be passed to the new parliament to
be voted on before a national referendum is held once the country is stable enough. (Xinhua)

Tanzanian teachers down tools over pay

July 30 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of teachers in public schools and colleges in Tanzania went on strike Monday after the government and the teachers' union failed to
agree on the teachers' pay rise.

Announcing the strike in a radio message, Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) President Gratian Mukoba Mukoba told the teachers to "pull your blankets and sleep as a symbol of
the beginning of the indefinite strike." The strike followed a 48-hour notice that the TTU gave to their employer-- Ministry of Education and Vocational Training on Friday after
the two sides failed to agree on the pay rise before the Commission for Mediation and Administration (CMA). The teachers demanded doubling their salary with additional 55
percent hardship allowance for science and mathematics teachers and 50 percent for teachers of other subjects.They also demanded another 30 percent allowance for
teachers working in hostile circumstances. Moreover, the teachers also want to be paid their salary and allowance arrears accumulated for many years back.

The teachers' union and the education ministry took the issue to the CMA early last month, but the commission failed to resolve it after the ministry failed to give a precise
stand on the dispute. Before the teachers went on strike, the government issued a strong warning to those who would take part, saying they would be treading on an
illegitimate path because the issue was already in the court of law. Teachers who hold a certificate now earn a minimum monthly salary of 224,400 Tanzanian shillings (about
140 U.S. dollars), diploma holders start at 349,000 shillings (about 218 dollars), while graduate teachers begin with 450,000 (about 281 dollars). The teachers' strike came on
the heels of nationwide doctors' strikes in public hospitals in February and June over better pay.  (Xinhua)

Hillary Clinton on a six-nation African tour

July 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has embarked on a six-nation African tour, the State Department announced on Monday.
Hillary Clinton  

In the trip from July 31 to Aug. 10, the top U.S. envoy will reiterate U.S. commitments to strengthening democracy, spurring economic growth, advancing peace and security
as well as promoting opportunity and development for all African citizens, the department said.In July, the White House also set these commitments as four strategic
objectives to help sub-Saharan regions.In her first stop in Senegal, Clinton will meet with President Macky Sall and other political leaders, and deliver a speech "applauding the
resilience of Senegal's democratic institutions" and highlighting bilateral partnership, the State Department said.

During her stay in South Sudan, a nation newly founded last year, the secretary will meet with President Salva Kiir Mayardit, reaffirm the U.S. support for the country, and
encourage its negotiations with Sudan on issues like security, oil and citizenship.In Uganda, Clinton is scheduled to meet with President Yoweri Museveni to "encourage
strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights," and to reaffirm the country as a U.S. key partner in promoting regional security and countering the Lord's
Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group branded by Washington as a terrorist organization. Clinton will also highlight the U.S. support for the fight against HIV/AIDS while in

In Kenya, the U.S Secretary of State plans to meet President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other government officials to emphasize her endorsement for
transparent, credible and non-violent national elections in 2013, the State Department said.Clinton will meet with signatories to the Roadmap to End the Transition to
underscore the U.S. support for the political transition in Somalia.Under the roadmap, Somalia should end the transitional period by Aug. 20 and hold national elections this

In her visit to Malawi, Clinton is scehduled to meet with President Joyce Banda  and talk about economic cooperation and political reform in the country.In South Africa, she
will visit former president Nelson Mandela, who celebrated his 94th birthday a few days ago, and participate in the U.S.- South Africa Strategic Dialogue with a focus on the
bilateral partnership and issues of mutual concern and shared challenges in Africa and in the world. A U.S. business delegation will accompany Clinton, who has set foot on
the African continent for several times since taking office in January 2009, according to the State Department.  (Xinhua)

Kenya Police warn of Olympic Fraudster

Kenya Police Headquarters would like to inform the public that we have received intelligence from INTERPOL London UK to the effect that criminals have created a fraudulent mother website known as EURO TEAM whereby innocent public are purchasing fake tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The following are sub-websites that are operated by the Euro-TEAM web:-
2.    www.tixnet.com
Members of the public are warned that these website are a fraud.
In addition, the individuals who might have purchased the tickets from the above websites or any other unofficial vendor are advised to contact the accredited company directly through: www.tickets.london2012.com/nocatr.html.
The Commissioner of Police would like to advice persons wishing to buy a ticket to the Olympics to counter check adequately to avoid losing money to fraudsters.

30th July 2012

Law Opinion by Lawyer Dan Mwangi

Lawyer Dan Mwangi.

On Monday the 28th day of May 2012, Attorney General Githu Muigai determinedly defended the government over the appointment of county commissioners while appearing before the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee. During his interaction with the Committee, the AG reiterated that his client had acted within the mandate which is well enshrined in the constitution. He was referring to executive authority as provided for and vested in the president in sections 23 and 24 of the former constitution. Those provisions are consequently fortified under section 3 subsection 2 of the 6th schedule. He was flanked by among others the Justice and Constitutional affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa .Together, they articulated what was clearly the government’s and of course legal position on the matter.
Fast forward to July and both the Attorney General and the Justice Minister are telling a totally different story. In a daring flip flop on the matter, the Justice Minister for instance has gone to the extent of declaring that the ruling by the High Court on County Commissioners should be viewed as a lesson to those who violated the constitution. The Attorney General on his part has declined to appeal the decision. The government has subsequently engaged the services of private counsel, Mr.Kibe Mungai to lodge an appeal against a decision which it views as legally unsound with a high probability of success.
These developments have raised fundamental questions which must not go unanswered. To begin with, did the AG misadvise the government? Under article 156 of the new constitution, the AG is the principal legal adviser to the government. So far there is nothing to suggest that his advice was not sought or that he did not advise the government in the appointment of county commissioners. In fact, the Attorney General’s determined defense at the CIOC left no doubt whatsoever that he was completely seized of the matter and the government was as a result within the realm of sound legal advice in constituting the county commissioners.
There is also no doubt that the advice was grounded in clear constitutional provisions. It is therefore interesting to see the AG seeking to have his cake and eat it! In declining to appeal the ruling in such a delicate situation that sought to nullify the actions of his client with far reaching ramifications, the AG has failed to promote, protect and uphold the rule of law as required under article 156 section 6 of the constitution.
This is a serious abdication of duty considering that not only was it against the client’s interest but that there are very sound grounds of appealing the decision of the High Court by Justice Mumbi Ngugi .The AG ought to have  pursued the matter to its logical conclusion in those circumstances!
The other concern is whether the appearance of the Attorney General together with the Justice Minister before the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee was genuine! This stems from the fact that they put up a spirited effort to defend the government’s position at the meeting only for them to turn around and castigate the same government they were representing .It would seem as if the appearance and the subsequent defense was stage managed or they bowed to activism by people who always see the executive with circumspection. This was not in the best interest of the client or that of the public!
Public officials must be prepared to carry collective responsibility especially matters concerning departments where they are actively involved in shaping the decisions of the government. The actions of the Attorney General and the Justice Minister have ultimately put the government in a very awkward position! The government was clearly embarrassed and suffered exposure to public ridicule. As if to rub salt on a festering wound, the Attorney General proceeded to expose the government once more when the matter came before court in an application against the appeal. He sought to contradict his client on the question of hiring a private counsel to lodge the appeal. This brings us to another issue that has dominated the public debate; whether the government can hire a private lawyer to represent it in court proceedings.
Article 156 of the new constitution provides answers to this question. Under Article 156(4) (a), the Attorney General is mandated to be the principal legal advisor to the government. It is noteworthy that the section does not talk about the AG being the only legal advisor to the government whether by himself or through delegation for instance to state law office counsel. What this means in clear terms is that nothing stops the government from engaging the services of private counsel if it deems it necessary.
Subsection 4 part b of the said article provides that the Attorney General shall represent the national government in court or in any other proceedings to which the national government is a party, other than criminal proceedings. This section has been misinterpreted in various quarters to read that it is only the Attorney General who is mandated by the constitution to represent government in court proceedings. It’s this misconception which has laid the basis for claiming that the government was wrong in engaging the services of private counsel to lodge an appeal on its behalf. This is far from the truth! The use of the word shall in the beginning of the section is simply intended to compel the Attorney General to carry out his duties without absconding. The converse would have been to use the word may which of course would have left the AG with the discretion of deciding when to represent the government and when not to.
The writer is a lawyer

Know your County MPS:Taita Taveta County

Dan Mwazo

Danson Mwazo Mwakulegwa the Member of Parliament for Voi on an Orange Democratic Party (ODM) party was born on February 19,1956 and serves as the Minister for Tourism in the Kenyan Government.
Mwazo holds a Diploma from Rivers state University and worked in senior sales managerial positions  at the Cadbury,Merro Pepsi and Coca-Cola Africa companies. His hobbies include trvavelling, reading and soccer.
Mwazo is among the least MPS to have spoken in Parliament and his development projects in his Voi Constituency are wanting.

Calist Mwatela

Born in 1950,Calist Andrew Mwatela is the MP for Mwatate and is considered to   be an average MP by his constituent and also a good debater in Parliament. He is also an Assistant Minister for Education in the Kenyan Government.
He represents the constituency on an Orange Democratic Movement party after he defected from his former party Democratic Party (DP) which was earlier on headed by President Kibaki.

On Wednesday we begin serializing MPS in Tana River County

Muslim News

Courtesy of Friday Bulletin

1.Withdrawsyringes for drug users,
Leaders say

Muslim leaders in Mombasa have called on the government to withdraw immediately the ongoing issuance of the free syringes and needles to intravenous drug users. The government was asked to stop the programme targeting 49,000 drug addicts in Mombasa and Nairobi.

A meeting of the leaders who included the Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Muhdhar condemned the distribution of Injecting Drug User Syringes (IDUS) to hard drug users in various parts of Coast province.

 The campaign is being undertaken by The National Alcoholic and Drug Abuse Authority. Scholars who attended the forum organized by Umoja wa Waislamu wa Afrika Mashariki and the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya in Mombasa dismissed the campaign as a commercial enterprise driven by those behind illegal drug trade. In the resolution read by nominated MP Mohammed Dor,
Mohammed Dor, the leaders also cast doubt over government commitment in the fight against drug abuse. They said the issuance of the free syringes to addicts was a major setback.

“We wish to ask the government what success it has gained in reducing HIV and Aids prevalence in its previous campaign to distribute free condoms. The obvious answer is none,” Sheikh Dor said. Former Chief Kadhi Sheikh Mohammad Kassim said the distribution of free syringes to addicts would not help in reducing the spread of HIV among the targeted victims.

“This problem will not help drug addicts escape from HIV and Aids and a new approach is required to address their plight,” he said. The leaders further resolved to block the government and international agencies from distributing free syringes and needles reportedly saying that if the government was sincere in its efforts to reform the addicts, it should have used the funds to establish rehabilitation centers.
In a related development, the chairman of the Sharrif Nassir Foundation Abdulswamad Nassir challenged the students to also contribute towards the fight against drug abuse among Muslim youth.

Addressing members of Muslim Students Association of Mombasa Polytechnic University College, he observed that a vast majority of hard drug users are Muslim youth despite their religion prohibiting illicit drug use.

We have more than 20 000 drug users in this region and the figure is increasing every day. It is also sad that that majority of these victims are Muslims and yet our religion discourages drug use,” Ab- dulswamad said.
He said reports from rehabilitation and outreach centers in the region also indicate a rapidly rise in the numbers of young women..

Ethiopian Muslims protests gov't crackdown
2.Hundreds of thousands of irate Ethiopian Muslims took to the streets of Addis Ababa last weekend in Africa’s biggest protests since Tahrir Square. They want the government to stop meddling in their religious affairs and acknowledge that Muslims can’t remain marginalized and oppressed.
Participants claimed that somewhere between 500,000 and one mil- lion Muslims gathered in and around one of the city’s main mosques in a blatant show of defiance against the Government, while smaller marches took place in other cities across the country.
The standoff between the government and Ethiopian Muslims rallying for a greater religious freedom and in opposition to what they call a flagrant interference in their religious affairs, which continued amidst a government violent crackdown on peaceful protestors.

The Ethiopian federal police fired rounds of live bullets and teargas into the protestors at the Grand Anwar Mosque. At least four Muslims were shot dead while several others were seriously injured on July 13 when Ethiopian security forces stormed into a mosque in the capital Addis Ababa. “They broke the door and entered and started shooting at Muslims,” Ahmedin Jebel, representing a mosque community group said. Thousands of Ethiopian Muslims streamed toward the capital’s largest mosque in response to distress calls that were heard from mina- rets following the police attack.

The attack followed the arrest of two members of a committee elected by Ethiopian Muslims to formally voice protests of Muslims against government’s interference in their religious affairs. Several events of unity have been organized across Ethiopia. The events are seen as a practical response to the government’s at- tempt to divide the Muslim population along sectarian lines. Muslims say the government is spearheading a campaign in collaboration with the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs to indoctrinate their community with the ideology of a sect called “Ahbash”.
The government of Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi has put the Ahbash in charge of the religious affairs of Ethiopia’s Muslims. Muslims say the government move is in violation of the constitution, which prevents the government interference in religious affairs. Muslims also accuse the Ahbash of launching an “indoctrination program” in predominantly Muslim areas, forcing people to attend “religious training” camps or risk police interrogation and possible arrest.
Founded by Ethiopian-Lebanese preacher Abdullah al-Harari, Ah- bash is seen by the West as “friendly." Muslims say Ahbash imams are being brought over from Lebanon to fill the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and teach Ethiopians that “Wahabis” are non-Muslims. (Agencies