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Voices from the Horn of Africa and Sudan

Our look at what bloggers in the Horn of the African continent and Sudan are saying begins in Darfur and with some good news. Sleepless in Sudan is reporting that the ban on commercial traffic in one of the refugee camps called Kalma has been lifted. In its own words:

“…there's some more good news from Kalma camp this week – the ban on ‘commercial traffic’ between the camp and Nyala town (which lies around 15km to the North-West of Kalma) is about to be lifted. The aid agencies who work inside Kalma camp have been struggling to get this result for months – since the governor of South Darfur first instituted the ban seven months ago, it has created a lot of problems for the people of Kalma camp.”

But not all news from Darfur is good news. Sudan: The Passion of the Present quotes an International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) report which states the Darfur remains a volatile region:

“Over the past two weeks, armed clashes have occurred near Al Geneina (Western Darfur) and Gereida (Southern Darfur), where the situation remains precarious. ICRC operations in the west of Western Darfur remain suspended in the wake of recent security incidents that have targeted the organization and continue making it difficult for its staff to go about their work in safety.”

Ethiopian bloggers seem focused on the ruling government of their country, with a lot of disapproval, that is. Ethiopundit in an article entitled “Washington's Lethal Delusions of Stability” appears angry with Western nations for their supposed bias towards the ruling party of Prime Minsiter Meles Zenawi which it (Ethiopundit) has no love for. Ethiopian Paradox comes out even harsher against Mr. Zenawi’s government in a thought-provoking piece called “SOS Ethiopia: 115,000 political prisoners at a Nazi-style concentration camp” where it states:

“Almost four weeks after the popular revolt in Addis Ababa in November of 2005 in which more than 100 people were killed according to human right groups, shocking news is slowly emerging indicating that more than 43,000 political prisoners have been detained in open air prisons (read Nazi-style concentration camps) in the Dedessa valley of South West Ethiopia”

Meskel Square takes a look at corruption in Ethiopia, which has for the first time being included in Transparency International’s annual Global Corruption Barometer, and appears surprised at the “relatively high figures that came up in some of the corruption categories for” Ethiopia. The author of Meskel Square had always seen Ethiopia as only marginally corrupt compared to other African countries, yet finds solace in the Transparency International report which shows that both Ethiopia and Nigeria are making some good progress in tackling corruption.

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