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Ambassador met with jailed Swedes in Ethiopia

TT/The Local/cg · 5 Jul 2011, 08:50

Published: 05 Jul 2011 08:50 GMT+02:00

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"They're feeling fairly well, considering the circumstances," ambassador Jens Odlander told news agency TT.

The journalists Martin Schibbye, 30, and freelance photographer Johan Persson, 29, also managed to contact relatives in Sweden by telephone, on Monday. The Swedes have minor bullet injuries, and are currently in the city Jijiga, close to the Somali border.

"We're in a very sensitive position right now. The only thing I can confirm is that I've met them and that they feel, considering the circumstances, alright," said Odlander.

Both Swedes have now received medical attention for their injuries.

"They're physically and mentally exhausted, and feel strained by the situation. They've received medical attention in jail, and they were given first aid in connection with their arrest," said Cecilia Julin from the Foreign Ministry's press office.

According to the Foreign Ministry, a judicial process has commenced, and it was first believed that the Swedes would face Ethiopian court on Tuesday.

"We've received information that court proceedings will begin, but it's still unclear what they're being accused of," said Julin.

But later on Tuesday morning the foreign ministry said that the information they had received regarding the Swedes trial was uncertain. According to TT, the ministry is expecting another report from ambassador Odlander in Addis Ababa.

The two Swedish journalists were in a conflicted area, the region Ogaden by the Somali border, when they were arrested.

Ogaden is closed to journalists, and there is an armed conflict going on between the government army and the rebel movement Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).

Ogaden is populated by ethnic Somalis, and the Swedes entered the area together with rebels from Somali breakaway republic Puntland, in order to report on the situation.

Abdi Mahdi, who heads of the UK branch of the ONLF organization in London told TT on Sunday evening that he had been in contact with the reporters three days ago.

“I spoke to them when they were on their way into Ogaden, and we provided them with guides and directions. The plan was for them to tour the whole area but when we didn’t hear from them we began to worry,” Mahdi told TT.

Later on Sunday night it was confirmed by Ethiopian authorities that Ethiopian soldiers had killed 15 ONLF rebels in the Ogaden region.

Schibbye and Persson, who accompanied them, were reported to have sustained minor injuries in the clash between guerrilla and government forces.

“15 rebels, all armed, were killed and six were injured. Two Swedish reporters sustained minor injuries during the fighting,” Shimelis Kemal, spokesman for the Ethiopian government told news agency Reuters on Sunday.

Peter Wallensteen, professor of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University, describes Ethiopia as a country full of war and conflict.

"I've seen some prisons where you don't want to end up. There's several ongoing wars, and it's not a country governed by law. Ethiopia's way down on the democracy scale," said Wallensteen.

According to Wallensteen, Sweden has a good relationship with Ethiopia, a major beneficiary.

"Hopefully there will be no more than a formal court case, and then they'll be released," he said.

ONLF was formed in 1984, and are usually described as un-uniformed forces, with close ties to the area's nomadic peoples.

The guerilla's demands have varied between full independence, connection to a "Greater Somalia" (encompassing Somalia, Djibouti, the Ogaden of Ethiopia and the North Eastern Province of Kenya) and greater autonomy under Ethiopia.

Ethiopia accuses ONLF of being terrorists and claim they are supported by arch-enemy Eritrea.

Reporters without Borders thinks that the Swedish government have been too restrained and demand that the authorities in Addis Ababa must be made to clarify the circumstances of the Swedes' arrest as well as provide information about their current status.

Story continues below…

"We must insist that journalists cannot be treated as rebels just because they were covering rebel activity," they said in a statement.

“We urge the Ethiopian government to guarantee access to the Ogaden for journalists and human rights activists. The news blackout that has been imposed on what is taking place in this region is outrageous. It forces journalists to enter the region illegally and just fuels suspicion that terrible human rights violations are taking place there," the organisation wrote.

Chairman of the Swedish branch of the organisation, Jesper Bengtsson, thinks that the foreign ministry is doing a good job in helping the captured Swedes.

But the government is too restrained in their statements in what is ultimately a political question, Bengtsson told TT.

"When two journalists are held captive in a foreign country because they have tried to report on possible human rights abuse, the government should speak up and demand their release. I find it very hard to understand why this is treated like any consular matter," Bengtsson told TT.

According to Bengtsson the Swedes chances will not change for the worse if the government aims public criticism against Ethiopia.

"I can't see how that would be held against the reporters," he said.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:20 July 5, 2011 by Ooops
I have read the story from different sources. I was admired in what the swedish journalist are doing across Somalia to Ethiopia. Are the western - journalist used the charos and instability in Somalia hiding themselves to cross the boarder... hmmm.

Most surprising is the Proffesor Peter Wallensteen's comment. You are talking about rule of law and you are closing your eye or not wanted to raise the idea they are against the formal entrance in Ethiopia and hide away themselves from boarder control.

Weather you wanted to know or not, there is a rule of law in Ethiopia and the illegal Sweden journalists will face the consquence, the judicial process according to the law of the country.

Are you the one who sent them in the name of your 'Peace and conflict reasearch paper'?? Who knows?

Dear Prof. please read more it is the Ethiopian Peacekeeper forces under/with UN mandate, who are taking the responsiblity of keeping peace and stabiliy in Burundi, Congo, and now in Darfur and now in south-north border in Sudan.

Afterall, the journalist were visited by Sweden Embassy. Hopefully they will think twice before doing such nonsense..
10:41 July 5, 2011 by truthworthy
@Ooops you sound very ill informed about ethiopia when you claim there is a rule of law. the professor is right, there is no rule of law or respect for it. Why would a whole land of 4 million people be offlimits to journalists? becuase they are hidding the genocide that is taking place since a long time.
10:50 July 5, 2011 by awash
simply Courageous!!! why would the Ethiopian government forbids journalists and aid agencies to enter Ogaden region, if it doesn't have something to hide??? Now you Swedes know that all your money goes to buy arms, kill, starve, intimidate, imprison, rape poor and helpless Ethiopians. Hopefully, this new incident will clear up (guess, it's not hidden:)) about the true color of Ethiopian tyrants. To the above commentator, well you're paid to do your job otherwise these jouranlists went there to reveal what's going in Ogaden where innocent people are being massacared, raped, starved, imprisoned for too long. You must be kidding about the prevalence of the rule of law in Ethiopia, your masters' hands at Arat Killo are stained with millions of people's blood and the Swedish authorities are no less guilty for assisting such brutal dictator for too long knowing what's happening down there. It's time say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!
12:17 July 5, 2011 by pilatose1
what a Bulshit professor! terriorists can come from any corner of the world including sweden showing diffrent forms. There is a legal way to enter ethiopia report any kind of info through Bole international air port.

so callled jounalist were following illegal way and are now controlled by brilliant ethiopian armies.

Zip your mouth
12:58 July 5, 2011 by RobinHood
The brilliant army men of Ethiopia are victorious once again with their heroic capture of Swedish spy journalists. The celebrations ran into the night, and no one was raped or tortured at all. Every ONLF women prisoner terrorist, some only nine years old, offered herself willingly to twenty or more brilliant and manly Ethiopian army men soldiers, each woman terrorist overcome with positive emotion for loving. Some ONLF terrorist prisoner men joined the celebrations by accidently burning themselves with electric cattle prods, and cutting off their own genitals, before burying themselves in mass graves.

The brilliant army men of Ethiopia look forward to many more victory celebrations of similar nature to guarantee the future peaceful and democratic paradise that is the most excellent country Ethiopia.

Bless all brilliant Ethiopian army soldier men, and hope many more ONLF women terrorist prisoners offer themselves up for army men love tomorrow.
13:19 July 5, 2011 by Ayenew
Dear Editors, I think sound journalism requires that when some so-called professor makes claims like the one you interviewed for this story, you should ask him or google it for yourselves and find out how many wars are going on in the country. Besides if there is supposed to be no rule of law in Ethiopia, does it mean Swedish journalists have to illegally cross the border accompanied of enemies of state. That is despicable journalism. I am an Ethiopian journalist and consider myself among the most critical. I dislike my government so much so that I want it to go. But that sentiment does not authorize me to engage in imaginary allegations. in stead of the immature professor, you could have presented your questions to your ambassador in Ethiopia. What is a professor for if he does not give rational answers? Uppsala University should fire him.

Ayenew Haileselassie.
13:22 July 5, 2011 by h2m
how dramatic is robin comments, It is celebratory genocide. The army is noble when it is killing thousands, raping and burning villages while Ogaden people are terrorists if they resist. After all it is good for the cause and thank you swedes for daring operation to show the Ethiopian atrocities. of course the authority in Addisaba has three words to say always OT IS BASELESS, FALSE AND TRASH to deny their wrong doings. It is this words that is synonymous with regime, a free and democratic Ethiopia we will trash these words with regime
13:25 July 5, 2011 by Grateful_Human
Since 1954 after which the British Empire decided to make Ogaden under Ethiopian colony, stability and peaceful co-existence of the people of Horn of Africa was compromised. the Ogaden particularly has been oppressed by all Ethiopian rulers including the current P.M. Meles whose people were once oppressed like Ogaden, and whose struggle was supported by Ogaden/Somali. And now guess how he is dealing with these defenceless people. If you are human being you will sympathise with them after seeing the CNN iReport video available on the link below:

13:32 July 5, 2011 by h2m
dear woyane supporter. You are woyane sponsor so called free media with red line. you can not talk about the in human behavior in your home country, you can not rise the alarm for the daily killing, arrest, torture, villages burning forced relocation, and etc and you claim to be free journalists what a hypocrite. how much you get to use the name before you even challenge the free and brilliant academics. This week alone your master killed 28 people in Degahbour area including 7 pregnant women. where is that journalism you claim let alone of you claim of being a dissident. may be you are the Amharas just hoping to domination again. peace ,democracy and justice would sure prevail one day and those criminals will be pursued. we are looking for the Arab spring to become Ethiopian summer
14:03 July 5, 2011 by wonde
I am so sorry for Mr Peter Wallensteen(Professor) for your irrational comment concerning Ethiopia. I think I have much better knowledge than you about Ethiopia and it is pure heracy of the reality in the region. I strongly suggest you that you to proof your comment with reliable and sufficient evidences.
14:14 July 5, 2011 by Grokh
Ahaha even ethiopia has better border control than sweden.
14:25 July 5, 2011 by ahmetyare
It sounds rather odd to block the journalist and other humanitarian aid from such a vulnerable community. what is the problem if a journalist visit and expose what is cooking in the region? do you know what the Ethopian goverment is avoiding? they don't want the world to see when rapping the virgin girls, killing innocent and castrating the productive men in the region.
14:39 July 5, 2011 by Nuclear
The Ethiopian Government has no respect for the field of journalism nor the free media, its unquestionable for those following the situation in this country that the Government of Meles Zenawi severely harasses Ethiopia's domestic media to the extent few are left and those who have remained are under constant surveillance.This is a paranoid government eager to control all forms of information to stifle dissent, journalist and opposition parties another almost extinct sector are routinely accused of terrorism and other trumped up charges.The Ogaden is a region that has bore the brunt of the central governments tyrannical policies, it is a region which has been totally blockaded from the outside world and the government of Ethiopia has been undertaking a complete military campaign against the civilian population.Human rights groups have attested to the war crimes and crimes against humanity occurring in this region.These brave swedes made an effort to unveil this Genocidal campaign against the people like some other brave journalist and photo journalists have done in the past.The situation in the region is very grim and the government fears the media, NGO's and Human rights group will influence the governments that provide there financial backing which maintains there stay in power.The Professor has hit the nail on the head, there is no rule of law no truth telling Ethiopian will tell you in Ethiopia you can stand before a court and expect a fair trial especially in the regional states like the Ogaden where the army is the rule of law.These Journalists are lucky, the Swedish public must bring the government to account for the tax money they provide to the Ethiopian tyrant.
16:26 July 5, 2011 by keraman2
Peter Wallensteen comment is totally non-sensical. The fellow claims there are several wars going in Ethiopia, which is a complete fabrication -- If Ethiopia is engulfed in wars as Mr. Peter Wallensteen claims, Ethiopia would not have registered a double digit growth for the last 7 years!! One of the fastest growth in the World!!

Ethiopia like many countries including Western countries have to work hard to protect her citizens from TERRORISTS like the ONLF!! Those who are abusing Human Rights, torturing, MURDERING, RAPING are the TERRORISTS ONLF!! All one has to do to confirm this undeniable fact is to just ask residents of the Ethiopian Somalie region who have been victims of their vicious crimes -- crimes of torture, murder, disabling permanent injuries, property destructions and theft such as live animals!!! And to talk to former ONLF mebers themselves. Not only that, the UN NGO workers of became victims of these terrorists, who were kidapped and murdered as they working hard to help those suffering from drought!!

But unfortunately these so called Swedish journalists are helping these TERRORISTS by spreading their LIES and defaming the innocent which results in re-victimizing the victims again!!

Talking about the rule of law, entering a country without a valid visa is not following the rule of Law. It's thus the Swedish 'journalists' who are not following the Rule of Law!!
16:49 July 5, 2011 by RobinHood
To the seven posters on this thread who joined today: Oops, Grateful Human, Wonde, Nuclear, Keraman 2, Ayenew, Pilatose, and the one who joined yesterday: H2M.

Welcome to the Local Forums, and thank you for your comments on the good and bad points of genocide, mass murder and multiple rape. We all look forward with interest to reading your future comments on the many other issues raised in the Local.
16:57 July 5, 2011 by h2m
@Keraman then if what you are saying are not pure govenment propaganda why not you allow human right watch, amnesty, inernational media and of course the diplomats who are helping your regime with stand with the 30% infalation, faminine and massive debt, the answer is they are not willing to use under your checkliost, you want as you said to decide whom they should talk and where they should go like Gadafi and Assds regime . the so called double digit growth is mere govenment claim IMF and WB differ with EPRDF on that.

¨By the way in all International forums you are condomend but not sactioned look the double standard.
17:09 July 5, 2011 by FutureHuman
Is the Ethiopian regime repressive? Yes.

Did the two Sweden break the rules? Yes they did.

The fact that the regime is repressive does not mean you can just cross the border of a sovereign country. Not only did they cross the border illegally, the crossed it with the help official enemies of the state. They would be arrested in any country. Do not let your disgust with the Ethiopian government blurr the facts.

We should also be careful not to imply that it's ok to break the rules of countries with bad governments.

As for the professor's comments, I'll pass them as an ignoranta and unfortunately very common stryotype against African countries. All I can say is that I would not have that guy as my professor.
17:27 July 5, 2011 by Nuclear
Keraman your rant is laughable, you have provided nothing that can be traced with any validity.It seems you have been reading the reports coming out of the Ogaden upside down, it is Ethiopia committing all those crimes as documented by Human rights watch, Amnesty International and other human rights groups further Journalists and other media organisations who have successfully reached the Ogaden despite the blockade have reported on the same crimes documented by the human rights groups( New York times, Aljazeera, CBS, LA times, Washington Post, Newsweek etc).There is widespread evidence, the ONLF wants Independent observers to report on the human rights situation in the Ogaden but the Ethiopia Government refuses which is telling of the situation on the ground.The ONLF is only a terrorist organisation in Ethiopia, but which opposition party isn't a terrorist organisation in this closed country? Labeling them terrorist has become a convenient way of disposing opposition parties which is why the ruling party won(Stole) the last election with 99.6% of the vote shocking the International community.

The professor is correct, the ruling Junta is fighting half a dozen rebellions across the country and its a known fact there isn't an independent judiciary in the country, Journalists and Opposition groups are routinely arrested with trumped up charges via the countries draconian laws.The ruling junta has the country by the neck and nothing moves without proper direction from this aging one-party dominated dictatorship(20 years).

You talk of double digit growth but those figures have been tampered with by the Ethiopian junta which the IMF and WB confirm because they rely on internal figures, the Economist call the ruling Junta one of the most illiterate in the world in terms of Economics.Inflation is at an all time high(30%+) with famine across the country, whatever growth there is its with the few at the top usually party members of the government creating those land grabs for foreign hedge funds.Most dictatorships create wealth in foreign bank accounts this is nothing new.
17:36 July 5, 2011 by Geesi Ciilan
The Journalists were on their duty to go and cover the extra-judicial killings,extra-judicial arrests,therefore whether they go West fed hungry-highland of Abyssinia(Ethiopia) or occupied Ogaden they should tell the World the Genocide that you are hiding behind closed doors.

Prosser,The Truth hurts they would swallow you alive if they could,but fortunately you are swedish and they could not.
18:07 July 5, 2011 by kynan
Ethiopia a country run by a dictator who does not have any respect for human,if not so why do they kill Innocent civilians? why do they made Ogaden like big jail and refuse Journalists and NGOs move freely?

Johan and martin just inoccent Jornos and should be freed right now.
19:00 July 5, 2011 by Methusalem
The professor is another left-wing ignorant who tries to misinform the swedish community. In this information age, he is only making himself look foolish.

By the way, just two weeks ago, Sweden has denied visas to eight Ethiopians who were on their way to northern Sweden to participate in the a conference for indigenous people because the delegates were "lacking resources".

The delegates had applied for visas to attend the Indigenous Terra Madre conference in Jokkmokk, the world's first conference for indigenous people from around the world to discuss sustainable agricultural practices.

The Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa claimed that, despite guarantees issued by conference organisers, the "risk of flight was too high" and that the "individuals were assessed as unestablished in their country and are largely lacking resources."

Yet, two communist journalists from Sweden feel like God to enter into an independent country of Ethiopia without visas. In the year 2011 some are still stuck in the 20th century. Very sad, indeed!
19:05 July 5, 2011 by yado
In one night ONLF terrorist killed 74 people (64 Ethiopian and 9 Chinese ). these guys are innocent civilian workers not soldiers. is these humanity ? what about if these people are Swedish, what u fill ? These organisation (ONLF) it is not a terrorist group? Here it bbc link about there killing http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6588055.stm .... think , think, think humanly ONLF members. The reason journalist and aid organization not going to their is because of ur(ONLF) dirty job Ethiopian government didn't permit to not risk people life.
19:05 July 5, 2011 by Truth liberates
The Ethiopian regime and its apologistis as usual try to silence the voices of truth from the international community. Can you imagine the situation inside the Ogaden and Ethiopia for freedom of expression. Ethiopia and the Ogaden are a big gulag. Theare are even trying to silence the whole world. What a pathetic lot!. I feel sorry for the poor Ogaden civilain population. It is an open secret thatBritain and others are paying the bill of the Ethiopian security forces killing the poor Ogadens in the name of food aid for the poor. the Ethiopian regime uses food aid to recruit militia like the Sudan janjawid to suppress the Ogaden people.

Truth shall prvail no matter how hard you try to suppress it. Bravo Proffesor Peter Wallensteen
21:30 July 5, 2011 by Kevin Harris
These two journalists have certainly focused Sweden's attention on the (until now) little known territory of Ogaden, and the awful things that go on there. I suppose they've achieved their aim - one way or another. I would have thought Ethiopia wouldn't care what people knew about these terrible atrocities, but the president seems to be the beneficiary of a large amount of Swedish aid, which probably finances his swimming pool, and doesn't want to see that go out the window anytime soon. It's got a bit inconvenient for the poor chap.

Sorry, pro-Ethiopian posters here, the cat is well and truly out of the bag now. The world is waking up to what's going on in Ogaden and the president's swimming pool aid fund is soon going to be squeezed until the genocide stops.
22:01 July 5, 2011 by add4
Ethiopia is one of the peaceful and stable country in the world even though images of the past are still in the minds of the insular communities.In the few years that I lived in this world I have seen people who got nothing except the title they got through some cheap way.Besides I have also came across with a person who seems to be knowledgeable but who tries to complicate things for his own sake.

If 'professor' Peter is still a professor and researching ,how isn't it possible for him to find out that Ethiopia is a country governed by law.I think any layman knows that Ethiopia is fighting for peace in other countries let alone in Ethiopia itself.I think this person who claims to be a professor is the kind of person I describe as one of those who got no expertise related with the title he carries.

I have seen such personalities in the university I'm currently studying.Shame to be such a 'professor'.


Peter Wallensteen, professor of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University, describes Ethiopia as a country full of war and conflict."

Ethiopia is a peaceful nation and a nation who is building democracy in Africa.
22:14 July 5, 2011 by jexdin
Ethiopia a country run by a dictator who does not have any respect for human,if not so why do they kill Innocent civilians? why do they made Ogaden like big jail and refuse Journalists and NGOs move free.

I don't know why the international community are silenty the Ogaden people while ethiopia rigime hide what is going in the Ogaden Rigion.Etheipia uses food aid to recruit militia new police to suppress the Ogaden people. I support the swedish journalists because they went in Ogaden how to know the the fact of the region and situation of Ogaden people and there are shortage of water shortage of respact shortage of peace. The Ethoipia rigime don't know or don't respact human right and 24 h they abuse Ogaden people as i know more than 300 people killed in Ogaden reigion last month. I ask may self why international cummunity hide the Genocide and abuse of Ogaden people. Prosser thanks alat and i respact you truth and Ogaden people will get justice and will be free soon
22:28 July 5, 2011 by yado
for Mr. Kevin and a people who thinks just like u ... u have to appreciate Ethiopian soldiers because of not killed ur two citizens with 15 rebels. .... did u here these thought ::::::" a person whose found with a thief is a thief":::::::..... those journalist are illegals at that place but the soldiers they didn't killed them instead of that they did capture and send to court because they know the rule of law and they are more professionals than what u expect them. ............ in that dearest area if they were killed u will not talk these much because they are with terrorist ........ did u ?
00:57 July 6, 2011 by younis
This is a further prove that the Ethopia regime is hell bent on hiding the hideous human rights abuses it is carrying out in the Ogaden. Why ban and shoot free and independent journalist who are simply reporting impartially from the troubled region. I think we all know the answer to that which means the media blockout will mean the regime not being exposed to the free and democratic world. What really bothers me is that the free world such as Sweden whose citizens are now being shot is funding this rogue regime who has little regard to human values. These brave and courages men had no other alternative route to find out about the truth in the Ogaden. The world must not let the Ogaden people down because what is happening there is no less than genocide.
01:37 July 6, 2011 by fanta

Dear brother.I liked your comment.

In 1940s the Swedis were very popular to bring missionary to Ethiopia and teaching reading writing to dark rural part of our country side of west and south west. Todays Swedis were totaly different, who are standing with terrorist group and investing their money for terror purpose. In your own country what kind of human abuse they are talking about? Why the Britis faught Folkland Island with Argentina? Is there any body comented on that? No body, becasue the Britis were rich; nobody can comment on it. Today our poornes making us to loose our country on north and south or in east or west? No way, the Journalists must be prosucuted in the country's law, we don't need their aid money, rather we will die for our intity. The Italians witnessed of it.

I apreciate your comment and keep up your great job.

Death to the terror group and jail time for those terror supporter journalists.
01:56 July 6, 2011 by Hayat
As the product Swedish Mission School in Addis, the hallowed unscrupulous comment of your professor will not diminish my love of Sweden. The "professor" brazenly & absurdly described Ethiopia as "country full of war and conflict," he blatantly had the temerity to relate the issue to his experiences to incautiously add "I've seen some prisons where you don't want to end up. There's several ongoing wars, and it's not a country governed by law. Ethiopia's way down on the democracy scale." It is astounding to hear that crude statement coming from a Swedish "erudite" My unpretentious advice to the man is to cease commenting on issues he has NO clue & start reading so that he can reeducate himself.

I believe the circumstance should be seen objectively adhering to international norms & procedures. Democratic laws are the making of various values & their applications, in addition to sharing universal beliefs, differ from country to country. Swedish & U.S. laws are democratic but their applications differ. In the USA the law allows capital punishment while yours does not. Journalism adheres to certain professional procedures, including to respecting the laws & territorial integrity of a sovereign nation. Variations in Geography, economics, beliefs do not supersede the indigenous law of a nation. Does being a Swede (rich European) qualify to breach the law of a developing nation? What would be the Swedish's reaction if its security officers apprehended 2 Somalis along side scores of armed Turks while infiltrating into its territory under the shadow of dark? Knowing the security threats that emanates by the terrorist group & the legal precedents that have been taken, Ethiopia has a just cause to pursue legal processes. The unfounded assumptions, irrational claims & detrimental comments that have been made by the "professor" is not only empty in content but also unhelpful to embark the right path. While your government should rightfully do all it could to help its citizens, the notion to argue the 2 Swedes have not breached law is utterly foolish. Rational people base arguments, judgments on reason & facts; I hope this online news will not be used to spew venomous propaganda by the savage criminals to find undeserving sympathy.

Sweden, let alone freeing those that are captured alongside notorious terrorists who slaughter humans like animal, it has miserably failed in securing due process right to one of its innocent citizens. Dawit has been rotting in prison for over 10 years & your government has abandoned him. It is sad your news does not write enough about him!

Though serious offence has been made, I am sure the Swedish embassy in Addis understands better than your "professor" to embark the right approach so that your people can secure forgiveness.

I salute the security forces of Ethiopia for talking decisive actions on the primeval terrorist & I hope the good people of Sweden knows ONLF is terror group that slaughters the innocent!
08:00 July 6, 2011 by Grateful_Human
Hayat!, It would be better to talk about solutions rather than blindly defend genocide and wide-spread atrocities in this age. Look what happened to Mladic and Hosni Mubarak who was more dear to the West than Meles. Plus, now the world knows that Meles carries out genocide, denied ICRC and other international organisations access to this region, jams VOA, Duetche-Welle (German Radio), Ethiopian Satellite TV with the help of China. I say this is not sustainable and Meles and followers like you should know this. Therefore I say let us talk about solutions, not Propaganda.
10:18 July 6, 2011 by Helen kalayu
The good professor has no any knowledge of current Ethiopia. Reasons:

1) Ethiopia is the most stable country. there is no any war inside Ethiopia that's why a group of 21 people (including the journalists) easily captured and killed when they tried to enter Ethiopia from Puntland.

2) He said Ethiopia and Sweeden have good relation. My good professor don't you know that Ethiopia has closed its embassy in Sweeden some months ago ? (you don't know this too ..... Poor professr).

Anyways whether Ethiopia is in war or not, whether the two countries have good/bad relation doesn't justify illegal entry of foreighners to an autonomous country.
11:05 July 6, 2011 by aman_dawit
Dear Editors

The comment given by the professor Wallensteen is really not true. I think he has very shallow knowledge of Ethiopia and try to give an analysis which he really has no clue. I admit Ethiopia is not a heaven, we have all sort of problem economic, politics and many other. But we are not currently engaged in any war. The vast majority of Ethiopia territory is peaceful. Ogaden is a hot spot but it is not in state of war.

Please when inviting analyst, please us the one who have more knowledge of subject matter

12:52 July 6, 2011 by Jaggy
Professor Wallensteen's description of the Ethiopia government as lawless is correct. Just a week ago a local female journalist (who is an elementary school teacher as well) was arrested by the lawless "Ethiopian government" together with another Ethiopian journalist. Both of them are arrested for " terrorism", terrorism in this case means reporting on the activities of ONLF or other groups in a manner the tyrant of Ethiopia disapproves of. The two journalists languish in the filthy prisons without being formally charged.

As to what the tyrant in Ethiopia is trying to hide in Ogaden, please check the following video from youtube:


It is the tip of the iceberg.
15:05 July 6, 2011 by inocent
first i wish that two swedish journalists to come back home in good health condition,

secondly they are hereos becouse they have try to break out the silence and the blockade in the ogaden,they also have tried to show the world what is happening the reall picture of the ogadens like the siege ,war against humanity, rape and torture in ogaden region as we witness,
15:58 July 6, 2011 by younis
I see the rogue regime are out in force in here trying to defend the indefensible. You can run but you can't hide and it is normal to label terrorist any one whom you disagree with. The TPLF regime in the underlying true state terrorist killing and maiming innocent civilians while raping little girls only because they do not agree with them.

It is the beginging of the end for all dictators and Malez is the biggest one of them all in Africa. His people are starving to death while he buys the latest weponary from China not to defend Ethiopia but to suppress his own people. You sure have learn a great deal from the Derg regime which used to do exactly as you are doing now to the Tigree people. It is all in cycles. The regime is on borrowed time as it only feeds of handouts from the weathy nations such as Sweden so how dare you bit the hand that feeds you. This is how stupid this regime is. I have now doubt that these brave men will be released without charge as there will be nothing in the coffers for Malez keep hurting the people of the Ogaden and the rest of Ethiopa. If you calling the proffesor ignorant, then you are as deluded as your masters who are sucking the life out of the country.
16:12 July 6, 2011 by yohannesfromethiopia
who are you all writing about direct ethiopian case? Ethiopians??? Those westerns like Peter Wallensteen: Have you ever been at least once in Ethiopia or Africa? You all concerned for different purpose, some of you are for instablity of ethiopia, and some of you don´t even know what you are writing. Just because it is something about ethioipa you spitt your hate.

4 Ethiopians: what ever they call you keep loving ethiopia, keep strugling to feed our nation...

4 Haters: soon or later you will all go crazy seeing us flourishing!! i tell you in 4 years.

These spies or terorists they will get what they should earn under the law. Trying to be a hero in the land of ethiopia?? hahaha imposible: loosers
16:57 July 6, 2011 by M/amin
You Swedes should be knowing enough that your tax is being used for human rights violetions by the Ethiopian government. yOU TAX pAYErs should protest againt such unlawfull funding by your government. Not only Sweden,but also othet EU member states should stop the fund they give to ethipia in the name of AID. How comes a begger abuses his doner?
18:29 July 6, 2011 by Salah
I am writing to express my sincere sympathy for the family, friends and colleagues of the recently ambushed, attacked and injured dedicated and brave Swedish journalists Johan Persson (photojournalist) and reporter Martin Schibbye by the ruthless Ethiopian regime solders on Thursday last week as reported in the media.

These courageous journalists were doing their job by trying to let the world know the unreported serious Human Rights abuses going on in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia.

I was appalled to read that the Ethiopian regime plan to take the injured journalists to court for simply doing their job. I urge the regime for the immediate release of these Journalists, so that they return to their families, friends and colleagues and most importantly continue to do what they do best "by reporting the unreported Human Rights abuses around the world including the ones happening in Ethiopia as we communicate".

Every year The Swedish government give millions of Euros in aid money to the Ethiopian regime who in turn use these monies to terrorise its people and the Ogaden people and when journalists like Schibbye and Persson try to expose this, the regime try to silence them by means of terror. This is unacceptable and utterly wrong for tax payers money to be used as a weapon to massacre innocent people camouflaged as terrorists by the Ethiopian regime on daily basis.

The Swedish and the rest of European governments who give aid to Ethiopia need to review their policy towards Ethiopia as a matter of urgency.

Ethiopia must also allow international media and International Aid Agencies to go to the Ogaden region to report and distribute aid respectively without any pre conditions or else loose millions of Euros in aid money.

European governments must hold Ethiopia accountable for its actions before more innocent lives are lost and the situation further deteriorates.

I wish the journalists well and their safe return to their loved ones.
19:50 July 6, 2011 by Grateful_Human
yohannesfromethiopia: Have ever been to Ogaden? I doubt that very much! except if you are one of TPLF foot solders!
20:48 July 6, 2011 by Asalefew
I don't know why some countries are crying for Ogden? Ethiopian had big problem during 2005 Election at that time the issue was the entire Ethiopian issue not only the one tribe issue or the one political organization issue but those country they didn't said nothing or involved like Ogden issue . We know Ethiopia has valuable resource in Ogden region. I know some countries to control that resource they like to separate Ogden from Ethiopia by using human right slogan. Please Ethiopian weak up this kind of approach it doesn't help neither Ethiopian nor Ogden opposition. Ethiopian defense forces keep your border good job. Especially from extreme fundamental slam group. Journalist and NGO workers should respect the country and international law before interring to the country. If you don't have visa you can't cross the USA border if you try to do that you are going to jail for that action, the same thing Ethiopia. Finally I suggest the Ethiopian government to solve problem in good and applicable manner with opposition or political groups because this kind of issue is not only the EPDRF issue this is the Ethiopian issue. The next generation and the yang need to know this kind of problem. We lost Djibouti and Eritrea because luck of the previous governments handling.
20:54 July 6, 2011 by Grateful_Human
Hey Aselefew, You are atypical Habesha! You cant even write Ogaden properly. Ogden is in USA and Ogaden has never been Ethiopia willingly. You claim Places you took by force like Oromia, Benishangul, Afar, Ogaden, Gambella to mention just a few. Djibouti has never been Ethiopia while Eretria has admiteddly historical ties with Northern Ethiopia, it has, however, been autonomous.

I agree with you that the current Ethiopian problem is wider than Ogaden as TPLF oppresses any one out of their membership, but no single area has suffered like Ogaden.
22:27 July 6, 2011 by Omicron
It seems the Ethiopian junta has flooded the web with its notorious criminal agents. Most of the posters on this specific issue are TPLF agents, the most barbaric and repressive Nazi machinery in Africa. The country is bleeding and has countless social, economic and political problems since the brutal junta took power in 1991. The only area of this group's specialty is deceit, treachery and torturing innocent citizens as well as spreading faked economic growth of Ethiopia. What we have in the country is utter destitution due to the corrupt and incompetent and illiterate Tigrayans on power. The majority of Ethiopians (Oromo, Amhara, Gurage, Ogadenis etc.. which represent more than 95% of the population) are effectively excluded from economic and political activity in the country. Now the TPLF criminals tell us the Uppsala professor is immature and uniformed. Probably he should consult the Ethiopian Information ministry for a "credible" report about the country!
23:16 July 6, 2011 by Geesi Ciilan
It is shame for African nations to have a country like Abyssinia(Ethioipia) who their leader is liar,blood sucker,gangester,thief,and ignorant.

Bring to an end the illegal Occupation of Ogadenia,The hungry highlanders,row meat eaters must be shined out the African continent.

Free the two detained Journalists immediately or you will meet the consequence.
20:36 July 7, 2011 by yohannesfromethiopia
Grateful_Human: well atleast i have been untill jijiga, and u? ehh, i thought i was not the case here. But if you insist, i dream to see ethiopia feed her self. i don´t care about your kind of politics or any other´s.

Killing 72 chinese workers in ogaden, circling and detaching thier own hungry people from food aid, extreamism for nothing... is this what you call movment?

Don´t be fool. This democracy in your mind doesn´t even exist in the country you are in. oho no in the country where you clean those toilets. sorry to say this but it is the truth. well greatful it is not late to realize reality. think and come back to your home. stay beside your mother and fix the broken fence of her.

Once again it is never too late!!!
01:18 July 9, 2011 by Asharo
@ Geesi Ciilan

I don't think u clearly understand the difference b/n a regime and a country. u can open ur bulky mouth & bark as a dog to criticize the regime. But never ever say the name of an autonomus country. u don't know nothing abt Abyssinia. i guess u r afraid of ur identity crisis to wake up from ur day dreaming of having "Ogadenia". Let me tell u the truth, ur day dream will never come true. Just wake up! and swalow the bitter truth
00:59 July 12, 2011 by BBKING
If one expects prisons with full access to the internet or a family reunion on fridays in Africa, then how can u call him a professor?

When you say Ethiopia is a country full of war and conflict, which times are u referring to? the past or the present?

If you are referring to the past, then however a long time ago it was, Sweden was also a country full of war and conflict. I, as an Ethiopian student residing in Sweden, don't want anyone to remind me of the past but would love to hear the good things that are currently going on in my country. I know that Swedes are extra cautious. Perhaps they shouldn't have come to Ethiopia in the first place.

On the relation between Ethiopia and Sweden, the professor does not seem to keep up with what is going on. Despite his claims of a good relation between the two countries, the truth remains that there is no historical, cultural nor economical ties of significant importance between Ethiopia that can come from Sweden. So why would the lives of two Swedes who were in a land where their country has lost interest in matter to Ethiopia? What does Ethiopia got to lose from this?

I believe in the long run Sweden should examine its relations with African countries before lashing on regimes or the people at large. Self sufficiency should not lead to arrogance in a world that is fast becoming a village through globalization.
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