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POLITICIAN

Swede ‘beaten in Ogaden’ housed at embassy

A Swedish-Ethiopian politician from Gothenburg, assaulted on a trip to Ogaden, has been safely housed at the Swedish embassy in Addis Ababa were immediate arrangements are being made for him and his family return home.

Dayib Mohamud, a part-time Green Party politician from Gothenburg, was detained and beaten in front of his children, the man’s brother told Swedish media on Monday. Ogaden is a restive region where two Swedish journalists were arrested two years ago on suspicion of abetting terrorists.

Dayib Mohamud landed in the Ethiopian capital on Tuesday along with one of his children.

“They’re now at the Swedish embassy to discuss arrangements for a trip home to Sweden,” his brother Qualinle Dayib told news agency TT.

Dayib Mohamud has lived in Sweden for almost three decades and is a Swedish citizen. He had returned with his nine children, all born in Sweden, to Ethiopia to visit their native Ogaden region, according to the brother.

The man told his brother on the phone that he had been assaulted and thrown from a moving vehicle by eight soldiers, before being taken to a house where the beating continued.

“He is very badly hurt and is having problems moving. There are no hospitals in the area,” the brother added.

The rest of the family, eight children and the mother, were expected to arrive in Addis Ababa by bus on Tuesday evening and plans are being made for the entire family to return home to Sweden as soon as possible.

The Ogaden region between Ethiopia and Somalia has been contested for more than a century. Since 1984, the Ogaden National Liberation Front has taken up armed combat with security forces. The Swedish Foreign Ministry (Utrikesdepartementet – UD) advises Swedish citizens to stay clear of the region.

The Local/cd

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H&M

Fashion retailer H&M plans Ethiopia expansion

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz (H&M) said Friday it would expand its network of suppliers to Ethiopia, after concentrating 80 percent of its production in Asian countries.

Fashion retailer H&M plans Ethiopia expansion

“We are an expansive company and are constantly looking at new potential purchasing markets to guarantee that we have capacity to deliver products to all stores in our expansive markets,” H&M spokeswoman Camilla Emilsson-Falk told AFP.

“We do that by increasing the productivity on the existing production markets as well as looking at new markets,” she added.

Test orders have been placed with Ethiopian suppliers and new factories will be built this autumn, but it is too early to say how many suppliers will be used and when the factories will be ready for production, according to Emilsson-Falk.

The East African country has had a long history in textile, leather and shoe production since its Italian occupation in 1939. Other apparel retailers have already begun sourcing products in the country, including Tesco and Chinese shoe-manufacturer Huajian, providing footwear to Guess and Tommy Hilfiger.

“Ethiopia is a country with strong development and we trust that we can sustain economic growth and job opportunities there,” said Emilsson-Falk.

Despite strong economic growth, 9.9 percent on yearly average since 2004 according to the World Bank, the sub-Saharan nation remains one of the world’s

poorest. And one year after the death of prime minister Meles Zenawi, the country is still criticised for its lack of human rights by watchdog organisations.

“We did an extensive risk analysis for Ethiopia, looking at human rights and environmental issues in the country,” said Emilsson-Falk.

“We have worked with improvement of working conditions in our production countries for many years and will apply our experience when establishing relationships with the Ethiopian suppliers.”

H&M, which has stores in Egypt and Morocco, has no concrete plans for further expansion in Africa.

Two Swedish journalists who were kept in jail for 14 months in the country were released in September 2012.

TT/AFP/The Local/pvs

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