- - Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ETHIOPIA

2 Swedish reporters convicted of aiding terrorists

ADDIS ABABA | An Ethiopian court convicted two Swedish journalists Wednesday of supporting terrorism after the pair illegally entered the country with an ethnic Somali rebel group.

The pair, who now face up to 15 years in prison at their sentencing next week, have said they were gathering news at the time of their arrest.


However, Judge Shemsu Sirgaga said that was “very unlikely” and accused the Ogaden National Liberation Front of organizing the Swedes’ journey starting in London via Kenya and Somalia into Ethiopia.

Outlawed groups in many countries frequently facilitate the travels of reporters in order to have their versions of events told.

Ethiopian troops captured Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye six months ago during a clash with rebels in Ethiopia’s restive Somali region in the country’s east, a no-go area for reporters.

Ethiopia considers the rebel group a terrorist organization, and it is difficult for journalists to gain access to the region.

SOUTH SUDAN

Rebels vow to fight on after death of leader

JUBA | South Sudanese rebels will continue their fight against the newly independent government in Juba despite the killing of their leader George Athor, his spokesman said Wednesday.

“To me, the mission is alive,” James Puot told Agence France-Presse. “Only one man has died.”

South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar announced Tuesday that Gen. Athor was killed when a border patrol clashed with “elements” accompanying him in Morobo County on Monday.

Gen. Athor had sneaked back into South Sudan through neighboring countries and was on a recruiting drive in Central Equatoria state, Mr. Machar said.

South Sudan had accused Gen. Athor of acting on behalf of Sudan in a bid to destabilize the country, which won independence in July, five years after the end of a two-decade civil war with Khartoum.

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