New Internationalist


July 2007

As fighting continues to rage in Somalia, accusations have emerged that Ethiopia is running Guantánamo Bay-like jails where dozens of men, women and children have been held without trial for months. The Ethiopian authorities have admitted to detaining 41 ‘suspected terrorists’ from 17 countries. They defend their actions, claiming this is part of the ‘war on terror’.

At least 19 are reportedly women and 15 are children. Most of them were arrested on the Kenyan border, fleeing fighting between Ethiopian troops, forces of the interim Somali Government and the militias of the Somalian Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). The last are accused of having ties with al-Qaeda. In recent years, Ethiopia has been a key US ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, which has been trying to establish bases in this part of Africa. It is reported that CIA and FBI agents were allowed access to the detainees.

According to one source, Ethiopia has secret jails in three locations: Addis Ababa; an Ethiopian air base 37 miles east of the capital; and the far eastern desert close to the Somali border. Human Rights Watch’s John Sifton, an expert on counter-terrorism, has accused the US of being a ‘ringleader’ in a ‘decentralized, outsourced Guantánamo’.

Jean-Baptiste Kagamo

This column was published in the July 2007 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Pseudo-Guantanámo

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Currents

All Currents

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 402

New Internationalist Magazine issue 402
Issue 402

More articles from this issue

  • Burundi

    July 1, 2007

    A small landlocked state in central Africa, sandwiched between its vast neighbours Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi has suffered as much from ethnic conflict as its other (equally tiny) neighbour, Rwanda. Yet while the 1993 Rwandan genocide continues to commandeer international attention, Burundi’s travails tend to slip under the radar.

  • Of robbers and plants

    July 1, 2007

    Economic crunch in Mauritius

  • Edible Earth

    July 1, 2007

    In search of bright ideas, David Ransom begins by learning some very basic lessons about how to design a more sustainable, permanent culture.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.