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Italy holds suspected ship captain; death toll 275

By Oleg Cetinic, AP
October 9, 2013

Italy on Tuesday detained a 35-year-old Tunisian man suspected of being the captain of a boat carrying African migrants that sank off the tiny island of Lampedusa. Divers, meanwhile, recovered dozens of additional bodies from the wreckage, raising the death toll to 275.

Just 155 migrants, most if not all from Eritrea, survived Thursday's shipwreck. Survivors said there were some 500 would-be asylum-seekers aboard when the ship capsized.

Lampedusa Boat Sinking Riots Hit Ethiopia Refugee Camps and Three Eritreans Killed

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Body bags containing African migrants, who drowned trying to reach Italian shores (Reuters)

 A prominent human rights activist claims three Eritrean refugees have died and many more have been injured at refugee camps in northern Ethiopia after a memorial vigil dedicated to the victims of the Lampedusa boat sinking turned violent.

 Meron Estefanos, also a radio presenter in Sweden for Radio Erena, exclusively told IBTimes UK that a riot erupted in the Mai Ayni refugee camp after Eritrean refugees started expressing their frustration at authorities. 

Police opened fire to disperse the riot and four children were wounded as a result. The unrest spread to other refugee camps such as the Adi Harish and three people were killed.

 "Refugees, who contacted Eritrean independent Radio Erena, disclosed that the initial objective of the gatherings was to remember those who perished in the Lampedusa disaster, but quickly turned into a protest over what refugees considered corruption in the refugee resettlement process as well as issues over camp security," Estefanos said. 

A spokesperson at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) confirmed to IBTimes UK that riots took place in the refugee camps but was unable to confirm the fatalities, adding that the situation was calming down.

 Over 65,000 Eritrean refugees live in Ethiopia, spread across four refugee camps.

Trial in Denver will spotlight terror in Ethiopia

By Tom McGhee
 The Denver Post

 Updated: 10/08/2013 08:29:32 AM MDT

 The prosecutor in the trial of an Ethiopian accused of taking part in torture and murder during political upheaval in the African nation told jurors Monday that they will hear from some of those who witnessed his blood-thirsty reign at a prison there.

 Kefelgn Alemu Worku is charged with coming into the United States illegally. Among the false statements he is accused of making in applying for naturalization is the answer "no" he gave to this question: "Have you ever persecuted (either directly or indirectly) any person because of race, religion, national origin ... or political opinion?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Brenda Taylor said.

 The stories of those who survived their time at "Higher 15," the prison in Addis Ababa where he was a guard, will show that he lied, Taylor told jurors on Monday, the first day of Alemu Worku's trial in U.S. District Court in Denver.

 Matthew Golla, the defense attorney for Alemu Worku, also known as John Doe, said he doesn't doubt that "wicked" things were done in the Ethiopian prison during the late 1970s, a period known as the Red Terror.

 "The facts will show that this man had no part in that," Golla, an assistant federal defender, told jurors. "I think the evidence will show their identifications are suspect."

Sudan Shifts Alliance From Egypt To Ethiopia Over Nile Dispute

By Alden Young for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse

Since 1959, Sudanese politicians have sided with Egypt when negotiating with other African countries about Nile water rights. Similarly, Sudanese politicians based in Khartoum have looked north and east to their Arab neighbors for political, cultural, military and financial support. How then do we explain the statements in June and July 2013 by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Irrigation and Agriculture Minister Abdul Halim al-Mutafi that Sudan supports the construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam over the objections of the country’s Egyptian allies? To understand the strengthening of Sudan’s alliance with Ethiopia and its increased distance from Egypt, it is necessary to look both at the events of the past few months and at the partition in 2011.