Thursday, May 7, 2015

OSI: Alleged deserter's last known location is Ethiopia

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is looking for an alleged deserter whose last known location is in Ethiopia.
Staff Sgt. Tefera Melaku Workneh is wanted for questioning, according to an April post on OSI'sFacebook page. He is assigned to the 60th Comptroller Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California.
Workneh is described as standing 70 inches tall and weighing 149 pounds. He is originally from Ethiopia, where he was believed to be as of March 31.
According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a member of the armed forces is guilty of desertion if he:
  • "Without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently.
  • "Quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
  • "Without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States.''
Investigators have no information about Workneh's current whereabouts, OSI spokeswoman Linda Card said.
"My understanding is that Airman Workneh is from Ethiopia and that is his last known location," Card said in an email to Air Force Times. "Where in Ethiopia, we don't know. And what he's doing there other than it's his home, we don't know."
Card also said she has not heard any information indicating that Workneh has gone missing or been kidnapped.
"Nobody knows where he is or what he's doing until we get some leads and find him," she said.
OSI asks that anyone with information about Workneh's current whereabouts call 707-424-6904.

The U.S. relationship with Ethiopia - The Washington Post

May 6 at 5:57 PM

Regarding the May 1 editorial “Make-believe on Ethiopia”:
Ethiopia is a valuable partner in a critical region, from peacekeeping to fighting al-Shabab to pursuing peace in South Sudan. Ethiopia, among the world’s fastest-growing economies, has made significant progress toward itsMillennium Development Goals.
But stability, security and economic development are sustainable only with the development of democratic values. Ethiopia has a long road to full democracy, as I publicly said there. As President Obama suggested, my comments were aspirational in hopes that the upcoming election would be a step forward. Later in the trip, I said, “Ethiopia is a young country in terms of democracy and over time we hope the political system matures in a way that provides real choices for the people.” I highlighted that more journalists are in jail in Ethiopia than anywhere else in Africa. Civil society leaders told me, “They are about solving problems and being advocates for people who don’t believe they have a voice.”
The United States maintains a frank discussion with Ethiopia regarding democracy and human rights. In my meetings in Addis Ababa, I expressed concerns about restrictions on political space, arrests and imprisonments of independent journalists and use of antiterrorism legislation to stifle political dissent.
It is unfortunate the editorial mischaracterized my remarks and, more important, underestimated the fullness of our bilateral relationship. The U.S. government closely monitors the human rights situation and works with Ethiopia to foster a true democracy as part of our valued relationship.
Wendy R. Sherman, Washington
The writer is undersecretary of state for political affairs.
When I grew up in Ethiopia, Americans built roads there and invested in education, agriculture and commerce. They showed us how to wash and dry our coffee.  Consequently, quality, price and incomes improved. Ethiopia sold more than 50 percent of its high-quality coffee to the United States.
About 35 percent of Ethiopia’s development loans came from the United States. Pan American Airways helped modernize Ethiopian Airlines. Americans were our teachers and mentors in high schools and colleges.
After the Cold War, U.S. officials lost the motivation to invest in Ethiopia. Now China is lending money and building roads. India and Turkey are investing in agribusiness, manufacturing and banking. And U.S. officials are heaping praise on the regime in Ethi­o­pia — their so-called key security ally in East Africa. But a free and democratic government is a better and more enduring ally than a repressive one.
The United States has not learned from its past mistakes of propping up dictatorial regimes in Africa.
Daniel Teferra, Madison, Wis.