Ethiopia says captured 75 Eritrean “terrorists”

farahat: from SudanTribun

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

October 1, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia today said it arrested 75 Eritrea-trained ‘‘terrorists’’ who were planning to carry out attacks during the country’s New Year and Eid holidays.

The captured “terrorists” were allegedly trained and armed by the Eritrean government. Ethiopia said they had departed from Eritrea in six groups, crossed the red sea and then traversed Ethiopian borders from Somaliland.

The alleged militants have been taken into custody in Ethiopia’s Somali region by federal and regional security forces. Sudan Tribune has learned that they were captured with their weapons. Some of them are said to have died during the long journey to Ethiopian borders.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a war during 1998-2000 over territorial disputes. The war killed nearly 70,000 people. The two neighbors continuously trade accusations of arming and supporting each others’ rebels.


Ethiopia once again last Wednesday accused Eritrea of continuing to undermine efforts to restore peace and stability in neighboring Somalia by arming Islamist insurgents fighting against the transitional government there, urging the UN’s Security Council to enforce existing sanctions against Eritrea.

Eritrea continues to stand accused of supporting Somali Islamist insurgents who are alleged to have links with Al-Qaeda. Last September, the UN’s Security Council instigated sanctions against Eritrea. Those sanctions include an arms embargo, a freeze on bank assets and travel bans on political and military leaders of the country. The US government has labeled Eritrea “a threat to the international peace.” Eritrea strongly denies accusations of supporting Somali insurgents.

But according to Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin, the sanctions have not prevented Eritrea from continuing to destabilize Somalia.

“Despite the sanctions, Eritrea is still the principal architect of the complicated situation in Somalia by training, arming and nurturing the extremist elements such as Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam who are causing havoc in the country today,” Mesfin said in his address before the UN’s General Assembly on Wednesday.

“The time, therefore, is long overdue for the Security Council to take resolute action and see to it that its decisions are complied with if we are to maintain the integrity of the decisions of our organizations,” Mesfin added.

Two days ago during the 65th meeting of the UN’s General Assembly, Eritrea accused Ethiopia of failing to comply with the ruling of an international commission that demarcated the borders between the two countries after their 1998-2000 war.

Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh accused the UN continuing to ignore the situation in borderlands.

“Ethiopia’s illegal occupation and the United Nations silence, which means the continuation of the conflict, is exacting a heavy price on the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia and complicating the regional situation,” he said.


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