Home | News    Friday 16 March 2012

Ethiopian Army attacks alleged rebel bases in Eritrea

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 15, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopian forces on Thursday carried out cross-border attacks against rebel bases inside neighbouring Eritrea.

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Ethiopia troops (AP)

This is army’s first official military action launched inside Eritrean territory since the two rivals ended the devastating 1998-2000 war.

The attacks come after Eritrea-based Ethiopian Afar rebels ambushed an international group of tourists in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia in January.

Ethiopia claimed the rebels were operating on the behest of Eritrea.

Assailants killed five tourists of German, Hungarian and Austrian nationals. The gunmen kidnapped two Germans and two Ethiopians, who were released in March, three weeks after being abducted.

The the UN estimates that as of March 2000, over 370,000 Eritreans and 350,000 Ethiopians had been affected by the war.

The Ethiopia government spokesman, Shimeles Kemal, speaking at a news conference today said the military operation was aimed to cripple Eritrea’s continued attempts to destabilise Ethiopia through the use of mercenaries.

However, Kemal stressed that the attack does not "constitute a direct military confrontation between armies."

Ethiopia’s defence spokesperson, Gebrekidan Gebremariam, told reporters that their forces have destroyed three bases; Ramid, Gelahbe and Gimbi, where, he claimed, Eritrea trains subversive forces.

The military official vowed that the army would continue with similar military action until the “Eritrean-backed’ subversive activities are stopped.

The Ethiopian officials said details of attack will be made public soon.

Addis Ababa routinely accuses the regime in Asmara of arming and training rebels to destabilise Ethiopia, an allegation the red sea nation denies.

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. With their border dispute not yet resolved the countries remain at loggerheads.

Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) claims it is struggling against political marginalization by Addis Ababa and to the unity of the Afar peoples in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

In 2007, ARDUF kidnapped five Europeans and eight Ethiopians from same Afar region and took them to Eritrean territory where they hold them hostage before releasing them weeks later.

A leaked diplomatic cable from the UK embassy in Asmara, on the 2007 abduction indicated that the UK representatives believed that Eritrea was not colluding with ARDUF.

(ST)

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  • 16 March 2012 06:14, by viper

    Ethiopia should not bully Eritrea. They should try to respect the international boundary and the sovereignity of the country they are attacking. That attack inside Eritrea is not going to stop that war at all instead it is inviting Eritrea to involve more than before

    repondre message

    • 16 March 2012 07:20, by Robot

      Eritrea is full of mercenaries and militias, i am bothered by their stay here in Juba.

      repondre message

    • 16 March 2012 07:26, by Asmera

      Dear Viper,

      It is well known that the Eritrean regime is trying to subvert the whole region above its capacity. This regime is highly supported by some Arab countries- mainly Iran and Qatar who are interested in our problems in East Africa. The Eritrean government should have to realize its military and human capacity before starting to destabilize especially Ethiopia. Our Country Ethiopia has fu

      repondre message

      • 16 March 2012 07:28, by Asmera

        "...... . Our Country Ethiopia has full capacity to destroy the military involvement of Asmara regime as well know from year 2000 war. They should thank Meles who saved their regime from overthrown. "

        repondre message

        • 16 March 2012 07:54, by Robot

          Anyone supporting Eritrea is enemy of the South, we know how they are supporting Arab, that is why Afewerki didn’t recognize our independence, our govt should keep close eye on Eritreans and Somalis here in Juba.

          repondre message

        • 16 March 2012 09:53, by viper

          Asmera, you are right by the way, but that cannot allow Ethiopia to attack Eritrea as ruthlessly as it has done. What is the aim of that attack now? Do you want to change the regime or creating an insecurity in the region? Ethiopia was not suppose to attack, it was suppose to ask the U.N .S.C to condemn Eritrea for training the rebels of Ethiopia. We are in the 21st century friend. Borders should

          repondre message

          • 16 March 2012 10:03, by viper

            Borders should be respected so that we allen joy peace on this world, but if we fail to do so, then the world will be a difficult place to live in it. It wil only be enjoyed by those who are more powerful without the weak. Respecting each other,s border can help in promoting peace in the world and this is what we want Asmera

            repondre message

  • 16 March 2012 08:41, by Asmera

    Hi Robot,

    You are absolutely right
    The hidden agenda of Arabs is behind Afeworki. He was highly committed to be a member state of Arab league; unfortunately they changed the strategy to use Eritrea as instrument to attack East Africa. The Government of South Sudan should have seriously watch out the activity of Eritreans and Somalis in South Sudan. One day the situation will be irreversible. Take

    repondre message

  • 16 March 2012 08:43, by Abyei Soil

    It’s not wise to acts arrogantly to your neighbour. Solving issues affecting neighbourhood is better. They calls Ethiopia one of the countries in horn of Africa, is that the reason why they wanna grow horns?

    repondre message

    • 16 March 2012 08:55, by Robot

      Asmera,
      Arabs interest in Eritrea and East Africa as a whole is understood by few, ’The Osama Bin Laden Conquest of East Africa’ is a strategy still being pursued by his proxies.... by the way we are the generation to face and we will sensitize people bit by bit. we can’t educate the whole mass in this domain. thanks Asmera.

      repondre message

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