Home | News    Thursday 19 April 2012

Ethiopia accuses arch-rival Eritrea of mass civilian kidnappings


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 17, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia on Tuesday brought fresh allegations against neighbouring Eritrea accusing the Red Sea nation of carrying out mass kidnappings against Ethiopian civilians along their shared border.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zeinawi (AP)

Speaking to parliament, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the government in Asmara has recently abducted over 100 Ethiopian Gold miners from the Northern Tigrai region.

Zenawi, who recalled the recent “Eritrea orchestrated” deadly cross-border attack against western tourists, accused the Eritrean government of continuing the acts of aggression.

In mid-January, gunmen, apparently members of the Eritrea-based Afar separatists group (ARDUF) attacked a group of western tourists in Ethiopia’s remote Afar region and killed five 5 nationals from Germany, Hungary and Austria.

The gunmen also kidnapped two Germans and two Ethiopians. A few weeks later the Afar rebels released the two Germans but declined to comment on the fate of the remaining two Ethiopians.

Ethiopia accused Eritrea of being behind the attack. Addis Ababa also claims Asmara is harbouring the Afar separatists who Ethiopia blames for a number of cross border attacks.

Later in March the Ethiopian military attacked rebel targets inside Eritrea; its first military incursion since the two countries ended the 1998-2000 war over their disputed border.

Following Ethiopia’s military strike, Eritrea immediately accused the US of being involved and appealed on the United Nation Security Council for intervention.

The Ethiopian premier told MPs that the country’s army has taken proportional military measures on both fronts to defend Eritrea-backed attacks, without giving details.

Zenawi said his country has given Eritrea many peace options which they refuse to accept. He said the sanctions imposed against Eritrea by the African Union, United Nations and IGAD are testament to Ethiopia’s diplomatic efforts.

He vowed his country would continue to carry out “proportional” military measures until Eritrea stops its acts of aggression and its destabilising strategy.

But Eritrea denied Zenawai’s allegations on abductions.

“It has become the modus operandi of Ethiopia to blame everything on Eritrea,” Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s ambassador to the African Union, told Bloomberg in an interview today.

“They think by lying and lying the lies may be perceived to be true” Asmerom said.

During the session, Zenawi has also responded to a number of queries raised by lawmakers on national issues including, inflation, unemployment, threats of extremism and good governance.

In regards to Somalia, Zenawi said Ethiopian troops will in the near future withdraw from the towns they control completely handing over Al Shabab-freed-towns to Djibouti, Ugandan and Burundi AU peacekeeping forces. However, he declined to mention a time frame.


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 19 April 2012 13:09, by Lango2010

    Dear President the bloody of 1998-2000 should not repeat it self. Eritrea is in trying provoke you but don’t do the same deal with them diplomatically and the world will help you.
    show responsive to manner in the horn of Africa please because you are part of the God chosen Nation.

    repondre message

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