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US says support of Somali militants hinders improvement of relations with Eritrea

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June 9, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The Obama administration accused Eritrea of providing arms to the Somali insurgents saying this would not help to improve relations with Washington.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson told Reuters that Eritrea was stoking hostilities in Somalia, where Islamist militants are fighting a UN backed government led by President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

"The role that Eritrea has played most recently has not been particularly helpful in helping to bring about a return to political stability and normalcy there (Somalia)," Carson said.

Hassan Dahir Aweys, an insurgent leader who returned to Mogadishu recently from Asmara where he was established, admitted last month that Eritrea supported them in their fight to topple the Somali government.

The Africa Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on Friday May 22 called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to sanction Eritrea for supporting Somali Islamist insurgents.

"We would like very much to have good, normal relations with the government or Eritrea but that is predicated upon Eritrea acting as a responsible citizen in the neighborhood," Carson said.

"If Eritrea is prepared to be a responsible player in the region and to act responsibly in its governance, then the prospects are good for a better relationship," he said.

In a letter of congratulation sent to President Barak Obama after his election last November, The Eritrean President Eritrean Isaias Afeworki voiced hope that new US president- would change his country’s policy in the Horn of Africa, a region blighted by conflicts.

Carson statements are the first encouraging sign from Obama administration to Asmara saying that bilateral relations could be improved if it stops its support to the Somali insurgency.

Eritrea repeatedly denied its responsibility despite the regional and international accusations of its direct support to the Somali Islamist.

(ST)

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  • 15 June 2009 15:40, by Arochthon

    It is a right time for agitation.

    I can’t believe it whether the Eritrean’s president would allow his people to seek for political asylum in Sudan!
    Mr. president, this is your right time to sovle the Eritrean internal issues rather than to stoodup and speak against other leaders, if it is a matter of period of independence, you got your freedom yesterday, and at that time, I think there were a lot of political subotage from the opposition parties as they do to SPLM currently but no any foriegn leader including SPLM who spoke rubbish against you.

    The war against corruption has never been overcome in any one of the Afrian countries but it could not really be compared to the one we have in the government of South Sudan, nor do the government of south Sudan telorate corruption to be as an option for survival in the Sudan.

    I want you to start preaching peace, fighting corrution as well as to tribalism within you rather than to South Sudan goverment, look at the big log you are living in your eye and you are talking of small peck in the Kiir’s eye.

    Arocthon.

    repondre message

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