Home | News    Thursday 5 August 2004

Ethiopian army fights rebel group in west: report

ADDIS ABABA, Aug 04, 2004 (Ethiop) — The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government has started fighting in Akobo, Gambela region, western Ethiopia bordering Sudan.

It was established that the fighting, which is carried out with heavy artillery, is against the forces of the opposition Patriotic Front. Some military officers have also acknowledged that their forces are engaged in fighting in Gonder, northwestern Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Patriotic Front and the Ethiopian Patriotic United Front have issued statements respectively.

The EPRDF government, which started the recent fighting at Akobo after the Gambela Regional State, issued a statement on 27 July that urges the Sudanese Nuer Luo tribe to pull out from Ethiopian territory.

Although the government accuses the Sudanese Nuer tribe of illegally staying in Ethiopian territory, the truth of the matter is that for the past four years, Akobo and its environs had been under the full control the Ethiopian Patriotic United Front.

It was revealed that this front is led by Mr Tuwat Paul an ex-Dergue official.

The EPRDF government started the fighting to liberate Akobo from the opposition group. According to some military sources, the government has found it difficult to move forward due to the muddy situation of the area, while the opposition have managed to move forward and capture additional neighbourhoods in the area.

The original text of this paper is translated from Amharic to English by the BBC monitoring service