Swedish journalists 'wanted to train Ethiopian rebels'
1 November 2011 Last updated at 14:32
Ethiopia's police chief has told the terrorism trial of two Swedish
journalists that they entered the country to support rebels.
Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye were arrested in July after they were
caught with fighters from an Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges, but have admitted entering the
country illegally from Somalia.
Police inspector Mohamed Ahmed said the two intended to train ONLF rebels.
When asked after the hearing about the police chief's testimony and whether
they supported the ONLF, the Swedes laughed, shook their heads and said no,
the Associated Press news agency reports.
The Swedish pair wore suits and ties with rubber sandals at the hearing,
looking more exhausted than on their last court appearance on 20 October,
the AFP news agency says.
Since the 1970s, rebels in Ethiopia's Somali Region - more commonly known as
the Ogaden - have been fighting for the Somali-speaking Ethiopians who they
say have been marginalised by the government in Addis Ababa.
One ONLF faction signed a peace deal with the government last year, but
another splinter group has continued to fight the army.
Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the government of widespread
atrocities in the Ogaden, where journalists need permission to travel.
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Received on Wed Nov 02 2011 - 15:56:40 EDT