[dehai-news] (SMN) Ethiopia denies re-entering Somalia

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Tue Feb 03 2009 - 09:27:02 EST

Ethiopia denies re-entering Somalia

Posted: 2/3/2009 2:43:00 PM

Shabelle: SOMALIA

ADDIS ABABA(Sh. M. Network)-Ethiopia denied Tuesday that its troops had
re-entered Somalia to counter the Islamist group al-Shabaab.
"This is absolutely false. The army is within the Ethiopian border.
There is no intention to go back," minister and chief government
spokesman Bereket Simon told Reuters.
He described the version of an Ethiopian incursion, given by locals in
the area, as a "wicked" attempt to detract from positive developments in
Addis Ababa has said it is keeping a heavy troop presence on the border
in case of threats to its security.
An official for the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), the movement of
newly-elected Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, said some
Ethiopian troops had crossed from the border town of Ferfer to the
village of Kalaber about 20 kilometers north of Beledweye.
Local residents said that Ethiopian forces had set up a checkpoint in
Kalaber village and were checking trucks using the long road that
connects the capital and the central regions of Somalia.
Ahmed Abrone Amin, a former parliamentarian called for the AU and the UN
to condemn the return of Ethiopian troops.
Ethiopian troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia in January,
more than two years after invading to remove the ICU, which had taken
control of large parts of the country.
Ethiopia propped up a weak transitional government and forced Sheikh
Sharif into exile, but after two years of bloodshed in Somalia, more
radical Islamist groups have gained influence.
Sheikh Sharif was elected Somalia's new president in Djibouti on
Saturday and his erstwhile foe, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi,
described his victory as a positive step towards restoring peace in Som

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