From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Mar 01 2009 - 07:46:59 EST
Opposition urges South Africa to abrogate military deal with Ethiopia
Sunday 1 March 2009 03:11.
February 28, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) - An Ethiopian opposition party slammed
the signing of defense agreement between South Africa and Ethiopia
urging Pretoria to abrogate it without delay.
South Africa and Ethiopia agreed on February 13 to strengthen military
cooperation including the exchange and training of military personnel,
instructors and observers and promoting technical co-operation.
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party (EPRP), a social democratic
political organization, condemned in a statement released Friday the
military pact adding it "is counter to the basic interest of the
Ethiopian people and to the search for peace in the region as a whole."
The Ethiopian defense minister Siraj Fergesa said the deal was motivated
by the commitment of the two countries to support peace efforts in the
continent under the auspice if the African Union.
However the opposition party who denounced the "repressive" nature of
the Ethiopian government said the AU peacekeeping mission has not up to
now "served the interest of the African peoples."
The EPRP also called on South Africa to stop any cooperation with the
Ethiopian government and appealed to the "democratic forces in South
Africa to support the struggle of the Ethiopian people" and to show
their opposition to the deal.
Ethiopia and South Africa are taking part in the hybrid peacekeeping
mission in Darfur. South Africa participates since 2004 when the African
Union dispatched some 7000 troops there and Ethiopia started since last
year with two battalions.
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