19 May 2007 04:18

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  • Title: [SW News]Nairobi (UN IRIN) HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs
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  • Date:  [Friday, June 02, 2000 5:17 PM EST ]

 

HORN OF AFRICA: IRIN News Briefs

Story Filed: Friday, June 02, 2000 5:17 PM EST

Nairobi (UN Integrated Regional Information Network, June 2, 2000) - ETHIOPIA-ERITREA: Meles says for Ethiopia the war is over - Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Wednesday that Ethiopia had achieved its objective of liberating all the lands occupied by Eritrea, Ethiopian radio reported.

"Therefore, as far as Ethiopia is concerned, the war is over and the need now is to make efforts to establish peace," Meles said.

Ethiopia was now ready for direct talks with Eritrea for the sake of a lasting peace. The order issued to the army to withdraw from the western front was still holding, while the objective of the army on the eastern front was to protect and consolidate positions in the liberated areas. He said the army would remain in areas under its control on the central front near Zala Anbesa "until such time when we receive a guarantee from the international community that there would be no attack from the Eritrean army on this front". As soon as this guarantee was secured, Ethiopia would withdraw its forces to positions before the invasion, Meles said. "In the meantime, our army has been given instructions that if there are any provocations on the part of the Eritrean army, it should feel free to deal with them."

ETHIOPIA-ERITREA: Eritrea says no ceasefire until Ethiopia withdraws

Eritrea, for its part, said the war would go on until Ethiopia had withdrawn all its forces from Eritrean territory. "How can they say the war is over? It is impossible to have a ceasefire before Ethiopia has left all occupied Eritrean territory," Presidential spokesman Yemane Gebremeskel told journalists. An Eritrean foreign ministry statement on Wednesday said the tide of the war had begun to change in its favour. It said that Ethiopia had lost most of its elite divisions in last week's battle on the Senafe front and had begun to retreat. It said Ethiopian troops continued to occupy areas of western Eritrea, despite its assertion that it had withdrawn.

ETHIOPIA-ERITREA: Proximity talks continue in Algiers

Meanwhile, the proximity talks in Algiers went into a third day since their resumption on Tuesday, with no sign of any breakthrough, journalists reported. The talks are being conducted by the Ethiopian and Eritrean foreign ministers, Seyoum Mesfin and Haile Woldensae, through an international team of intermediaries. On Wednesday Seyoum said he had asked the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to adapt its peace plan - previously accepted by both sides - to meet the realities on the ground in the wake of Ethiopia's successes on the battlefield. An Algerian diplomat told journalists on Thursday that Eritrea was seeking guarantees that Ethiopia had withdrawn from its territory. Ahmed Ouyahia, special envoy to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the current OAU Chairman, said on Thursday that Ethiopia's declaration of a cessation of hostilities was a big step towards resolving the conflict. "The fact that Ethiopia has stopped fighting will help put together the best conditions for a successful completion of the proximity talks," he said.

ETHIOPIA-ERITREA: Ethiopian attacks "may break international law"

A senior US official said on Wednesday that Ethiopian attacks on Eritrean ports and airports could be a violation of international law, because they obstructed relief supplies for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by war. Hugh Parmer, assistant administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), told a press conference in Washington that he was appealing to Ethiopia to comply with the requirements of international law. "You have civilians displaced and without resources. When you cut off the capability of getting supplies to those civilians, then in my judgement... you are in violation of international law and the rules of war," he said, Reuters reported. USAID chief Brady Anderson told the press conference that the United States would continue to provide assistance to the Horn of Africa, despite the difficulties caused by the war. The United States was sending $11.4 million in additional emergency drought assistance to the region. This included $2.8 million for food and shelter in Eritrea, $1.9 million for Ethiopia, $2 million for Kenya and $4.4 million for Somalia, Anderson said.

ETHIOPIA: OLF says it blew up train carrying war materiel

A press release by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) said on Tuesday that it had blown up a train transporting military supplies from Djibouti to Addis Ababa. It said it carried out the attack at midnight on 27 May near the town of Dire Dawa in Harberge province, some 400 km east of Addis Ababa. The statement said the locomotive was put out of action and all the materiel destroyed. It said the Ethiopian government had turned down all attempts to find a political solution to the conflicts in the country; consequently the OLF had the legitimate right to continue its struggle in all forms. It accused the government of using Oromo conscripts as "mine sweepers and cannon fodder" in the war with Eritrea, as part of a clear genocide against the Oromo people.

SOMALIA: Mogadishu hospital reopens after ICRC refurbishment

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that Medina hospital in south Mogadishu, once the largest in Somalia, reopened on 28 May after standing idle for eight years. The reopening followed repairs to the buildings by the ICRC, which was now supporting a 55-bed surgical ward for war- wounded. The hospital was being run by the local community, with administrators appointed by community leaders, who were also responsible for maintaining security around the buildings. Some of the medical staff had been trained at the Keysane hospital in north Mogadishu, which was set up in the wake of heavy factional fighting in 1992 and was currently being run by the Somali Red Crescent Society with the support of the ICRC.

Africa News Online.

Copyright 2000 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed via

 

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