19 May 2007 04:16

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  • [SW Country] ( UN - New York) Response of Ethiopia’s Representative to the U.N. On Accusations of Ethiopian Invasion of Somalia  :Posted on 24 May 2002

Extracts from letters by Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the U.N. Dr. Abdulmejid Hussein   to the Secretary General and the President of the Security Council  

Posted May 22, 2002

Let me say from the outset, that Ethiopia vehemently rejects the fabrications and the lies of an Ethiopian "invasion" of some parts of south-western Somalia.  The irresponsible allegations are only a continuation of the usual diatribe of a small group who are not even in control of most of their country's capital, but who have made a habit of using Ethiopia as a scapegoat whenever they become desperate.  Ethiopia will not grace their accusations with a reply to each of their lies.  Suffice it to say that what happened in the Gedo region, was a fight between a group heavily armed by the "TNG" and a local supporters of the Somali Reconstruction and Restoration Council.  There was no Ethiopian involvement whatsoever. 

Ethiopia has no problems with the vast majority of the people of Somalia. Ethiopia has been the only country which consistently allowed Somalia nationals to enter its territory un-hindered.  Hundreds of thousands still live in Ethiopia. We wish them well as we have done so for over the last 11 years.  We want them to have a peaceful and stable country.  This is in our interests and also of those of the Horn of Africa.  The small group around the "TNG" want the old enmity between Ethiopia and Somalia to resurrected.   Their leaders were only last month berating Ethiopia as an 'infidel' country against whom a 'jihad' should be waged.  Also months before these latest outburst, various elements of the "TNG" have been busy trying to subvert the stable areas of Somalia.  In addition, they have been busy in amassing arms received  by air and sea from certain known countries.   The intention was to seize by force all the areas which hitherto have eluded their control.  Notwithstanding this, North-west Somalia or Somaliland remains peaceful and stable.  Puntland, remains to be calm as well.   Other parts of Somalia, except where the hands of the "TNG" are found, are also relatively tranquil. All these areas which constitute more than 98% of Somalia have no problems  with Ethiopia and vice versa. 

The "TNG" 's difficulties with Ethiopia arises for two main reasons.  Firstly, we have been consistently insisting that the Somalia national reconciliation process has to continue with a view to forming a broad-based and all inclusive government.  This was also the position adopted by IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) at its meeting on the 14th February 2002 in Nairobi.  This means that those who did not take part at the Arta (Djibouti) Conference have to be on board.  This has obviously become difficult for the "TNG" to accept. Thus, the attempt at blackmailing Ethiopia. It is in this light that the latest accusation to the United Nations by the "TNG" against Ethiopia should be viewed. Ethiopia simply cannot flatter the "TNG" by proclaiming that a legitimate and an all-inclusive government has already been established in Somalia. Ethiopia cannot be shamed into doing this through blackmail.  Secondly, we have been pointing to elements allied to and within the "TNG" who are members of extremist groups whose influence and presence do not bode well for regional stability and the fight against terrorism.

  The outbursts by the "Foreign Minister" of the  "TNG" is a desperate manifestation using the fiction of an Ethiopian "invasion" as scapegoat to announce its un-willingness to face the realities of the impending Somalia peace process in Nairobi, Kenya.  Ethiopia will not be deterred by the un-wise mutterings of the "TNG" and continues to positively support the IGAD initiative under the leadership of Kenya.  It is Ethiopia's hope that the "TNG" and those who support them abandon their illusion that peace in Somalia will be achieved outside the framework of a negotiated settlement in which all parties to the conflict take part.    

  Dr. Abdulmejid Hussein Ambassador Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations

May 21, 2002

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 Somalia insists Ethiopia has invaded and denies that it

fabricated the incursion to avoid a peace conference

 
Wed May 22, 9:59 PM ET

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS - Somalia insisted that Ethiopia had invaded its territory and said "there is not an iota of truth" to Ethiopian claims that it fabricated the incursion to avoid taking part in an upcoming peace conference.

Somalia's government has been promoting national reconciliation with opposition groups and plans to attend the next peace conference sponsored by Kenya, Somalia's U.N. Ambassador Ahmed Abdi Hashi said on Wednesday.

Last week, Kenyan Foreign Minister Marsden Madoka said his country hoped to be able to host a Somali peace conference by July.

"What Ethiopia is gunning for is to destabilize the transitional national government and create in Somalia puppet governments — some lands that it can rule over," he said. "At the same time, Ethiopia doesn't want the reemergence of a strong, viable and vibrant Somali state."

Ethiopia on Tuesday vehemently denied Somalia's claim that its troops had invaded southern Somalia.

Ethiopia's U.N. Ambassador Abdul Mejid Hussein said fighting in the southern Gedo region was between a group heavily armed by Somalia's transitional government and local supporters of the Somali Reconstruction and Restoration Council. The council is a loose alliance of faction leaders backed by Ethiopia.

Somalia's allegations are "a desperate manifestation using the fiction of an Ethiopian 'invasion' as scapegoat to announce its unwillingness to face the realities of the impending Somalia peace process in Nairobi, Kenya," Mejid Hussein said.

"We are willing to attend the Nairobi conference," countered Somalia's Abdi Hashi. "Somalia has attended all Kenya-sponsored earlier conferences, which Ethiopia refused to attend."

Somalia had appealed to the U.N. Security Council on Friday to impose sanctions on Ethiopia, claiming its troops have invaded on several occasions since mid-April, forcing at least two waves of Somali refugees to flee into Kenya.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 and clan-based fighting has turned the nation of 7 million into fiefdoms ruled by heavily armed militias. A transitional government elected in August 2000 has little influence outside Mogadishu, the capital.

Ethiopia, which is predominantly Christian, and Somalia, which is predominantly Muslim, have fought two wars since the mid-1970s over Ethiopia's southeastern Ogaden region, home to thousands of ethnic Somalis.


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