HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ethiopia says killed 13 rebels crossing from Somalia

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia said on Friday its army had killed 13 rebels and caught other commanders of an eastern separatist movement after they crossed from Somalia.

Separately, Kenya announced the capture of 45 members of a another Ethiopian rebel group operating in the south, while an Ethiopian general who defected to Eritrea was quoted as saying he plans to take up arms against Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The captured members of the eastern Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) -- a movement of ethnic Somalis fighting for independence -- confessed they were armed and trained both by Eritrea and Somali Islamists, a regional official said.

"They were sent into Ethiopia to create insecurity," Abdu Ahmed Arab, deputy head of security and justice for Ethiopia's Somali region, told reporters.

"The Armed Forces killed 13 and captured many other top officials of the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front, in an operation launched at eradicating rebel groups who cross into the country from neighboring Somalia."

He gave no figures for possible Ethiopian casualties during Wednesday's clash in the remote and arid region.

Addis Ababa's long-time foe, Eritrea, denies it supports rebel groups in Ethiopia, saying that accusation is an excuse for internal repression by Meles' government.

Somalia's Islamists, who came to the fore in June when they took Mogadishu and other southern towns including one near the Ethiopian border, have also denied backing Ethiopian rebels.


In north Kenya, authorities said they caught at least 45 members or sympathizers of another small Ethiopian group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), operating on the border.

Vincent Okioma, district commissioner for the northern Kenyan region of Moyale, said the suspects were rounded up in the last five days in joint Kenyan-Ethiopian operations on both sides of the border.

"Security patrols will last for the next two months to search for and repatriate OLF rebels, and make Kenya a safer environment," Okioma added to Reuters.

A dissident Ethiopian general who defected this week to neighboring Eritrea, along with scores of soldiers, was quoted on Friday as saying that he would be joining the OLF to fight for his Oromo people's rights.

"Our first hope was to bring about a change in Ethiopia to bring about peace and for the peoples to live in equality, including the Oromo people," Brigadier General Kemal Gelchu told the BBC from Asmara, explaining his defection.

"But the last year's experience is war, not peace. Our hopes were dashed and that's why we went out," he said, referring to accusations of internal repression and killings in Ethiopia.

"The language they (the Ethiopian government) understand is force and we're going to challenge them by force."

Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org