Ethiopia: Let's Invade Somalia and Fight Islamic Radicals

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July 2, 2006: The Ethiopian government insists that it has not sent troops into Somalia. News reports claim that Ethiopia had troops inside Somalia near the town of Baidoa (where Somalia's Transitional Government is currently located). Despite Ethiopia's denials, the sheer number of reports indicate otherwise. Ethiopian troops were reported near the town of Berdale (between Baidoa and the Ethiopia-Somalia border). Ethiopia does back the Transitional Government . In a showdown between the Transitional Government and resurgent Islamist faction now controlling Mogadishu, the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), it's a good bet Ethiopia would act against the Muslim radicals.

July 2, 2006: Eritrea refused to participate in a scheduled meeting of the International Boundary Commission.

June 30, 3006: Ethiopia said that, during June, its force had killed 111 rebels who had tried to enter Ethiopia on behalf of Eritrea. The government also claimed it have captured 107 rebels. The government claims were not substantiated by other sources.

July 29, 2006: The Ethiopian government claimed the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in Somalia is being supported by Ethiopia's archrival, Eritrea. An Ethiopian spokesman also warned the ICU to stay inside Somalia. The spokesman said a "redline" exists and said that the ICU must not cross the border into Ethiopia. Ethiopia claims the terror group Al-Itahid has set off bombs in Ethiopia, and that Al-Itahid has ties to the ICU.

Also on July 29, Eritrea released one UN staff member it had detained earlier this year. Eritrea has been harassing UNMEE (UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea) workers. Nine UN workers (most of them a native Eritrean) remain in Eritrean custody.

June 28, 2006: The Ethiopian government said that the leadership of the Somali Islamic Courts Union ( ICU) was a "threat" to Ethiopia.

June 20, 2006: The Eritrean government condemned new US diplomatic efforts intended to resolve the Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute. Eritrea referred to the US initiative as a "scheme." Eritrea seems to believe the US is attempting to re-start talks which will ultimately favor Ethiopia. Ethiopia agreed to accept the boundary commissions decision, then rejected parts of the decision which gave Eritrea the region around the border town of Badme.

June 17, 2006: Ethiopia denied press reports that it had sent troops into Somalia. The government said that it had "massed" military units near the border in order to "monitor" events inside Somalia. An ICU spokesman claimed that 300 Ethiopian troops were in the border town of Dolow (Ethiopia-Somalia border).

 

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