Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ethiopia's PM says Eritrea girding for new war

Ethiopia on Tuesday accused rival Eritrea of deliberately ratcheting up tension for a second border war as Eritrean officials refused to meet UN envoys trying to ease the deteriorating situation.

In a speech to parliament, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Eritrea was attempting to provoke a new conflict but stressed Addis Ababa would take deterrent measures to dissuade Asmara from resorting to a new war.

"The Eritrean government is making efforts to worsen the situation around the border," he told lawmakers. "If the Eritrean government believes that it can ensure victory there is no doubt it will do what it can to wage a war."

"The only alternative is to show the Eritrean government they will not win anything if a war is started," Meles said.

"In this respect, we have to show that there is proportional force and until a lasting peace has been secured this will continue," he said, confirming that Ethiopia would pull back troops from the border in line with UN Security Council demands.

Full report (AFP/ST) Dec 13, 2005.


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