From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Nov 05 2008 - 06:51:56 EST
Somalia peace bid will fail: Ethiopia Wed, 05 Nov 2008 06:55
NAIROBI - Eritrea said yesterday that regional and United Nations (UN) efforts to restore stability in Somalia are doomed to fail and urged foreigners to let Somalis resolve their problems.
Eritrea's government stressed "the solution to the problems in Somalia can only be ensured through the determination, choice, and participation of the entire people of Somalia," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Asmara is "also certain that the conspiracies that are being weaved by Washington, with the servitude of the regime in Ethiopia, and facilitation of Igad, is doomed to fail," the statement said.
Last week, an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) summit urged fueding Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein to reconcile and form a new government in a bid to end nearly two decades of bloodletting.
Eritrea also rubbished recent deals reached between the Somali transitional government and its main Islamist-dominated political opposition group to end fighting and pave the way for Ethiopian troops to pull out of the country.
The deals, reached on October 26 at UN-mediated talks in Djibouti, violate "the territorial integrity of Somalia," and are "dangerous and conspiratorial engagements."
Ethiopian troops entered Somalia in late 2006 and helped oust Islamist militants who had taken control of much of the country.
Since then, the insurgents have waged a guerrilla war, saying they would only meet the government for peace talks after Ethiopian troops pull out of the country.
The UN and US have accused Eritrea of aiding Somali rebels, a claim rejected by Asmara.
Somalia has lacked an effective government since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre touched off a bloody power struggle that has defied numerous attempts to restore stability.
Founded in 1986, Igad has six active members: Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
Eritrea's membership was suspended in 2007 and has rejected several invitations to rejoin the group.
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