[dehai-news] (Africasia) Uganda strongly denies wanting to withdraw Somali force


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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 08:50:52 EST


11/12/2008 08:52 KAMPALA, Dec 11 (AFP) Uganda denies wanting to withdraw
Somali force

Uganda on Thursday strongly denied comments by Ethiopian Prime Minister
Meles Zenawi that it wanted to pull its peacekeeping forces out of Somalia.

"This is absolutely not true and this is contrary to eveything we have said.
Our position has always been that if Ethiopia pulls out of Somalia, we will
increase our presence there," Uganda's deputy foreign minister Okello Oryem
told AFP.

Oryem said he was "surprised" by Meles' statement to the Ethiopian
parliament earlier Thursday in which he said Uganda and Burundi wanted to
withdrawl their forces as soon as possible, even before an Ethiopian pullout
scheduled for early next month.

"Uganda is prepared to increase its battalion if there is a need," added
Oryem.

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