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Ethiopia PM accuses Eritrea of kidnappings

* Meles says Addis Ababa has taken unnamed measures * Claims come a month after Ethiopia raids inside Eritrea * Asmara denies links By Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA, April 17 (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi accused Eritrea

* Meles says Addis Ababa has taken unnamed measures

* Claims come a month after Ethiopia raids inside Eritrea

* Asmara denies links

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, April 17 (Reuters) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi accused Eritrea on Tuesday of abducting dozens of Ethiopian miners from the country’s northwest, in a potential escalation of tension between the arch-enemies.

Ethiopian troops crossed into the Red Sea state last month and attacked what they said were military bases used by rebels to stage raids, including a January attack that killed five Western tourists in Ethiopia’s remote Afar region.

These attacks were the first on Eritrean soil that Ethiopia has admitted to since the end of a devastating 1998-2000 border war, sparking concern that their unresolved frontier spat could escalate into a full-scale war.

“They (Eritrean government) recently kidnapped more than 100 young miners who were mining gold in our country’s northwest. And in the northeast, they killed some tourists and kidnapped others,” Meles said, the latter referring to the January raid.

“We have taken proportional measures in both locations,” he told lawmakers in response to a question on relations with Eritrea.

Meles did not specify when and exactly where the abductions in the country’s northwest Tigray region took place, nor the measures his country had subsequently taken.

Eritrean officials were not immediately available for comment, but they often dismiss their rivals’ allegations as a ploy to harm Eritrea’s reputation.

Ethiopia routinely accuses Asmara of supporting Ethiopian separatist groups. It blamed an Afar rebel movement for the kidnapping of Westerners in its northern Afar region in 2007, and again for the attack in the same area earlier this year.

Gunmen killed two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian in a dawn attack on a group of tourists in the remote Afar region on January 17, and seized two Germans and two Ethiopians.

A rebel group in the Afar region said in February it had freed the two Germans, although there has been no official confirmation of the release.

After the border war, the Hague-based Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruled that the flashpoint town of Badme belonged to Eritrea but the village remains in the hands of its neighbour, which is calling for negotiations to implement the ruling.

Asmara blames the international community for the impasse, and President Isaias Afewerki last month accused the United States of plotting the Ethiopian raids.

Ethiopia is Washington’s biggest ally in the Horn of Africa region and has deployed troops in lawless Somalia to fight al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Somalia.

“The military incursions were plotted by Washington with the aim of diverting attention from implementing the boundary commission’s decision,” Isaias said in an interview with state television. (Editing by Yara Bayoumy)

Review overview
  • Dawit April 18, 2012

    Meles is building a case to Attack “issayas Anjal”.

  • sara April 18, 2012

    I wonder why some eritreans have the habit of glorifying their once upon a time colonizers..
    remember there are still some who are nostalgic to the days of ITALIAN… BRITISH… days
    and this time ethiopians… why is this? we need those who are on the know to do research
    on this….
    As for the weasel woyane, claim that eritrea did this … that etc, and you call it building a case on lies… to attack… issayas/eritrea, maybe you are right.

    • Kokhob Selam April 18, 2012

      why are you putting two different cases together? do you think we have government now in Eritrea? try this, if we have a government who is chosen by people and that works for people and follows a kind of system and rule and follow also the international rule will Ethiopians try a single day to fight with us? do you think in this twenty years of the so call freedom years still people will suffer?

      we wish at least PFDJ listen this time and come down and handover to people peacefully. otherwise the worst is yet to come.

      • ahmed saleh April 18, 2012

        For the last ten yrs either Eritrea may or may not in decline, it is upnt
        to your observation to conclude. Regardless of the outcome the only
        blame goes only to us Eritreans not to Weyane or others. What more
        evidence we need after killings, imprisonments, social injustices and
        worst unspeakable miseries of our youngs. Denial is the problem not
        to envision the result of mishandling the society. Arrogance drive us
        to tend in contradiction against advocates of liberty.

    • April 18, 2012

      You don’t need any reasearch why older Eritreans have nostalgia to the old days, as bad as Mengistu was Isayas is worst. Mengistu kept the youth in cities not in Sawa. Mengistu tried to make sure cities were well stocked of basic necessities sometimes even ahead of Addis Ababa ,this was all to win the hearts and minds of Eritreans, now basic goods are so scarce even in Asmera. Eritreans feel so humiliated by Isayas I think they see Meles as the enemy of my enemy is my freind. Melese can take out Isayas anytime, but probably he is worried to whom to give power in the aftermath. He doesn’t want another Somalia next door but this is when the oppositions must come in. It will be a very bitter taste for many Eritreans to see Eathiopian troops in thier soil again, but slavery under Isayas is even worse. There is no good option left for Eritrea.

  • ahmed saleh April 18, 2012

    Meles has the upper hand at this momentum. It is the truth lets face it. He have full
    support of USA and western countries including most of African nation. But our rigid
    leader is playing a card from empty to nothing to destroy our people. I am not here
    to support Meles, for me he is outsider concerning my pride of Eritreanism but just
    trying to beware of the ANJAL heinous and destructive approach toward everyone.
    Our last experience under his leadership proved only disaster after disaster full of
    lies and decieving promises.
    May God save our people from destruction.

    • Kokhob Selam April 18, 2012


      This angal leader and his supporters lost everything. Meles is very smart and is playing it right. and now he is putting a case (with proved and supported with crimes done by PFDJ) to crash that nonsense group of ours. the bad thing is our people will pay for it too. instead of waiting Meles to eat PFDJ, we could have done better by removing it ourself. the worst thing of all is we have still PFDJ supporters.

      • ahmed saleh April 18, 2012

        Kokhob Selam
        I saw it early after independence the continuation of his satanic agenda but our poor people were occupied with their self-centered
        philosoghy. All is because of his calculated way of deception. Can you imagine my mother which is old favor him as blessed son. He is very manupalative dangerous person who you couldn’t read his mind. The damage is already done hope for the better. Now it is up to our youth
        to rise up to it’s occassion and let give them a hand on lifting their cause practically in tact.

  • wedi_senita April 18, 2012

    Well, as he said, if 100 Ethiopians were kidnapped and taken hostage by PFDJ, well this thing is brewing into a catastroph. tit-for-tat exchanges can lose its orbit & escalate into something we all don’t want to see/hear. In any case, I hope the pime miniter consider the actions of PFDJ are not that of Eritreans and take a good care of his responses. Sorry guys, I have to be honest PFDJ wont defend anymore, but might sacrify the whole of our nation and flee, should war breaks out.

  • Dawit April 18, 2012

    Issayas “Anjal” was tooo proud to fight when Ethiopia recently attacked Eritrea, not once, but three times. Mr. Anjal , and his die hard supporters are usually characterized as having an inflated ego and disdain for “tigrawots”.

    PFDJ in general and Issayas “Anjal” in particular has long lost contact with reality. “kem kedem yimeslekin Wuhig yuwesdekin Kem zibehal”, PFDJ in the past have oveestimated its competence, capabilities, and military prows, this time around, however, things are not the same if in case Mr. Ajal thinks of sending young Eritreans to defend him.

    Mr Anjal can not purchase weapons thanks to the embargo. He can hardly mobilize troops because Mr. Anjal is unpopular with the Eritrean people. No Eritrean , what so ever, will come to his or his stooges rescue if Ethiopia wages a war against this brutal regime.

    Meles’ previous attacks were such that it helped weyan test the waters. Weyane now knows very well that “issayas Anjal” is so weak in military and diplomacy that PFDJ can not provide a formidable defense against an onslaught by Weyane.

    This is why then Meles started to build a case to wipe out shaebia from the face of the earth. PFDJ, and HGDEFites who have long enjoyed looking down “tigrawots” in particular, and Ethiopians in general will soon swallow their pride in the face of Ethiopians attack. Get this dictator before it uses dollars generated from “Gold mining” to buy weapons to destroy Eritreans.

    • robel April 18, 2012

      I think you have no idea how the recent attack by weyane ends !
      you seem clue less. though we hate to hear war, war and war again!

  • Fekrawi April 18, 2012

    Wedi senita,

    No need need to be sorry..what you said is real and true. It is 100% certain that if war broke out, Isaias and his generals would be the fist to run as they did during salsay werar. even now Isaias is hiding behind denials by denying any thing and every thing. He doesnt have the courage to face reality. He thinks he lives in a country better than Sweden but yet unwilling to defend itself because the country is too busy to develop..

  • robel April 18, 2012

    Ask some one inside Eritrea if they defend or not!

    • April 18, 2012

      I have met refuggees only six months out of Eritrea, they tell you people have had it with Isayas but are very fearful as spies are everywhere,spies even within a family.Though they are far away from Isayas, they fear retribution to their families and dont talk much till you win their confidence…but once they do they will tell you the scarcity of milk, bread,cooking oil..etc….and they are tired of working for as slaves meager salary in the name of national service with no end ,the only way out is to flee.

  • Freeprisoners April 18, 2012

    So far all comments are in support democratic governance. Hence since we have the idea and good discussion, what stops us to meet in person and do real planning and strategy, such as inrease people in support of the Transitional Council of Eritrea. Which is with good law already signed and discussed through most of the people and oppostion parties.
    Uniting in one oppostion such as the above ‘Transitional Government of Council of Eritrea’ passed through the conference in Awasa. I belive that adding to them and supporting the constitution based through that discussion will bring us peace in the future. I know that, there might need amendment on the constitutions but that should not be bother us, this constitution could be an element in support of the whole constitution in future. The real constitution will have to be re-desinged when Eritrea is at the hands of its people so that people can vote and critice the constitutions. We should know that every amendment to constition has to be voted and critised by people before its final decision is made. Hence joining the oppostion and bring parties in one unit can only bring real fruit and victory for our country’s future democracy.

    • April 18, 2012

      Very true indeed.

  • Tef April 18, 2012

    weyane are in big trouble as it is and would do any thing to divert their misery inside Ethiopia, woyane are facing incresing challanges every where in Ethiopia.If weyane go to war with Eritrea, he can’t even can servive as a government. woyane have many problems such as Ogaden(oneg), Oromo(olf), Wolkait, Tigray, Somalia, Gambela, Afar and 99% of ethiopian people. Woyane can’t start war with Eritrea, He knows how we are strong. If Woyane tries to fight against Eritrea, we will bring back to his Tigray like we put him in Addis ababa in 1990.
    aaaalenalki eritreana forever.

    • April 18, 2012

      Woyane is chasing Alshabab all over Somalia, and can get in and out of Eritrea unchecked and you say they are in trouble? Where did they get their confidence to go beyond their borders if they are in trouble from within? It is true they might not be popular but they are not hated enough for Ethiopians to take up arms against them. Even his foes admire the cunningness of Melese to keep Ethiopia united but we can’t say the same for aya ass.

  • April 18, 2012

    I am wondering about this website if it is for Eritrean interest or for Ethiopians. We all have problem with the HIGDF government but we do not want Eritrean’s political issues to be trapped by the Ethiopian agendas. We want political changes in Eritrean but we do not want Ethiopian to involve in our own cases. The meles regime is not better than Issayas regime so let us not forget what Meles has done to Eritreans for the last 12 years. If this website is for Eritreans issues it needs to address the problems. Taking side with Meles agenda of destruction Eritreans won’t help our problems. we need to take care of our own business and lets pin point the problems that is keeping this HIGDF regime in power. Meles and ethiopia are not the solutions for Eritreaa. we Eritreans are the solution for our country. If this website is for Ethiopian let it be. Keep Eritrean out of this site.l

    • Tef April 18, 2012

      I think, You get confused. this website financed and owned by Woyane and those people (Amanuel Iyasu) getting salary from meles. you know how it is hard to get a job in England, specialy when you do not have good edication. the only chance you have to be in welfare (social assistance) like disable person or selling your country like what they o these people

      • Kokhob Selam April 18, 2012

        you are saying all this on this site. here starts democracy. can you ask for me permission to write about your group in Hadas Eritrea? Challenge you can’t.

        • April 18, 2012

          Listen to khokebe, you can open your mouth here, but can we say anything about Isayas in Eritrea??????you sold out conscious, Isayas is not going to share his loot with you, stand up for your country for once .

          • Ahmed saleh April 19, 2012

            Do not forget who invited Weyane to Eritrean poltics
            since early 1980 engaging together fighting their local opponents and the enemy. Weyane played a big
            role to Eritrean struggle and likewise EPLF did same to theirs. The problem, people particularly our youth
            had been mislead from deception of HGDF. In reality
            one must be deluded not to figure out the creator of
            all the mess which destroy their lives. Neglecting the
            sufferings and social injustices in the name of Badme
            or Eritrean sovereignty sounds our politicians plot to
            divert the attention of their mischievous governance.
            They put Eritrean people in most horrific situation and
            the damage done is hard to comprehend comparing to what Weyane’s did to our people. If they handle
            their responsibilities the way Weyane does to their
            people we might react the other way. But speaking
            the truth our people got slap in the face to the long
            anticipated dream of free and prosperous Eritrea.