US will urge Zenawi to stay out of Somalia – By David Clarke (Reuters)

July 5th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

The United States will encourage Ethiopia not to return to Somalia as it would be against the interests of both Horn of African nations, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said on Saturday. (more…)

The United States will encourage Ethiopia not to return to Somalia as it would be against the interests of both Horn of African nations, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson said on Saturday.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia in late 2006 to topple an Islamist movement in the capital Mogadishu. The intervention sparked an Islamist insurgency which is still raging despite the fact Ethiopian troops pulled out in January.

“The Ethiopian government continues to look very closely at developments in Somalia,” Carson told Reuters in Kenya ahead of a visit to Ethiopia on Monday.

“Given the long-standing enmity between Somalis and Ethiopians I will encourage the Ethiopians not to re-engage in Somalia. It is not their interest to so and their efforts might in fact prove counterproductive to the government,” he said in an interview.

Neighbours and Western governments fear that if the Somali administration is overthrown, the lawless nation will become a safe haven for al Qaeda to train militants to destabilise the region and attack developed nations.

Residents in several regions of Somalia have reported seeing Ethiopian soldiers in the past two months. Addis Ababa initially denied this but later acknowledged it had made “reconnaissance” missions. It still insists no combat troops are in Somalia.

“Ethiopia has a right to defend its borders, should do so vigorously if individuals cross into their territory, and their efforts should be directed at defence of their territory and not necessarily involvement inside of Somalia,” Carson said.

\NO DECISION ON TOUGHER MANDATE

Carson held talks with senior officials from all Horn of Africa countries, including the Eritrean foreign minister, during an African Union summit in Libya this week.

Washington has accused Eritrea of supporting the hardline al Shabaab insurgents who are fighting to oust Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. It says Eritrea has aided the movement of weapons and foreign fighters into Somalia.

Carson said Eritrea strongly denied the accusations.

The rebels, who have links to al Qaeda and want to impose their own harsh version of sharia law throughout the country, control much of southern Somalia and parts of the capital Mogadishu close to the president’s palace.

A 4,300-strong African Union peacekeeping force (AMISOM) from Uganda and Burundi is protecting key sites in Mogadishu but appeals for more troops and a stronger mandate allowing them to go on the offensive have yet to bear fruit.

Carson said a battalion of soldiers from Burundi, about 800 troops, was ready to deploy as soon as an airlift is provided and that Djibouti had pledged to help with military force.

“They are a small country with a small military but they have indicated that they believe the situation is serious enough to warrant their support,” Carson told Reuters.

“They believe that it is important to support Sheikh Sharif and to prevent his government from falling and they are prepared to provide more support than they have in the past, including manpower,” he said.

Carson said Washington had yet to decide whether the AMISOM mandate should be beefed up. There had been hopes African leaders would agree to this in Libya but wording to that effect in a draft resolution was dropped.

“We will study it closely in Washington and make a determination as to whether it is in our interests to encourage an expanded mandate as this goes forward,” he said.

Washington helps fund the AMISOM force and has sent weapons to the Somali government to support its fight against the rebels. Carson told reporters it would send more.

“The United States will continue to look for ways to provide support,” he said. “This will include military support in terms of arms and munitions and material resources, but not manpower.”

  1. jambo
    | #1

    we are very bad people we fight each other for 100 years.
    we never been together .so we dont have to blame epdrf(wayne).
    we have to blame our grand fathers.

  2. yikerbelen
    | #2

    the existance of weyane;s killer soldiers in somalians’ soil will put the country’s political more up and down. The most known east afroca’s terrorist group [TPLF] should stop invading somalians to get some money from USA and cover their crimes aganist ethiopians. It is morally wrong to demand the sudan’s war criminal albeshir for ICC and on the other hand to sit and talk with the most nitrious war criminal melese zenawi. The westren hypocrates must threat all crimes in the same way or stop interfering in africa’s affairs

  3. Adunya
    | #3

    is that really an advise or a media pretension, the first is a step fore ward to good and the later would most probably be true and time will prove, and give answer how long they go on cheating,

    Selaam

  4. Selamta
    | #4

    Jambo;

    You are wrong blaming our hero grandfathers. In their generation, they were heroes. In your generation you are examples with all shit and bad. Our grandfathers are the one kept our nation to be the only free African nation all the time. They are the only people in the world defeated the Europeans the first time ever in any war including symmetric. Then Japan in 1905 defeated Russia in an island in the Pacific.

    Read and give some respect to our forefathers. Read how the world looked like at that time. Until 1945, Europe was fighting between nations and with in for long time. So, during our forefathers time others were fighting more than our forefathers did. In our generation, the rest of the world is fighting against others in the development field; we are fighting against each other to fallen by killing and destruction. .

    So, blame your generation, not our fore fathers. They are the respected heroes. And the world knows that till we have been destroyed their prides too.

  5. muhamed
    | #5

    weyane not afried somalis but OLF OGADEN fighters. if somalia got peace weyane afried may all ethiopian oppostions will get a ground to fight for democracy. we know you weyane what you think befor you did. ki ki ki kiiiiiiiii.

  6. mateos
    | #6

    Mr. Carson must be infected with Melese/legesse/abebe infectious disease just like his predecessor the unhealthy fat doctor. Someone need to remind Carson that America’s tax money had created worst horn of Africa TALIBAN in Ethiopia and I’m afraid this African taliban may not be to the US long term interest if the US continue to pumper them!

  7. Yeqoraw Kassa
    | #7

    The war in Somalia would have been a succees had Meles Zenawi controled Eritrea. Stil it is time for Meles Zenawi to march his to Eitrea and retake it. Meles Zenawi is the most stupid leader in the world. I haope we get rid of him soon. Zenawi’s stupidity lies in the fact that he lies and does not know that people could see that he lying.

    Please somebosy there, please ge rid of Zenawi and put him in a psychiatric centre for further treatment.ለገሰ ዘናዊ አህያ ነው:; ሞኝ ከብት!

  8. Almaz
    | #8

    Yeqoraw Kassa, you weyane cadre. who is going to fight 1 million eritrean army. stop your propaganda. USA don’t need your leader weyane he is useless, beside he can finish somilia. why would america needs. him. weyane TPLF we are comming after you. you will be wiped out from the face of the earth.
    death to weyane TPLF

  9. Almaz
    | #9

    Yeqoraw Kassa, you weyane cadre. who is going to fight 1 million eritrean army. stop your propaganda. USA don’t need your leader weyane he is useless, beside he can finish somilia. why would america needs him for . weyane TPLF we are comming after you. you will be wiped out from the face of the earth.
    death to weyane TPLF

  10. watan
    | #10

    @yikerbelen
    Denkoro! you don’t know what you are talking about.
    ask your boss essayas who is messing up somalia and you would know the answer.

  11. bunabuaua
    | #11

    @Almaz
    Listen Almaz, shaebia doesn’t have 1 million army to begin with
    even if they have they are nothing in the eyes of the ethiopian army.
    you konw it is the quality not the quantity what it counts. It is easy
    for the well trained ethiopian army to wipe shaebia with in two to three
    weeks if they want too. They did it in Badme,and nothing will hold them from doing it again. But Eritreans have a big mouth and you are born to lie as always.

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