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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breaking News: Meles declares war on Somalia, Eritrea and the OLF and ONLF

EthioTribune Staff Writer
November 30, 2006 -

The government-owned Ethiopian Radio-Television Agency just reported that the rubber-stamp EPRDF parliament has passed a resolution declaring war on its enemies. A declaration of war on UIC in Somalia is not surprising considering there have already been indications to this effect. The declaration of war on Eritrea, however, comes as a total surprise. Even more astonishing is the declaration of war on the OLF and ONLF, which confirms the already prevailing impression that this regime cannot distinguish political dissent from external challenges.

311 members of the parliament voted for the resolution while 99 opposed and 16 obtained. All members of the opposition in parliament not only voted against the resolution but also vociferously opposed it during the debate. Opposition leaders, mainly Dr. Marara, Dr. Beyene and Mr. Bulcha, particularly opposed the inclusion of the regime’s political opponents such as OLF and ONLF in the declaration of war.

The opposition, both those in the political process and outside, have unanimously condemned the declaration as an ill-conceived adventure by the ruling party. In a statement issued yesterday the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, which brings together major Ethiopian opposition parties and liberation organizations, said: ¨The international community should not pour fuel on an already complicated situation in Somalia by giving the green light to the Ethiopian dictator to take a poor country into a costly war with its neighbour igniting a larger and devastating regional conflict.¨

The statement went on to state: ¨At a highly volatile historical juncture when relations between the world’s major religions are increasingly getting sour throughout the world, at a time when there is a widespread sentiment and perception in the Muslim world that the Western World is becoming increasingly Islamophobic, Ethiopia’s tyrant is about to plunge the already volatile Horn of Africa region into total chaos by militarily interfering in Somalia.¨’

The Coalition for Unity and Democracy for its part also declared that this is not the people’s war but an act of aggression by the tyrannical regime of Meles Zenawi. The CUD warned that the only way to resolve the problem in Somalia is through dialogue and the participation of the international community rather than aggression by TPLF.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front in its statement condemned the declaration. It went on to indicate that it sympathized with the suffering people of Somalia in their difficult struggle to overcome unprovoked aggression by the Ethiopian dictator.

It is to be noted that the senseless Ethio-Eritrean war of 1998-2000 caused the death of upwards of 120,000. Analysts fear that the current conundrum could ignite a larger and deadly regional war engulfing Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea and other countries.

The situation in the Horn of Africa has been deteriorating at an alarming speed lately.

EthioTribune will continue to follow the situation and provide periodic updates.

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