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Friday, December 29, 2006

Change of Tune - Ethiopian forces will stay as long as needed says Somali PM

Also in the news: [Foreign Troops Must Leave Somalia - Rep. Donald Payne] - [Somalia faces months of martial law] - [Eritrea and Ethiopia Top Africa in Army Sizes]

International: [Saddam Handed Over To Iraqi Officials] - [Cloned animals deemed safe to eat] - [Israel Won't Free Palestinian Prisoners] and more of today's top stories

Change of Tune - Ethiopian forces will stay as long as needed says Somali PM

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Somalia's Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi returned in an armed convoy one day after government forces and Ethiopian troops had forced Islamist leaders to abandon the coastal capital they had controlled for six months.

"Most of the Islamists were destroyed by our forces ... the Islamic courts do not exist any more," Gedi told reporters, adding that their defeat had curbed the expansion of terrorism in Africa.

"The Ethiopian (forces) will stay as long as needed by the transitional federal government ... The stabilization of Somalia is needed for the stability of our neighbours," he said Friday.(More...)

Foreign Troops Must Leave Somalia - Rep. Donald Payne

United States Congress (Washington, DC)
December 29, 2006

The invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces, despite claims of invitation by the weak Baidoa-based Transitional Federal Government, only leads to more suffering and instability in the Horn of Africa region. United Nations Security Council resolution 1725 clearly stated that "all Member States, in particular those in the region, should refrain from any action in contravention of the arms embargo and related measures."

Using military force instead of negotiations is a deliberate and ill-advised measure that will further destabilize and increase the suffering of the Somali people. I strongly condemn this aggression and call for the immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian and all foreign forces from Somalia.

The African Union and the Arab League have called for Ethiopian and all foreign troops to immediately leave Somalia. Unfortunately, the inaction by the United Nations Security Council has once again failed the helpless people of Somalia.

A negotiated settlement is the only guarantee for a lasting peace, not war. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia accuses the Union of Islamic Courts as Jihadist and extremist. He also justifies his action against Somalia because of the threats he claims the Courts pose against Ethiopia. The fact of the matter is Ethiopian forces are in Somalia and not the other way around. Besides, how is it possible for a non-conventional force to really pose a threat against the largest armed forces in Sub-Saharan Africa? Ethiopia's military adventure not only diminishes hopes for a negotiated settlement, but confirms the suspicion of Somalis that the TFG is a proxy of Ethiopia. (More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Eritrea and Ethiopia Top Africa in Army Sizes
-Somalia faces months of martial law
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-Saddam Handed Over To Iraqi Officials
-Israel Won't Free Palestinian Prisoners
-Cloned animals deemed safe to eat
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