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Ethiopia’s HaileMariam Threatens to Take Action Against Eritrea

Ethiopian hailemariam-desalegn-on-eritrea

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 7, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia warned on Tuesday it would take necessary action against arch-rival Eritrea unless it refrains from an alleged destabilizing role in the volatile east African region.

While addressing parliament, Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, accused the Eritrean government of continuing to engage in destabilizing peace and security of Ethiopia and the region at large.

Addis Ababa has repeatedly accused Asmara of trying to destabilizing the horn of Africa’s nation by backing Ethiopian rebels and by providing direct and indirect support to al-Qaida allied Islamist militants in Somalia.

However Eritrea’s subversive activities in the region are mainly targeting both directly or indirectly at Ethiopia.

While responding to queries from MPs, Desalegn said although Ethiopia is ready for peace negotiations to restore ties and normalize relations with Eritrea, however he said “Asmara has shown no sign of interest for regional peaceful coexistence”.

In 2009 the UN slapped Eritrea with sanctions over charges it armed and provided financial support to al Shabab. But, Asmara has denied the allegation and stresses there is no justification for imposing the sanctions.

In a rare threat to take direct measures, the premier said that unless Eritrea changes its policy of destabilizing the East African region, “Ethiopia will then be forced to take an appropriate action to quell its destabilizing efforts”.

The two neighbours have routinely traded tough rhetoric following a 1998-2000 border war which has killed an estimated 70,000 people.