Somalia Accuses Ethiopia of Fomenting Hostilities in Puntland
The defense minister in Somalia's transitional government on Sunday accused Ethiopia of sending troops to stir up hostilities in the autonomous regional state of Puntland.
"Ethiopian troops entered the Somali central town of Galkayo on Friday, with armored vehicles, in support of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who has been disowned by Puntland people," Abdullahi Baqor Musa Musa told AFP by telephone.
Musa, who is better known as Kingkong, said Ethiopian soldiers had entered several other village, to terrorize civilian residents in Puntland, which has declared autonomy from the rest of war-wracked Somalia.
The minister is a member of a Transitional National Government (TNG) set up by Somali politicians at a conference in Djibouti last year. It has a tenuous hold in Mogadishu but is not recognised by most of the warlords who have carved up the country in the past decade.
"Ethiopia's military and political interference in Somalia's domestic conflict has further complicated the lives of our people and escalated the violence since war broke out in 1991," Musa said.
He warned Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf not to invite foreigners to Somalia to help him "achieve political goals", amid reports of strife in Puntland, which declared its autonomy three years ago.
"Ethiopia's military action is contrary to international law, the spirit of good neighborliness and regional efforts to achieve lasting peace in Somalia," Musa said.
A senior Ethiopian official, who asked not to be named, stated last week that his country's troops had never moved into Somalia's northeast region.
Puntland has become engaged in a power struggle between Abdullahi Yusuf and Jama Ali Jama, who was elected new head of the territory by clan elders this month.
Jama's supporters say that Abdullahi Yusuf's three-year leadership term ended in August, but the colonel has rejected the decision of the elder -- MOGADISHU (AFP)
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