‘ready for Islamist war’
have made rapid advances this year
has made preparations for a conflict with the Islamists who control much of
southern Somalia, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has told MPs.
have repeatedly declared Jihad, or Holy War on Ethiopia, accusing it of backing
their rivals in Somalia’s interim government.
group represents a clear threat," Mr Meles said in Ethiopia’s first prime
minister’s question time.
a regional war, as Ethiopia’s rival Eritrea is seen as pro-Islamist.
of Islamic Courts has denied claims by Ethiopia and the Somali government
that it has links to al-Qaeda.
leaders want Somalia to take control of Somali-speaking areas of Ethiopia
said he did not believe the peaceful path of negotiations with the Union of
Islamic Courts (UIC) was completely exhausted but he said they could not close
their eyes or look the other way when the country was being attacked.
He said the government had completed preparations to defend itself against
politicians said a resolution put forward by the ruling party calling on the
house to back whatever moves the government thought necessary amounted to
a declaration of war on Somalia.
A UN report
this month accused Ethiopia and Eritrea, among other countries, of breaking
an international arms embargo by supplying arms to Somalia.
further accuses Ethiopia of having thousands of troops backing government
forces in Somalia.
has denied these claims but admits to having hundreds of military trainers
equally denies claims that it has sent troops and weapons to the UIC.
interim government only controls a small patch of territory around the town