Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu)
-The Eritrean government disdained remarks by the American secretary of state for African affairs, Jendayi Frazer, who said Friday that Eritrea will be added to the list of states that sponsor terrorism.
In an interview with Shabelle, Ali Abdou Ahmed, Eritrea’s information minister, said it was not appropriate for his government to react, stressing that the U.S. State Department repeatedly failed its foreign policy in Somalia.
« Everybody knows who is doing what in Somalia.
We will not indulge ourselves to a level to talk about this. Actually, I would like to thank her for exposing herself and her ill-wishes towards the Eritrean people, » he said.
He said Somalia is under Ethiopian occupation and the federal government was imported in the country with out the consent of the people. « There is no government in Somalia, » he said, indicating that his government backs the Somali people to have their choice of government. He said no one is to be forced with they do not want. « It is the Ethiopian invasion in Somalia, » he added.
Asked if he finds it fair that Ethiopian and Eritrea should fight a proxy war in Somalia, Abdou Ahmed insisted that there was never an Eritrean soldier in the soil of Somalia. He said Somalia is under the invasion of Ethiopia.
« We never tried to fight a proxy in Somalia because we do not have a border with it. Why should we go to Somalia? All we are interested are peace and reconciliation among the Somali people. But the Ethiopian forces in Somalia kill and massacre the people, » h e said.
Nonetheless, the American officials say Eritrea, on the Red Sea, has been trying to destabilize the fragile government in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The T.F.G. came to power after Ethiopian troops, backed by the United States, invaded Somalia and toppled an administration run by the radical Islamists.
Ahmed says Somalis loved the Islamic Courts Union during their six months of control in the Horn of African nation.
A United Nations report made public last month said Eritrea was secretly shipping large amounts of arms to Islamist fighters in Somalia, possibly including explosive belts used by suicide bombers and surface-to-air missiles.
The UN report also criticized actions by Ethiopian troops in Somalia, accusing them of using white phosphorous bombs that killed both insurgents and civilians in Mogadishu in April.
Both Eritrea and Ethiopia have denied the United Nations allegations, but American intelligence officials believe that the fighting in Somalia has in some ways turned into a proxy war for the two bitter enemies, which fought a border war during the 1990s.
Somalia has had no effective central government since the ouster of former dictator, Mohammed Siad Barre, in 1991.