24/11/06 (B370) BBC : l’Ethiopie prêt à la Guerre contre les islamistes. (En anglais – Info lectrice)

‘ready for Islamist war’

The Islamists
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.

The Islamists
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.

Some fear
a regional war, as Ethiopia’s rival Eritrea is seen as pro-Islamist.

The Union
of Islamic Courts has denied claims by Ethiopia and the Somali government
that it has links to al-Qaeda.

Some Islamist
leaders want Somalia to take control of Somali-speaking areas of Ethiopia
and Kenya.

of war

Mr Meles
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
UIC attack.

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.

Mr Meles
has denied these claims but admits to having hundreds of military trainers
in Somalia.

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
of Baidoa.