- United Kingdom;
Dec 11, 2001
BY FISSEHA ADUGNA
Astill (Wrong target, December 4) includes in his article
the phrase "to strike Somalia on Ethiopia's advice would be
like invading Pakistan on a tip-off from India".
is wrong. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have sought refuge
in Ethiopia. We have never closed our doors to them, despite
limited domestic resources.
continues to be a venue for national reconciliation talks
among the warring factions in Somalia. It has been mandated
by the Organisation of African Unity and the Inter- Governmental
Authority on Development to help with the peace and reconciliation
process in Somalia. We proudly continue to carry out this
role with patience.
thousands of kilometres of common border with Somalia. We
share people, culture and destiny. We are their friends in
their time of need and they know this. No one involved in
the peace process needs a distant witness with their own sinister
agenda about Ethiopia.
has never advised anyone "to invade" any country. Ethiopia
has fought terrorist groups when they tried to destabilise
our country through a series of assassination attempts, bomb
blasts and sabotage activities. Al-Itihaad has a well proven
track record of terrorist activities. As we have fought against
terrorism in the past, so shall we continue, now as a member
of the international coalition, contributing our share to
Charge d'Affaires, Ethiopian embassy
sheikh captured in swoop along Kenya's border with Somalia
- United Kingdom;
Dec 11, 2001
BY ANDREW BUNCOMBE IN WASHINGTON
senior al-Qa'ida member accused of complicity in the 1998
bombing of the US embassy in Kenya has been arrested by Kenyan
authorities. Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan, who was on a list
of America's 22 most-wanted terrorists, was held at Mandera,
on Kenya's Somalia border. He is expected to be taken to the
capital, Nairobi, 500 miles away.
is accused of helping to destroy the embassy in Nairobi almost
simultaneously with the one in the Tanzanian capital, Dar
es Salaam. He is named on an indictment, which also lists
Osama bin Laden as mastermind of the attack, in which 219
people were killed.
Blair has also identified him as an al-Qa'ida operative who
helped to buy a truck used in the bombing. Kenya's Daily Nation
said 18 people had been arrested in Mandera at the request
of the FBI. The indictment, which offers a $5m (pounds 3.5m)
reward for the sheikh, describes him as armed and dangerous.
President George Bush said: "These 22 individuals do not account
for all of the terrorist activity in the world, but they're
among the most dangerous, the leaders and key supporters,
the planners and strategists.
must be found. They will be stopped, and they will be punished."
An American military mission flew to Somalia at the weekend
and discussed possible terrorist targets with the country's
warlords. Sources close to them said the officers had been
talking about where a second phase of a military operation
could be centred. "They were discussing whether [the warlords]
know of any terrorist bases in south and south-west Somalia,"
one of the sources said.
discussed possible co-operation if they make an operation
in Somalia." The sources said five American officers visited
the town of Baidoa, 150 miles south- west of the capital,
Mogadishu, for talks with leaders of the Rahanwein Resistance
Army (RRA), a faction opposed to Somalia's fledgling central
officers were accompanied by four Ethiopian officers. Somalia's
government has accused neighbouring Ethiopia of backing the
RRA. There has been widespread speculation that America could
turn its attention to several other countries after its campaign
in Afghanistan ends. Al- Qa'ida operatives are known to be
living in Somalia, where 18 elite US Rangers were killed by
warring factions in an ill-fated military operation in 1993.
Paul Wolfowitz, the American deputy secretary of defence,warned
it would be wrong to expect an imminent military operation
in Somalia, although al-Qa'ida operatives in other countries
were being watched. "People mention Somalia for obvious reasons,"
he said. "Our focus is on Afghanistan. There is a great danger
that if we lose our focus, if we try to spread our net too
far, we lose our focus, which has to be kept."
war planes reportedly conducting surveillance flights over
reports are emerging regarding US war planes conducting military
reconnaissance flights over Somalia. British newspapers have
reported that US war planes are flying over Somalia with a
view to identifying Al-Qa'idah military basis in Somalia and
target them in USA's war on terrorism.
to reports from important sources, US navy pilots have been
conducting several surveillance flights over two military
camps on the Kenya-Somalia border.
in preparation for an imminent strike on Somalia. Further
reports say US warships have positioned themselves on the
shores of Mogadishu in order to stop Usamah Bin-Ladin from
State Department has asked the humanitarian agencies in Somalia
to prepare themselves for possible evacuation, the British
US military officers tour facilities in southcentral town
of US officials yesterday arrived in Baydhabo [southcentral
Somalia], Bay Region.
delegation, that was accompanied by RRA [Rahanwein Resistance
Army] officials, visited some areas including Baydhabo airport
and some former military barracks e.g. Baynuna, Manat [all
phonetic] and others. The officials who were US military officers,
left Baydhabo yesterday.
mission was not divulged. We contacted RRA official Muhammad
Ali Adan Ali Qalinle, who confirmed the visit by the delegation,
but refused to divulged their identity and mission. He said
the delegation was an ordinary one that visited the town frequently.
declined to confirm whether the officers were American or