Bloomberg | Eritrean Government Denies Abduction of Gold Miners in Ethiopia
Eritrea’s government denied accusations by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi that it was responsible for abducting more than 100 gold miners in northwestern Ethiopia.
The incident, which took place “recently,” was one of a series that prompted a counter-offensive by Ethiopian forces on March 15, when they attacked three military bases inside Eritrea used by rebels to attack Ethiopia, Meles told lawmakers yesterday in the capital, Addis Ababa. He didn’t provide a more specific timeframe on when the abductions took place.
“It has become the modus operandi of Ethiopia to blame everything on Eritrea,” Girma Asmerom, Eritrea’s ambassador to the African Union, said in an interview today. “They think by lying and lying the lies may be perceived to be true.”
Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a war from 1998 to 2000 that killed 70,000 people, according to the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. Last month’s attack in southeastern Eritrea followed the January killing of five European tourists by Eritrea-backed insurgents, according to Ethiopia. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s government denied any involvement in the incident.
Cross-border abductions such as those carried out in Ethiopia’s northwestern Tigray region occur regularly, Ethiopian Communications Bereket Simon said in a phone interview today from Addis Ababa, without providing further details.
“The proportional measure was taken in account of all the misdeeds,” he said. A return to all-out war is unlikely, Meles said yesterday.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons World Economic Forum