Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ethiopia Says It Has Evidence That Egypt Supported Rebel Movements

Ethiopia has evidence that Egypt recently aided rebel movements in the country, said the State Minister for Communications, Shimeles Kemal.

The allegation of Egyptian support for outlawed Ethiopian groups was first made by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in an interview with Reuters on Nov. 23. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has denied the claims.

“We have solid evidence that Egypt is giving covert assistance to rebel groups,” Shimeles said in a phone interview today. “We will disclose the timing and identify the groups at the right time.”

Ethiopia faces insurgencies in the eastern Ogaden region from the Ogaden National Liberation Front, and from the Oromo Liberation Front in Oromia, the largest of its nine federal states. Last month, the government signed a peace deal with a faction of the ONLF, though another faction has since claimed attacks. The OLF said yesterday it had killed 90 soldiers in the past five weeks. Shimeles said the claim was an “outright lie.”

Ethiopia and Egypt are locked in a dispute over water usage from the Nile river. Agreements from the colonial era give Egypt the right to use two-thirds of the water from the river.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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