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By SOMALI PEACE RALLY .

Ethiopia Urged to Stay Away From The Puntland State of Somalia and its Conflict

SOMALI PEACE RALLY Galkaio City, Somalia, November 23rd 2001

PRESS RELEASE SPR/INFltlk/M11/23/2001

Ethiopia Urged to Stay Away From The Puntland State of Somalia and its Conflict

Galkaio City, Somalia, November 23rd 2001 – Somali Peace Rally – Ethiopia’s covert military contacts with Puntland’s former leader, Col. Abdullahi Yousuf, has became an open secret when it sent a convoy of eight trucks to Galkacyo today. The new leadership of the Puntland State, President Jama Ali Jama, protested against this foray which is against the international law, and the principle of respect of sovereign boundaries.

In fact the Ethiopian involvement in Puntland conflict have been coming to surface since Puntland’s elders (The Issims) decided to declare Abdullahi’s extension of mandate null and void.

In August, 2001, in a broad-day light, the former chief of Puntland’s Derwish forces went to the Eastern region of Ethiopia and came back with two trucks of ammunition. As recent as a week ago, again Col. Abdullahi received another few trucks of ammunition and small arms from Ethiopia. Apparently, the latter was used for the unjustified assault on Garoowe, this past Wednesday.

This morning around 9:AM, the convoy of eight vehicles (two “technicals”, two smaller cars, and four trucks carrying nearly 120 soldiers) passed through Galdogob border point and proceeded to Gaalkayo via Bur-Salah. The convoy arrived at Gaalkacyo around 11:00. This was a common talk among the Somalis around the world via the electronic mail, while Ethiopia is attempting to deny its entry to Somalia’s border.

We call upon Ethiopia to look closely at its decisions to side with the illegitimate side of Puntland conflict, indeed the losing side. Puntland and Ethiopia share a lot of things and have many common interests, not to mention the long porous border.

Therefore, it is the interest of both sides to keep the good neighbourhood. We urge Addis Ababa to take out its garrison, and stop its military assistance to the former president-turned warlord, Abdullahi Yousuf.

Somali Peace Rally (SPR) will continue to monitor the cross-border issue, as well as the current political crisis in the Puntland State of Somalia.

Contact, SPR Secretariat sprally@hotmail.com

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