Somali Islamists warn of possible another “Ethiopian invasion”

August 31st, 2009 | by addis portal |

MOGADISHU, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) — Somali Islamist rebels on Sunday said Ethiopian troops were amassed along the border with Somalia and poised to invade into the chaotic east African country.     Hundreds of Ethiopian troops backing Somali government forces on Saturday reportedly took control of the main central Somali town of Beledweyn from an Islamist rebel group that was holding it but both governments strenuously deny the reports of Ethiopian involvement.

    “The Ethiopian enemy forces have entered Beledweyne and are planning to again invade other regions along the border with Somalia where they amassed large numbers of its troops,” Muse Abdi Arale, Secretary for Defense for the Islamist rebel group of Hezbul Islam, told reporters in Mogadishu.

    Arale added that the presence of the Ethiopian troops along the border and the African Union peacekeeping forces based in Mogadishu as well as other foreign countries of which he named the United States, were, as he put it, in coalition against the implementation of the Islamic Sharia law in Somalia.

    The Islamist rebel groups of Hezbul Islam led by the firebrand cleric Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys and the radical movement of Al-Shabaab, have, for the past two and half years, been waging deadly insurgency against Somali government forces, the African union peacekeepers and Ethiopian troops before their withdrawal from the country in January this year after two-year presence.

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