Ethiopia PM accuses Eritrea of kidnappings

Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:55pm GMT
 

* Meles says Addis Ababa has taken unnamed measures

* Claims come a month after Ethiopia raids inside Eritrea

* Asmara denies links

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, April 17 (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi accused Eritrea on Tuesday of abducting dozens of Ethiopian miners from the country's northwest, in a potential escalation of tension between the arch-enemies.

Ethiopian troops crossed into the Red Sea state last month and attacked what they said were military bases used by rebels to stage raids, including a January attack that killed five Western tourists in Ethiopia's remote Afar region.

These attacks were the first on Eritrean soil that Ethiopia has admitted to since the end of a devastating 1998-2000 border war, sparking concern that their unresolved frontier spat could escalate into a full-scale war.

"They (Eritrean government) recently kidnapped more than 100 young miners who were mining gold in our country's northwest. And in the northeast, they killed some tourists and kidnapped others," Meles said, the latter referring to the January raid.

"We have taken proportional measures in both locations," he told lawmakers in response to a question on relations with Eritrea.   Continued...

 
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