REFILE-Ethiopia says to work for Eritrea "regime change"

Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:15pm GMT

(inserts dropped word "it" in first paragraph)

* The two nations at odds since 1998 border war

* Ethiopia rules out direct invasion of Eritrea

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, April 21 (Reuters) - Ethiopia declared openly on Thursday that it will support Eritrean rebel groups fighting to overthrow President Isaias Afewerki.

The two countries have often traded harsh rhetoric since a 1998-2000 border war killed some 80,000 people, but Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has until now ruled out confrontation.

However, Addis Ababa warned last month it would take "all measures necessary" against its northern neighbour after accusing it of plotting to carry out bomb attacks inside Ethiopia during an African Union summit in February.

Government officials have said the plot targeted a hotel where a number of heads of state were staying during the summit, as well as other facilities.   Continued...

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