The Ethiopian armed forces are about to crash
300 Eritrean traind ONLF rebels
Sept 14 2010
BORAMA (Somalilandpress) — According to local eyewitnesses a heavy war erupted between the Ethiopian troops and ONLF rebels near the Somaliland border on Tuesday and has displaced many in near by towns and villages.
An eyewitness told Somalilandpress that the clashes began midday in the Mar-mar mountains in Awdal region close to the Ethiopian border after the militants were surrounded.
They added the Somaliland army have also arrived in the region and is backing the Ethiopian army – each army is said to be shelling the militants from its side of the border.
No casualties have been reported but Ethiopia and Somaliland have vowed to eliminate the group from their regions.
According to the Interior Minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose two boats carrying an estimated 240-300 fighters arrived in the ancient coastal town of Zeila last Friday. The men were then smuggled across Somaliland by three lorries pretending to be carrying food products. He added the Somaliland police captured five men who separated from the group and seized weapons, Eritrean money, communication equipment and training manuals that were in Somali and Amharic.
Dr Gabose added the men, who belong to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) received their training in Eritrea and were on their way to the Somali region of Ethiopia to battle the Ethiopian military.
Ethiopia has since moved heavily armed battalions near the Somaliland border and the two sides are exchanging information of where about the the militants are.
The militants have since separated into three different groups and one is already been trapped with heavy artillery from the Ethiopian forces. Eyewitnesses say, local people have also fled to the Somaliland side and are making their way to near by towns.
It’s unclear how long the war will last but Somaliland’s commander of the armed forces said the conflict will be concluded within two-three days.
This embarrassment for Somaliland comes weeks after Ethiopia expressed concern about a number of cabinet ministers whom Ethiopia suspects are linked to Somalia’s hard-line al-Shabab. This latest hick-up will further strain relations between Addis Ababa and the new administration in Hargeisa.
People in Somaliland can not understand how such a large force could easily land inside Somaliland’s territory. This is now a major security blow for the regime.