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Issayas Afeworki says U.S. behind Ethiopia raids

March 26, 2012

Eritrea says there have been others.

“We have seen several attacks, not just one. We prefer not to talk about it and don’t intend to be involved in provocations,” Isaias told Eritrean state TV in an interview late on Sunday that was later broadcast on the Internet.

“The military incursions were plotted by Washington with the aim of diverting attention from implementing the boundary commission’s decision,” he said.

U.S. embassy officials in Addis Ababa said they could not comment on Isaias’ remarks while Ethiopian officials could not be reached.

The Hague-based boundary commission awarded the border village of Badme to Eritrea in 2002, but Ethiopia has yet to conform with the ruling, insisting on further negotiations on its implementation.

The United Nations has called for restraint between the two neighbors, saying bilateral tensions risked undermining efforts to foster security and stability in the region.

MISSILES AND SANCTIONS

In Sunday’s interview, Isaias said the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had “fanned up” Ethiopia’s incursion to divert global attention from the 10th anniversary of the border ruling and its implementation.

He also accused Washington of masterminding the sanctions that the U.N. Security Council imposed on Eritrea in 2009 and 2011, alleging it had provided funds and weapons to Islamist insurgents in Somalia – charges that Eritrea flatly denies.

“Proxies implement the U.S.’ misguided agenda in the region. These unjustified sanctions against Eritrea reflect this agenda,” Isaias said.

Ethiopia, a key ally in the United States’ global war on Islamist insurgents, has deployed troops inside Somalia to fight al Qaeda-linked militants.

Isaias routinely claims Washington sided with Eritrea’s arch-foe during the border war for “geo-strategic reasons”.

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