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BALCAD (TAY-TAYLEEY) Waa Magaalo Qadiim ah! M.M.AFRAH - JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR 2005 Editorial: Simple Solution: No to Ethiopians, Yes to AU troops

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Ethiopia Must Withdraw Troops from Somalia
EDITORIAL By The East African (Nairobi)
Nairobi

THE PEACE TALKS ON SOMALIA SHOULD not be allowed to collapse. The alternative is a vicious and senseless war involving up to 12 countries in the region and the Gulf.

The Khartoum talks - meant to bring about an understanding between the Union of Islamic Courts and the Transitional Federal Government based in Baidoa - collapsed last week mainly because the Courts insisted that they could not talk till Ethiopia had withdrawn its troops from Somali soil.

But their demand that Kenya should not chair the talks because it favours the deployment of peacekeeping troops in the lawless country is outright mischievous.

It raises serious doubts about the Courts' declared intention of being a viable alternative to the warlords who have inflicted pain and suffering on Somalia for the past 16 years. They must understand that they cannot hold the region to ransom.

Ethiopia must also not be allowed to get away with its unilateral interventions in Somalia. It must withdraw its 8,000-odd troops from Somalia, if the region is to avoid a prolonged and costly war.

 

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