(January 24, 2012) – There can be no doubt of Eritrea’s responsibility for January 16th attack, which claimed the lives of five tourists in Eastern Ethiopia close to the border with Eritrea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
According to a statement the Ministry sent to ENA on Tuesday, the killers came directly from Eritrea with the intent to kill and capture, and returned to Eritrea as soon as they had carried out their attack.
“They knew exactly what they were trying to do – kill and capture tourists in an attempt to affect the image of Ethiopia just as the country is about to host the annual AU Summit,” the ministry said.
Just a year ago, Eritrea made an abortive effort to launch a bombing campaign to disrupt the AU Summit in Addis Ababa. This time, Eritrea has chosen to attack and murder tourists in its effort to embarrass Ethiopia.
It said Reuters Monday reported quoting unnamed "Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) leaders” that ARDUF claimed responsibility for the attack, which claimed the lives of five tourists.
According to Reuters’ report, ARDUF confirmed that the German nationals, who were taken together with the Ethiopians are safe and in good health.”
The report added that “their peaceful release will be granted through peaceful negotiation…through the Afar elders in the region.”
The statement said this time Eritrea has picked ARDUF as its surrogate for its latest attempt at destabilization and embarrassment for Ethiopia.
This is a new twist to Eritrea’s efforts to deny responsibility for its continued efforts to destabilize Ethiopia and for the killing of the five tourists at ErtaAle last week, the statement noted.
It said Eritrea has, of course, been identified by the UN Monitoring Group as responsible for continued and widespread efforts at destabilization throughout the region through “operations using proxy forces that fall under direct Eritrean command and control falsely flagged as domestic opposition groups, in violation of resolution 1907.” (UN monitoring group for Somalia and Eritrea report, July 2011.)
The government and people of Ethiopia again offer their deepest condolences to the bereaved families, the statement said.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency (ENA)