Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Government blasts Italy’s remarks over Eritrean attacks

The Ethiopian government says Italy lacks the will to play a constructive role in the Horn of Africa following Rome’s remarks that condemns Ethiopia’s latest incursion which destroyed three military camps inside Eritrea.
In a preemptive attack against Eritrea in more than a decade, Ethiopian national defense forces penetrated over 10 miles inside Eritrean territories, destroying three military camps in Ramid, Gelahbe and Gimbi areas last week.
The Ethiopian government says the latest attacks are limited to securing border security against militants that used the Eritrean camps to launch attacks inside its borders including one that killed five European tourists in January.
The United States, France, United Nations and European Union have all called for restraint on both sides.
Eritrea says it will not retaliate while Addis Ababa says the latest attack is only aimed at wiping out militants being housed in the military camps.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi however issued a statement condemning Ethiopia. “The foreign ministry is monitoring reports of an armed Ethiopian attack on Eritrean soil with deep concern, and firmly condemns all recourse to violence as a means for resolving disputes,” said Terzi in a statement.
The Ethiopian Government says it is baffling that Roman diplomats, who have been muted when the regional body IGAD and the United Nations Security Council called on Asmara regime to stop destabilizing the region, choose to speak now and in defense of the brutal Eritrean regime.
“Italy has never condemned Eritrea’s continuous violent acts of destabilization in the sub-region despite the numerous resolutions of the UN and IGAD to that effect,” said the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement.
“Italy knows full well Eritrea’s support for terrorist activities in the sub region which over the years have caused the loss of civilian lives including Italian tourists. Italy’s lack of genuine concern for such matters of grave concern to the region and the international community as a whole is indeed baffling. This behavior of Italy demonstrates that it is not willing and capable of playing a constructive role in the Horn of Africa,” the statement added.
Ethiopia does not want to put itself into a war, State Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Birhane G/Kiristos, said earlier this week.
Birhane, briefing African Ambassadors and diplomats residing in Ethiopia about the Ethiopian military’s latest operation inside, said Addis Ababa is ready to assume talks with Eritrea at any time, place and at any level.
Ambassador Birhane explained that Ethiopia has decided to take calculated, restrained and proportional measures due to the current Eritrean government backed armed groups attack that killed and kidnapped innocent tourists and Ethiopian citizens in the northern part of the country’s Afar region. 
The recent operation was conducted with due care not to hurt the soldiers, as they are forcibly engaged youngsters. “The people in Eritrea are suffering; we Ethiopians also are suffering through the Eritrean government’s everyday rebels incursions,” Birhane explained.