In Nairobi, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya Mengiste Desta has strongly denied allegations made by Somalia, that thousands of foreign troops are on their way to Ethiopia.
GV Ethiopian Ambassador's residence.
CU Ethiopian Ambassador Ato Mengiste Desta speaking in English.
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Background: In Nairobi, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya Mengiste Desta has strongly denied allegations made by Somalia, that thousands of foreign troops are on their way to Ethiopia. Ambassador Desta also denied charges that Israel pilots were already flying Ethiopian jets.
SYNOPSIS: The denials came on Thursday (11 August) at a specially called press conference at the Ethiopian embassy.
The Ambassador labelled the Somali allegations as preposterous. He said the charges are without foundation and were fabricated by Somalia in a vain attempt to conceal her naked aggression against Ethiopia. The Ambassador then went on the accuse Somalia having foreign troops of her own. He said he had irrefutable evidence that Egyptian and Iraqi pilots had been flying Somalian MIG fighters in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Mr Desta accused Somalia of being bent on occupying the territories of her neighbours. He conceded for the first time on Tuesday (9 August) that Ethiopia had lost control of most of the Ogaden region, a desert area along the Somali border. Mr Desta said that no liberation front forces had been involved in the fighting as stated by Somalia, but only Somali regular forces.
The Ethiopian Ambassador's press conference follows a similar one held in Nairobi the day before by the Somalian Ambassador who said that between 5,000 and 9,000 foreign troops from outside Africa were on their way to Ethiopia. Although he didn't specify from which countries, the Somalian Ambassador said he had information that they were invited to come by the Ethiopian leader Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam.