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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 16:43 GMT
Somalia accuses Ethiopia
Baidoa street scene
Mr Issak's attackers were sent from the town of Baidoa
The prime minister of Somalia's transitional government, Ali Khalif Galayr, has strongly attacked Ethiopia, accusing it of stirring up trouble.

In a BBC interview Mr Galayr - who is visiting Djibouti - said Ethiopia was arming factions opposed to the government, occupying Somali districts and had recently increased its military presence in the country.


The accusation comes days after an attack on Somalia's parliamentary speaker, Abdallah Derow Issak, which he narrowly survived.

Mr Issak has blamed Ethiopia for the attack and accused the country of training militiamen in the town of Gode.

Ethiopia has never formally recognised the transitional Somali Government elected in August after nearly a decade of civil war and chaos.

Mr Issak arrived in the town of Tieglow on Monday. He said every member of his delegation, which included the minister for higher education and seven MPs, was alive and well.

Classroom
The new government wants to restore peace and stability
The speaker was able to return to the town because the Rahanwein Resistance Army forces, which had invaded, have now withdrawn about 20km to the south-west.

The attack happened on Saturday in the Bakol region, north-west of the capital, Mogadishu.

Mr Issak said the attack was by a wing of the RRA, led by its chairman Colonel Shargudud, which had joined forces with those of General Morgan, a veteran Somali faction leader.

According to Mr Issak, this combined force looted Tieglow and two villages, as well as killing some traditional leaders.

The parliamentary speaker had been touring the country to summon up support for the new interim government, which is facing opposition from several faction leaders.

Political tension

Mr Issak was previously the secretary-general of the RRA, but fell out with RRA leader Hassan Mohamed Nur Shargudud, after Mr Shargudud withdrew support from Somalia's transitional government, led by President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan.

President Abdulkassim was elected Somali leader at a reconciliation conference in Djibouti last August.

Mr Shargudud withdrew support for him in October. One reason he gave was that the interim parliament was not moving to Baidoa.

The Ethiopian Government is said to have trained thousands of militia for the RRA and deployed troops on their behalf to capture territory inside Somalia, though Addis Ababa has always denied such reports.

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12 Dec 00 | Africa
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20 Oct 00 | Africa
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