Ethiopia denies attacks to seize Asab city
Ethiopia-Eritrea, Politics, 6/10/2000
Ethiopia on Friday stressed that fierce fighting erupted between the Eritrean and Ethiopian forces on Asab front which overlooks the Red Sea. But it stressed the fighting were mere attempts to repel Eritrean attacks and completely denied any attack to control the port of Asab.
The spokeswoman for the Ethiopian government Saloumi Tadesa said the Ethiopian government has no ambition to seize Asab front and that it is fighting just because its forces exposed to intensive bombardment.
Meantime, colonel Seyoum Abraha, one of the Ethiopian military team operations told journalists on Friday that more than 60% of the Eritrean army was destroyed during the battles continued since one month between the two countries.
Abraha added that Eritrea had at the beginning of the war 24 contingent. Each contingent is composed of 5,000 soldiers, besides three artillery contingent. He added that 15 on foot patrol for the Eritreans were destroyed since May 12, while fighting capacity among the remaining patrols reduced to 50% as most of the "so far left" Eritreans soldiers are young people aging between 17 and 21.
Abraha explained the Ethiopian forces seized more than 2000 Eritrean soldiers during the fighting on the Western Front, but he refused to talks about losses inflicted on the Ethiopian forces.
Today, Ethiopia said its "Defense Forces, in their continued decisive action against the Eritrean army have today overrun the main stronghold of the enemy on the Bure front. The Ethiopian Defense Forces have captured the highly strategic military position known as Aimoker....On the western front in the area of Gulij and Tesseny the Ethiopian Defense Forces are advancing, gaining major military achievements. Eritrean troops had attacked Ethiopian Defense forces as they were withdrawing from western Eritrea and have been attacking Ethiopian positions coming from Gulij. The Ethiopian Defense Forces have caused heavy losses to the enemy and have captured tanks, military hardware and POWs. ...At Senafe and Imbaseira the Ethiopian Defense Forces have successfully repelled the repeated attacks on Ethiopian positions. The Eritrean Army employed two divisions and several tanks in this mornings attack against Ethiopia. In a desperate attempt Eritrea launched seven attacks on this front all of which have been futile and easily dismissed by the Ethiopian Defense Forces. "
Eritrea today said Ethiopia has today "unleashed new attacks on the Senafe and Om Hajer-Guluj fronts. Ethiopia's offensives come in the wake of the OAU proposal calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, which Eritrea formally accepted yesterday. Ethiopia was expected to give its response at the 12:00 p.m. (Algiers time) today. Ethiopia's actions however demonstrate that it has already given its practical answer of rejection."
Meantime, the UN refugee agency said on Friday that some 73,000 Eritrean refugees fled to Sudan from the war with Ethiopia.
The spokesman for the organization Ron Redmond said small groups of the refugees started to return back to Eritrea from Sudan, adding that the continued struggle will not permit the return back of the refugees to their homeland in huge number as requested by Eritrea.
Redmond added that the chairperson of the ( UN refugee organization) will travel to Sudan Saturday marking the beginning of a tour which will last two weeks in African. The tour covers Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo.
Battles renewed near Asab port
Ethiopia repels Eritrean attack on eastern front
Ethiopia, Eritrea resume war
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