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Somalia: Armed Conflict

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 14 May 2009, Official Report, columns 922-3W, on Somalia: armed conflict, what reports he has received on the countries of origin of foreign fighters entering Somalia; and if he will make a statement. (277225)

We are aware of media reporting of foreign fighters entering Somalia. However, because of the security situation, it is difficult to verify these reports or to assess which countries any foreign fighters may be from.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the accuracy of recent reports that Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia; and whether he has discussed such reports with the Ethiopian Government. (277427)

We are aware of recent media reports that Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia. Bereket Simon, head of the Government of Ethiopia’s Communications Agency, has denied these.

The Ethiopian authorities have also told our embassy in Addis Ababa that there has been no political decision to re-enter Somalia and that, unless such a decision is made, only normal military border security operations will take place.