ETHIOPIA FINDS ITSELF ENSNARED IN SOMALIA
Four months after Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi declared his own “war on terror” against an Islamic movement in Somalia, Ethiopia remains entangled in a situation that analysts and critics are comparing to the U.S. experience in Iraq.
Though Meles proclaimed his military mission accomplished in January, thousands of Ethiopian troops remain in the Somali capital, where they have used attack helicopters, tanks and other heavy weapons in a bloody campaign against insurgents that in recent weeks has killed more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians, and forced half of the city’s population to flee.
On Thursday, the Ethiopian-backed Somali prime minister, Ali Mohamed Gedi, declared that three weeks of heavy fighting was over, a statement tempered by the mortar blasts that continued to boom in the distance, witnesses said. . .
More than 200 FBI and CIA agents have set up camp in the Sheraton Hotel here in Ethiopia’s capital and have been interrogating dozens of detainees — including a U.S. citizen — picked up in Somalia and held without charge and without attorneys in a secret prison somewhere in this city, according to Ethiopian and U.S. officials who say the interrogations are lawful.