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Eritrea denies sending arms to Al- Shabaab

Wednesday November 2 2011

By ARGAW ASHINE

Eritrea has denied the alleged supply of arms to the Islamist rebels Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

On Tuesday, top Kenyan officials and other sources told reporters two airplanes flew to Baidoa to deliver arms to Al-Shabaab.

Eritrea's Foreign Affairs Ministry Wednesday said the allegation was a fabrication and was a clear campaign against Eritrea by its arch-foe Ethiopia.

Eritrea sole interest in Somalia is to see peace and stability return to this important Horn of Africa and the end of the suffering of Somalia people, the statement said.

"There can be no military solution to the problem of Somalia," read the ministry statement.

Eritrea also called for all-inclusive, Somali-owned political process, inclusive of Somaliland, Puntland and all other stakeholders.

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The recent allegation against Eritrea is a bitter diplomatic slap amid a proposal for a fresh round of sanctions against Asmara having already been tabled before the UN Security Council.

Eritrea has been under UN sanctions since 2009 for its alleged involvement in Somalia.

UN Security Council is proposing tougher economic sanctions against Asmara, which could further squeeze its small $3 billion economy.