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Ethiopia - Civilians are forced to fight Ethiopian rebels
By Jeffrey Gettleman
The New York Times/IHT
Friday, December 14, 2007
NAIROBI: The Ethiopian government, one of the United States's top allies in Africa, is forcing untrained civilians - including doctors, teachers, office clerks and employees of development programs financed by the World Bank and United Nations - to fight rebels in the desolate Ogaden region, according to Western officials, refugees and Ethiopian administrators who recently defected to avoid being conscripted.
Ethiopia has been struggling with the rebels for years. But with tens of thousands of its troops now enmeshed in a violent insurgency in Somalia and many thousands more massing on the border for a possible war with Eritrea, the government seems to be relying on civilians to do more of its fighting in the Ogaden, a bone-dry chunk of territory where Ethiopian troops have been accused by human rights groups of widespread abuses
Also published in International Herald Tribune which is owned by the New York Times company
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