Eritrea opposition to set up government in exile
Mon 4 Feb 2008, 12:06 GMT
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Eritrean opposition groups trying to bring down President Isaias Afwerki plan to set up a government in exile for the Red Sea state, an opposition leader said on Monday from the Ethiopian capital.
A coalition of 13 groups will meet in Ethiopia in March to elect a leader, cabinet and parliament, said Adehanom Gebremariam, chairman of the Eritrean Peoples' Movement.
Adehanom said the group would decide on a strategy to overthrow Isaias, who has ruled Eritrea as a one-party state since it won independence from arch-foe Ethiopia in 1993.
"Our aim is to transform a one-man dictatorial rule now prevailing in Eritrea into legal and democratic governance," Adehanom said in a statement.
Eritrean officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Eritrea and Ethiopia routinely accuse each other of supporting opposition groups.
The two Horn of Africa nations have had bitter relations since a 1998-2000 border war, and have been locked in a dispute over their shared frontier since an independent commission gave Eritrea the flashpoint town of Badme in 2002.
Critics scoff at Eritrean opposition groups for meeting inside arch-foe Ethiopia -- Eritrea broke off from its former imperial ruler in 1991 after a 30-year independence struggle. Independence was formally declared in 1993.
Last week, the Eritrean government accused Ethiopia of using "terrorist elements" to carry out a bomb attack killing one person and wounding 8 others in a town on its border with Sudan.
In December, Eritrea opposition groups met in the historic city of Axum in northern Ethiopia to call for Isaias' overthrow. Eritrea says it has no opposition.
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