war in iraq


Eritrea - Ethipoia join coalition forces

March 19, 2003

ADDIS ABABA, 19 Mar 2003 (IRIN) - Ethiopia and Eritrea are to play a role in the disarmament of Iraq, according to the US government.

They will join 28 other countries who have agreed to be coalition members, the US said. The list of countries was released by the State Department on Tuesday.

"These are countries who have all stood up and said it is time to disarm Iraq and if Iraq doesn't do that peacefully, we need to be prepared to do it by whatever means are necessary," US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher told a White House briefing.

"Each country is contributing in the ways that it deems the most appropriate," Boucher added. He said a further 15 unnamed countries had also pledged support.

So far, Ethiopia and Eritrea are the only African countries to have joined the coalition forces. There has been no public comment from either country and it is unclear what role they will play.

Boucher said some countries may be "providing access, basing, or overflight rights". Others were helping with defensive equipment.

"Some of these people are what you might call boots on the ground, in terms of providing military support or deploying defensive military units," he said.

Source: IRIN


war in iraq