By Eskinder Ferew
Washington, March 21, 2009 – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has
refused to say how many troops were killed or wounded during the
nation's two-year campaign in Somalia.
During a question-and-answer period in the Ethiopian parliament
Thursday, an opposition lawmaker asked Mr. Meles to provide casualty
numbers from the Somalia conflict.
The prime minister responded by saying it is "unnecessary" for
parliament to have that information, and that he is not obligated to
One Member of Parliament, former President Negaso Gidada, told VOA that
he found the comments arrogant.
Tune into the Amharic service report of the exchange in parliament from
Gidada says that, as representatives of the people, parliament members
have a right to know.
Ethiopia sent troops to Somalia in 2006 to help that country's
government battle Islamist insurgents. The troops fought numerous deadly
battles with the insurgents before Ethiopia brought them home in