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US to Train Ethiopians in Peacekeeping - 2002-07-24

The United States says Ethiopia will be one of the next African nations to receive U.S. military training in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations.

The move was announced Wednesday by Greg Engle, the U.S. State Department's Director of the Office of Regional and Security Affairs for Africa. He said training for Ethiopian troops will go forward now that hostilities between Ethiopian and neighboring Eritrea are over.

The training program calls for local troops to receive instruction on conducting peacekeeping and relief missions, but not training in the conduct of any kind of warfare.

Mr. Engle also said there are no plans to train Eritrean forces, though he said the strategically-positioned Red Sea country Eritrea may be included sometime in the future.

Diplomats say military ties between Eritrea and the United States has been blocked by the detention of two Eritreans who worked for the U.S. embassy in Asmara. The two were arrested late last year after Washington criticized Eritrea's crackdown on political dissent.