Eritrea has imposed new restrictions on UN
peace monitors operating in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ). There are no
more details report did not elaborate, but in the past this has meant that
Eritrean forces have denied UN personnel access to observation posts in the TSZ
and denied the use of land routes to the posts. Eritrea also restricts UN
helicopter use over its section of the TSZ.
March 5, 2007: Five Ethiopians, among the dozen kidnapped
with five Britons on March 2, were located by Ethiopian security forces. The
remaining seven Ethiopians and five British citizens are still missing. Sixteen
SAS commandos are reportedly prepared for deployment to Ethiopia to assist
Ethiopian security forces. Knowing the SAS, there's a good chance they are
March 4, 2007: On March 2 five British
citizens and 12 Ethiopians were kidnapped near the town of Dallol. On March 3
Ethiopia accused Eritrea of being involved in the kidnapping. On March 4 the
British government acknowledged that the five citizens included "British
embassy staff." That explained earlier reports that Britain's Special Air
Service (SAS) commandos had been alerted and move to Cyprus in preparation for
deployment to Ethiopia. Eritrea denied that it was involved in the incident and
called the accusations "crazy."
Ethiopia's Afar region (where the kidnapping took place) is a wild
place, filled with a mix of bandits, nomads, and rebels (sometimes the same
person is all three).
February 25, 2007: Eritrea denied
Ethiopian allegations that it was helping support "terror attacks" designed to
"destabilize" Ethiopia. Eritrea was responding to Ethiopian allegations that
Eritrean intelligence was encouraging attacks on "government targets" inside
February 24, 2007: Members of Eritrea's
main opposition alliance held a conference in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.
A spokesman at the conference said that Ethiopia should "intervene" to help
remove Eritrea's President Isayas Afewerki from power. The spokesman contended
that Ethiopia could remove Afewerki "within a week." That's bombast. Eritrea is
a nation in arms. However, the open appearance of Eritrean opposition in
Ethiopia sends the signal that Ethiopia can make "internal political trouble"
February 22, 2007: Eritrea hoped the war
in Somalia would "destabilize Ethiopia." Meanwhile, Eritrea is not contributing to stability in
Somalia. The U.S. believes that Eritrea is still trying to make trouble in
Somalia. Ethiopia destroyed Eritrea's gambit by launching a successful offensive
in late December 2006 that smashed the Islamic Courts militia. Ethiopia
maintains that Eritrea supplied the Islamic Courts with weapons, money, and