April 19, 2007:
Three Somali Islamic radical
leaders threatened Ethiopia with "all out war." The three emphasized Somali "national resistance" to
Ethiopia. It was clearly an attempt to forge a new Somali national front. Is
Eritrea backing the effort? . The three Somali leaders issued the statement in
Eritrea's capital city, Asmara. Ethiopia has the upper hand in Somalia, while Eritrea
is backing the weaker force (the Islamic Courts), which is also the more widely
hated one. This puts Eritrea in the same corner with Islamic terrorists. Not a
good place to be.
April 17, 2007: Kenya will help with negotiations
between Ethiopia and Eritrea over the fighting in Somalia. The Kenyan
government will conduct "shuttle diplomacy" between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The
Kenyan talks will be organized under the aegis of the East African
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Eritrea doesn't quite
regard IGAD as a neutral party. IGAD's members are Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti,
Sudan, Somalia, and Uganda. Eritrea regards Ethiopia as its arch-enemy. Uganda
is a "near enemy" (since Uganda has peacekeepers in Somalia). Eritrea says the
federal Somali government is an Ethiopian puppet. Kenya, however, is in
position to act as a political go-between. Kenya is deeply concerned about the
"spill over" (refugees and fighting) from the Somali war.
The Ethiopia-Eritrea boundary commission has set a
"deadline" in November for the two nations to accept its formal border
demarcation. No one is quite sure what that means, other than the boundary
commission may be tossing in the towel. Last year the commission urged Ethiopia
and Eritrea to resolve the border issue themselves.
April 15, 2007: Ethiopia accusations that it had purchased illegal weapons from
North Korea. Ethiopia denied that it had received a shipment spare parts for
tanks from North Korea earlier this year.
Ethiopia says the shipment contained "spare parts for machinery and
engineering equipment and raw material for the making of assorted ammunition
for small arms."