Ethiopia: Falling Down


September 16, 2006: The Ethiopian army suffered to more defections (a general and a colonel) to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). A similar defection took place last month.
September 15, 2006: A UN worker detained by Eritrea on August 28 still remains in custody. The UN worker was serving with the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). Eritrea accused the detained UN employee of "people smuggling." Eritrea continues to "harass" UN observer forces because Eritrea believes the "international community" has sided with Ethiopia on the issue of final border demarcation.
September 14, 2006: Somali's Islamic Courts rejected the African Union's recommendation that 8000 peacekeepers be deployed to Somalia. The Islamic Courts insists that a peacekeeping force is a "cover" for Ethiopian troops operating in Somalia.
September 13, 2006: The African Union (AU) reiterated its support for a peacekeeping force in Somalia. An AU spokesman said that a force could be ready in October. At an AU meeting held on September 12 (in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) AU members said that a peacekeeping force was needed in Somalia to keep the country from "sliding further into chaos." Seven East African countries endorsed a peacekeeping force on August 5.
September 9, 2006: Somali sources reported that the government of Libya has offered to "mediate" between the Somali Islamic Courts (Somali Islamists) and the government of Ethiopia.
Ethiopian government representatives met with the president of the separatist Republic of Somaliland. The Republic of Somaliland essentially operates as a separate country from Mogadishu (which is now controlled by the Union of Islamic Courts). Somaliland claims it has been a separate country since 1991. The meeting is another indicator that Ethiopia regards the Islamic Courts as just one of several governments in Somalia.
September 8, 2006: Ethiopia claimed that its security forces arrested nine members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The Ethiopian statement claimed that the nine rebels were part of a "hit squad" that was assigned to assassinate Ethiopian government officials.
September 6, 2006: Eritrea expelled five UN UNMEE staffers. Eritrea accused the UN staff workers of spying. The UN rejected the allegations. The five expelled staff members came from five different countries: Great Britain, South Africa, Liberia, South Africa, and Trinidad-Tobago. Eritrea remains an equal opportunity expeller.


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