Ethiopia: Moving the War to Somalia


November 5, 2006: The Eritrean government has ordered two more charity groups (NGOs) to leave Eritrea. International Rescue Committee and Samaritans' Purse have to be out by the end of November. In the last year Eritrea has kicked out numerous NGOs it regards as either "pro-Ethiopian" or otherwise "biased" against Eritrea. Eritrea has also thrown USAID (US Agency for International Development) out of Eritrea. That was designed to show Eritrea's displeasure with the US. Eritrea's government believes the US could force Ethiopia to recognize the "binding" boundary decision which gave the disputed area around the town of Badme to Eritrea.

November 2, 2006: Members of the Islamic Courts in Somalia accused Ethiopia of "declaring war" on Somalia. Other charges included alleging Ethiopia intends to set off bombs in Ethiopia and Kenya and then blame the attacks on the Islamic Courts. This will then "justify" an Ethiopian attack on the Islamic Courts militias inside Somalia. Call this the Islamic Courts version of "the Poland scenario." In 1939, prior to the panzer assault on Poland, Nazi Germany launched fake attacks on Germany and claimed the attacks were carried out by Polish forces.

October 31, 2006: The United States warned both Ethiopia and Eritrea to "not interfere" in Somalia's civil war. The US statement said that Washington is worried about foreign "troop activities" in Somalia. The diplo-speak was an acknowledgement that there are foreign troops (ie, Ethiopian and possibly Eritrean) inside Somalia.

October 30, 2006: UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said that Ethiopia and Eritrea could go to war within a very short time. The secretary-general noted that tensions were rising. Annan called the current diplomatic situation (where the two countries refuse to talk) a "classic example of the tragedy" of Africa,

October 29, 2006: Eritrea denied accusations that it had sent 2000 troops into Somalia. One Eritrean statement called the UN report which asserted that Eritrea had forces in Somalia "a fabrication." Eritrea also accused the US of "favoring" Ethiopia.

October 27, 2006: Western press sources quoted a "confidential" UN report asserts that "between 6,000-8,000 Ethiopians" are inside Somalia, supporting the Transitional National Government (at Baidoa) and that "2,000 fully equipped Eritrean troops are now inside Somalia…" The Eritrean troops are supposedly aiding the Islamic Courts.

The Eritrean government "rejected" UN peace monitoring reports that its troops within the TSZ (Temporary Security Zone) constituted a "major breach" of the ceasefire agreement. Eritrea reportedly moved 1500 troops into the TSZ then reinforced the initial group with militia forces.


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