Ethiopia: The War Moves to Somalia

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November17, 2006: There is growing evidence that Eritrea is providing military support to Somalia's Islamic Courts militias, and that Ethiopia is providing military support for Somalia's Transitional Government. Egypt, Iran, and possibly the Hezbollah guerrilla organization are also supporting the Islamic Courts. Yemen may have sent weapons to the Transitional Government.

Ethiopian troops reportedly took positions near the Somali village of Modmodey (about 15 kilometers from Baidoa). If the report is accurate, that places Ethiopian troops between Baidoa and the most forward positions held by the Islamic Courts.

November 15, 2006: Eritrea's president accused the U.S. of "stoking conflicts" in the Horn of Africa. He claimed that the U.S. favored Ethiopia over Eritrea. The political attack may be part of an attempt to thwart the deployment of a US or UN-led peacekeeping force into Somalia.

November 14, 2006: The boundary commission charged with demarcating the Ethiopia-Eritrea border has issued a proposal that attempts to break the current impasse. A letter from the commission said the commission is considering establishing "fixed points along the border." Eritrea and Ethiopia would then negotiate the actual border between the fixed points. An Ethiopian government spokesman rejected the idea, calling it "invalid and politically dangerous."

November 13, 2006: Islamic Courts fighters claimed they captured two tanks "with Ethiopian markings" after a firefight near the Somali town of Bandiradley. The claim was unconfirmed.

 

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