Ethiopia: Eritrea Partners With Islamic Terrorists


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."


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