May 8, 2007:
The UN admits that its attempt to
negotiate a peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea has failed, but that the UN
will keep trying.
May 5, 2007: The European Union (EU) intends to
launch a diplomatic initiative that will "strengthen" the EU's relationship
with Eritrea. Don't read this as a move to counter Ethiopia. At the moment
Eritrea is something of a "loner" state. The EU wants to discuss development
issues, which means the EU is offering money. The flip side of offering money
is asking for concessions. The EU is looking to broker a peace deal, first in
Somalia and then between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It may take awhile.
May 2, 2007:
Eritrea jailed 80 people described as "evangelical Christians" belonging
to a Presbyterian congregation in the capital.
Two US citizens were reportedly arrested but released after being held
for several days. The Eritrean government portrayed the arrests as part of a
policy to restrict "unregistered religious worship" in Eritrea. The Eritrean
government instituted the policy in 2002. Eritrea is a nation is about evenly
split between Christians and Muslims. Eritrea is also an ally of the Islamic Courts in Somalia, which is a radical
Muslim group. This means the Eritrean government is very careful about
religious groups. The government is suspicious of some denominations which they
believe may upset the religious balance. Eritrea has also been accused by
numerous religious and rights groups of persecuting minority religious sects.
April 29, 2007: Ogaden National Liberation Front
rebels released seven Chinese workers and two Africans. The hostages were taken
after an attack on a Chinese oil facility on April 24.