Ethiopia: Eritrea Goes To Extremes


September 13, 2007: The UN and U.S. both continue to be concerned about human rights violations by Ethiopian security forces in Ogaden. Within the last month Ethiopia has expelled two high-profile NGOs from the Ogaden, Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross, because officials from these two groups criticized how Ethiopia was responding to separatist rebels in the region. The U.S. is threatening to put Eritrea on a list of terrorist supporters if the gunrunning to Somalia and sanctuary for Islamic terrorists in Eritrea doesn't stop. Eritrea denies everything.

September 11, 2007: Eritrea suddenly changed its tune. After rattling sabers, Eritrea announced that it would seek to "avoid war" with Ethiopia, but insisted that Ethiopia fulfill its commitment to agree to the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) decision regarding the Ethiopia-Eritrea border. The announcement came after UN sources indicated that Eritrea was considering lifting restrictions on UN troops monitoring the Temporary Security Zones (TSZ). Eritrea has denied the monitors access to several areas in the TSZ and limited helicopter support and surveillance flights.

September 10, 2007: An Ethiopian government spokesman said that the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies were only separated by "70 to 80 meters" in key border areas.

September 8, 2007: The Eritrean government accused Ethiopia of undermining attempts to revive the border demarcation resolution talks.

September 4, 2007: The NGO Doctors Without Borders said a "major humanitarian crisis" could be occurring in Ethiopia's Ogaden region. Ethiopia has imposed an "economic blockade" on certain areas in the Ogaden, with the goal of stopping the flow of supplies to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). However, several NGOs in the area contend the blockade is indiscriminate and innocent civilians are suffering. The Ethiopian military contends it is fighting an insurgency and that the NGOs should stay out of the way.


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