Ethiopia: UN Peace Making Goes Nowhere


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.


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