Ethiopia: Taking A Stand In Somalia


November 11,2008: Earlier this month Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Task Force issued a warning of "an imminent terrorist attack." The warning is similar to those issued by the governments of Kenya and Uganda. Ethiopia is concerned about resistance by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Uganda and Kenya focused on attacks from Somali Islamists. Ethiopia is also a target for Somali Islamists.

November 7, 2008: The Ethiopian government claimed it had killed a senior military commander in the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Legesse Wegi. The government has accused Wegi of being involved in a dozen terrorist attacks since 1993. The government claimed Wegi was "lured" into a farm house and then was killed by "locals in cooperation with security forces." There is of course no independent verification of the operation.

October 30, 2008: The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) claimed its fighters in Ogaden had killed 20 Ethiopian Army troops. The ONLF statement also claimed that ONLF guerrillas had destroyed three Ethiopian military vehicles and wounded "hundreds." The government and the ONLF have been trading claims of victories for several weeks.

October 27, 2008: Eritrea said that it wants "the restoration" of good relations with Djibouti, based on "full respect of territorial integrity." That could mean a lot of things – and one of them is Eritrea still claims Djiboutian territory.

October 26, 2008: The UN regards the Eritrea-Djibouti border conflict as a hotspot that could lead to a bigger conflict in the Red Sea littoral, and considers the situation "volatile and fragile." That's a good description. The UN condemned Eritrea after Eritrea attacked Djibouti and killed over 40 Dbjiboutian soldiers. The UN statement followed one by the government of Djibouti that included the warning that Eritrea could interdict shipping routes in the Red Sea. The US has around 1200 soldiers and support personnel in Djibouti, serving with Coalition Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa.

October 23, 2008: The US State Department claimed that Eritrea is providing safe harbor for member's of Somalia's Al-Shabab Islamist organization. The US considers Al-Shabab to be a terrorist organization.

October 16, 2008: Ethiopia said that its 4,000 troops would remain in Somalia until the African Union (AU) peacekeeping force is "fully deployed" (meaning 8,000 troops). At the moment the AU has around 3000 troops in Somalia.



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