After thirty years, Ethiopia reopened its embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia.
The only other foreign embassy in Mogadishu is the British one. However,
British diplomatic personnel have been withdrawn from this embassy, because of
the violence in the city. So the Ethiopian embassy opening is a big deal, as it
is an attempt to restore diplomatic relations with a Somali government. May 23,
2007: Eritrea has become a meeting place for an entire range of Ethiopian
opposition organizations and dissidents. It is also attracting dissidents from
other nations in the region. For example, over 40 former members of Somalia's
now-defunct Islamic Courts-led government are allegedly in Eritrea. The ONLF
(Ogaden National Liberation Front. an anti-Ethiopian group) has a contingent
inside Eritrea. The ONLF is fairly open about its operation. However, the Afar
Revolutionary Democratic Unity front (ARDUF) remains obscure. Ethiopia contends
that ARDUF took part in the kidnapping of several tourists and Ethiopians in
Afar in March 2007. After the kidnapping took place, Ethiopia also suggested
that Eritrea was involved, though Eritrea denied it. Ethiopia and Eritrea are
locked in a slow war and it is common practice to finance and encourage the
enemy's internal opponents.
May 16, 2007: Ethiopia said that it intends to
withdraw its troops from Somalia as soon as African Union peacekeepers are in
place. Originally, Ethiopia planned to withdraw most of its troops from Somalia
by the end of March. That obviously didn't happen, though at least half of
Ethiopia's invasion force has been pulled out of Mogadishu.. Ethiopia's Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi was quoted as saying that "Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu
will withdraw when the African Union peacekeepers arrive to support Ugandan
May 10, 2007: Ethiopia said that the UN had failed
to hold Eritrea accountable for "undermining" the peace agreement and border
determination deal. Specifically, Ethiopia said that the UN had not penalized
Eritrea for failing to "cease hostilities." There is a lot of "half truth" and
a little falsehood in Ethiopia's statement. The peace agreement was signed in
June 2000 (Algiers agreement). In 2002 the boundary commission decided that
Eritrea should receive the hotly disputed territory around the town of Badme.
Ethiopia had agreed to live by the boundary commission's decision, but reneged.
To say the situation turned tense is putting it mildly. During the
Ethiopia-Eritrea border war of 1998-2000, at least 70,000 people died.