"Several thousand" Somali Islamic Courts militiamen are
reported to have moved to a position fifteen kilometers from the Ethiopia
border. The militiamen are near the town of Abudwaq, Somalia. An Islamic Courts
spokesman said that its forces were "ready to confront" the enemy
(ie, Ethiopia). The "Muslim versus Christian" (Somali versus
Ethiopia) element is often emphasized in reports from the region. There is also
an ethnic dimension. Ethiopia controls a portion of the Ogaden desert that is
largely populated by ethnic Somalis. Many Somalis regard the area as being part
of a "Greater Somalia."
war between Somalia and Ethiopia would be one of raids. The border area is in
the middle of nowhere, logistically speaking, and neither side can muster large
quantities of fuel, and other supplies, to support large mechanized forces. But
columns of trucks, loaded with infantry and some mortars, are another thing.
Ethiopia also has an air force, but the air bases are a long way from the
Somali border, and few of the aircraft are in flying condition.
25, 2006: The US has given Kenya and Ethiopia evidence that Somali Islamists
intend to launch suicide attacks inside Kenya and Ethiopia. Islamist
agents would also try to assassinate "prominent Kenyans" and ethnic
Somalis. That presumably means ehtnic Somalis not aligned with the Islamic
Courts and its allies. Ethnic Somalis live in northern Kenya and in eastern
24, 2006: An Islamist leader in Somalia called on all Somalis to prepare to
fight "the Ethiopian invaders." One Somali group said that the
statement amounted to a "declaration of war" (against Ethiopia).
23, 2006: The Ethiopian government said that the Islamic Courts militia in
Somalia presented Ethiopia with "a clear threat." In Somalia,
Ethiopian troops reportedly exchanged fire with Somali fighters near the town
of Adale (south of Baido, where the Somali Transitional Government,
Ethiopia's ally, is located).
21, 2006: Both Ethiopia and Eritrea rejected the new UN-sponsored boundary
commission proposal to provide a map-based demarcation of the border and then
let Ethiopia and Eritrea decide the boundary on their own.