Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Eritrea and Somalia: did they or didn’t they?

May 27, 2009

 As Somalia goes up in flames again , fingers are being pointed at Eritrea for its alleged role in fuelling the conflict.  East African regional body IGAD and the continent-wide African Union have both called for sanctions on Eritrea – including a no-fly zone and blockade of its ports – for allegedly supplying arms and equipment to Al Shabaab and other militant Islamist insurgents fighting Somalia’s interim government.The accusations have been around for years, and have surfaced in U.N. reports on breaches of a weapons embargo for Somalia. Asmara says its arch-enemy Ethiopia is driving the accusations, helped by CIA agents in the region, and denies it has given any material aid despite its antipathy towards President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s government.Asmara says the government, formed in January during a U.N.-brokered process in Djibouti, is an illegitimate administration imposed by foreign powers. It challenges its critics to produce hard evidence, and says the accusations are particularly hypocritical given Ethiopia’s recent armed intervention in Somalia.Analysts say the spat plays into the wider, unfinished conflict in the region between Ethiopia and Eritrea. They fought a border war between 1998-2000 – just a few years after Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia – and their armies still face each other, while the governments spit enmity between them. So who is right? How can the rest of the world know the truth? What should Eritrea and Ethiopia both do to further peace in Somalia?


Eritrea has become a parasite to all East African countries. What is amazing is that Eritrea and Somalia don’t a single inch of territory but it is being involved in the internal affairs of Somalia. It will be difficult(but not impossible) to have peace in Somalia when Ethio-Eritrea conflict is not solved. Ethiopia has been flexible of its stance. Many people consider the reason of Ethio-Eritrea conflict to be of just a border dispute. Their main reason of conflict is economical. They have sit in a round table and discuss their problem.But Eritrea couldn’t be cooperative of that. Even if Ethiopia returned the borders to Eritrea, no peace would come. The only way out to solve the problem is either to oust to Isayas by force(which won’t be difficult) or sanction him by UN. That is the only way he can understand.

Posted by osman | Report as abusive

If there are any half-decent journalists left in Africa at all, they would do a bit of investigation and find out the answer to the above and many other questions. But, no, they would rather sit on their hands and wait for governments and NGOs to provide them both the questions and the corresponding answers. And in the unlikely event of a journalist waking up from their slumber and stamble on a valid question to ask, they would rather search the virtual world for some cut&paste answers than getting their hands dirty and get to the bottom of issues through investigative journalism.

Posted by Eritrean | Report as abusive

Typical American concocted propaganda to hide their own involvement and Ethiopia’s crimes.The sad thing is AU and UN are being used as a rubber stamps for few countries adventures.In 2007 the UN monitoring group published the same falsified report that claimed 2000 Eritrean Special forces were dispatched to Somalia before the invasion, yet not a single Eritrean soldier was found dead or alive in Somalian soil. You are a journalist, go and ask the UN where did they vanish to ?But there are evidence upon evidence of the US, Ethiopia, AU peace keepers running arms in Somalia. Here are few links from Reuters incase you have forgotten.  /worldNews/idUSN0728288520070407http:// dUSL24158241._CH_.2400 .uk/2/hi/africa/7417435.stmAfricans are fed with all the cover ups of foreign interference using vassal countries and institutions that act as their rubber stamps.I expect Reuters to write a proper indepth article rather than a blog about the subject

Posted by simon | Report as abusive

Oh if the AU and UN have any credibility left they would do something about the heinous crimes worse that Darfur, that really deserve sanctions and taking leaders to the ICC court.Illegal invasion of Somalia with UN and US complicity =7VJka6q16OsSomalia Crisis worse than Darfur, says UN’s ‘own Darfur’ as villagers flee government-backed violence a: Army Commits Executions, Torture, and Rape in OgadenDonors Should Act to Stop Crimes Against Humanity

Posted by Simon | Report as abusive

For some reason, there is a missing dimension here. What about the role of the US in the invasion and ocupation of Somalia? What about the role of the CIA in the formation of and financing of the warlords that prevented the the TNG (the one formed in Kenya)from relocating to Somalia? What about the arms embargo violations by the US and Ethiopia…not to mention the arms brought into Somalia by dealers such as Victor Bout who was on the US payroll until his arrest last year?The situation in Somalia has been deliberately complicated by Ethiopia and its handlers for over two decades. Eritrea neither borders Somalia, nor has any ulterior motives in Somalia than to see peace and stability restored. Eritrea doe snot covet Somalia’s waters, Eritrea has her own 1000 mile coastline. Eritrea does not covet Somalia’s fish, Eritrea has abundant fish and other sea products. Eritrea doe snto covet Somalia’s ports, Eritrea has several ports of her own. Can we say the same about Ethiopia?Its not Eritrea’s fishermen that are pillaging Somalia’s waters…it is not Eritrea’s waste that is being dumped in Somalia’s waters…Eritrea has consistently called for non-intervention in Somalia and has asked all friends of Somalia to create a conducive atmosphere for the Somali people to resolve their own issues in their own way.

Posted by Sophia Tesfamariam | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Mpho MajoroTo put it in one word “Hypocrite”I have a questions for you and other reporters? how come you guys don’t even ask as to why the Ethiopian troops financed by USA invading Somali sovereignty and Killing, raping innocent Somalians? You intend to ignore this question but it is easy to blame Eritrea on the other hand. The truth can never be found from outsiders Ok. The truth only can come from the Somali people. And let the Somali people choose their own governments, No Ethiopia nor USA can choose what is good for the people of Somalia. Also Eritrea is not the fanning the flame, the flame was already fanned by Ethiopia with the support of American Tax payers. Eritrea is not the one claiming that there are terrorist in that country nor doesn’t it gains anything if there is no peace in Somalia.Thanks


Just want kind of “evidence” is out there that can prove Eritrea’s involvement in Somalia?The so-called “U.N. Monitoring Group” report has already shot itself on the headby detailing the involvement of “2000 Eritrean soldiers in Somalia” during the 2005 naked Ethiopian invasion.After such a naked lie designed to cover-up on a naked invasion, no amount of “evidence” can convince any sane person about Eritrea’s non-political involvement.Besides, the U.S. States Department (US-SD) openly endorsed the coward invasion of a sovereign Somali nation by TPLF/Ethiopia that did NOTHING but kill, maim and displace tens of thousands. So by sticking to TPLF-sponsored terror in Somalia, the US-SD is defining insanity for all to see.So no amount of accusation against Eritrea can save such a gigantic, endless debacle.

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive

All this lies against Eritrea are as a result Eritrea refusing to be the CIA’s errand-boy.Had Eritrea caved-in, turned its back on injustice and became “friends” with the CIA, there’s be no fabrications & we’d be hearing too much about the real truth, like:- Eritrea is principled- Eritrea is honest- Eritreans are africa’s israel- Eritrea’s is a hard-working debt-free nation- Eritrea is an impartial nation- Eritrea is anti-terror and very accurate with analysis- Eritrea first to fight Bin-Laden-in-Sudan in 1990′s- Eritrea is self-reliantIronically, all the above reasons make Eritrea fiercely independent and is not easily swayed/corrupted to be recruited by CIA like the former Albanian communist Meles Zenawi of the TPLF.

Posted by Yohannes T. Ghorgis | Report as abusive

The question should be what is best for Somalia….Clearly, for there to be peace; Somalis must decide what is best for them. To date there have not been any transitional government of Somalia that allowed all parties and people to participate in forming their own government. Every transitional government that came was formed in exile and it was dictated by special interest groups. Eritrea, however, is advocating for a approach that is inclusive of all groups and political affiliations and thus it has nothing to gain by militarily supporting any group. Ethiopia and America for that matter have been fueling that flame by calling this group is linked to terrorist and that group is radical and thus causing the suffering of the peoples continue without an end in sight. And that is the truth.

Posted by Tesfay | Report as abusive

Somalia is a failed state, in all sense of the term. More than blaming Asmara for arming rebels, efforts must be put in place to stabilize the country. If Asmara have been leaking out weapons to the Islamists, they surely are not the first top do so. On that note, the world needs to have appropriate legal frameworks to deal with such matters. The reason why such frameworks are not there, in my mind is because a lot of powerful countries illegally move weapons anyway in one form or the other, one cause or the other and they would not want that under tha radar as well. Otherwise, how do various armed groups find access to weapons?


How could the AU located in Ethiopia make decisions and even ask for sanctions against Eritrea? This is not a proxy war between Ethiopia and Eritrea but a war between the cancer of the horn of Africa, the TPLF minority regime and the entire peace loving people of the horn of Africa. In order to bring peace back to the region the Genocidal Meles Zenawi regime must go. Then we will see changes towards a peaceful resolution amongst the two countries as long as they both respect each others borders.AU & IGAD need to dictate themselves and not be run by the Ethiopian Govt. supported by the U.SEritrea will be the only one to unite the horn countries with the intelligence, and savvy and wise leadership it has including his excellency Issias Afwerki who has been a pleasure to watch and learn from the past couple of weeks through out media outlets from Europe to Asia, African and Reuters.Peace in the horn of Africa.Eritrean American

Posted by Eritrean American | Report as abusive

Weapons are FLOWING from the TFG to Al-Shabab (being sold the open) according to many news sources. So who is arming who here? Instead of blaming Eritea, it’s be wise to if the CIA and its quisling TPLF/Ethiopia stopped making Somalia awash with weapons by giving it to criminals, war-lords and fake governments that recycle the weapons for money.

Posted by Asmaran | Report as abusive

If IGAD and AU claim to represent the African people, why do they work mainly towards destruction instead of construction of the African states? These days Africans are tired of hearing IGAD and AU conspiring to cover up their incompetencies. Any Leader who works to bring their corrupted, ill intended and war infested actions to the light must be criticized and sanctioned. I believe the main focus of organizations should to organize and unite states to improve economies and end conflicts. However, since they get funded to work in disasters, they would be working themselves out of a job. So, anyone who challenges them to do what’s right for the African people becomes their enemy. Thanks to technology and the virtual world, the Global village is now aware of all the atrocities being committed by the parasite governments like Ethiopia’s Woyane Regime. So, I challenge any credible reporters of the world to work using facts, as African people are tired of war, famine and disease caused by self-serving, corrupted organizations and governments.

Posted by Ruth | Report as abusive

My fellow Eritrean brothers and sisters please wake up and smell the coffee. We have been had – take a look n?videoId=1.1014115&renderingdepartment= 2.34562What a shame!!

Posted by Love my people | Report as abusive

I think this is just ridiculous…. ERITREA hasn’t been helping Somalia in any kind of way. The war between Eritrea & Ethiopia is over, i feel like Eritrea has nothing to do with this….. & as far as Isais he’s a great president, he’s doing wayy more for his country than Meles Zenawi has ever done. Ethiopia’s a yes-man country. The US is to blame for this.

Posted by Senait K. | Report as abusive

Eritreans please leave Ethiopia alone? Ethiopian people forgotten about you. You got your independence what else do you want from Ethiopia?

Posted by Khalid | Report as abusive

If Somali citizens have more than enough weapon that can be exported why would they need to have more weapons from countries like Eritrea, who is claimed to be poor country? That does not make sense at all. The weapons in Somalia relative to its population equates to 2.5 each. That means every Somali citizen including the Diasporas can have 2full weapons and share the third one with another person who owns 2 weapons.Coming back to AU, IGAD and UN, it is shame to be led by Weyane (the minority regime in Ethiopia)’s idea. Not to the surprise of most the African Union without convining a meeting and discussing the issue came to conclusion by few pundit who are paid by foreign interests that Eritrea should be blamed for all the mess created by the Weyanes and their masters.

Posted by Eritrean | Report as abusive

It’s petty to see some people, especially of Eritrean to legitimatize the ultra negative impact of their government based on some irrelevant facts. Ethiopian army has been in Somalia after the then transitional gov’t called for help against the mass Somali interest-YES. The Ethiopian soldiers have killed civilians there while combating oppositions-YES. But could this give any base for the Isaias regime to involve negatively in Somalia against the will of the toothless and infant gov’t/group. Bad past mistakes made by USA/Ethiopia couldn’t be a reason for worse conclusion and negative impact of Eritrea on neighbor Somalia. Let Somalia be left for Somalis.

Posted by carl | Report as abusive

Eritrea govenment has no reason to intefere on the conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia, the main reason is to make sure Ethiopia want have the stability to progress on thier economical sector.Which mean war against the Ethiopian people. The government of Isayas has cause great damage to region of horn of Africa and far greater damage to Eritrian people. The Only way to solve this isue is tohave the Eritrian people free them self from this dictatorial government who is ruling by iron fist.Mohammed SaeedUS

Posted by Mohammed Saeed | Report as abusive

I believe that Eritrea is involved in Somalia´s problem just in diplomatic role helping the diffrent clans to reasen out thier issues on a round table not as the Ethiopians in military action killing all the Somalis who are even being victemized by the war. I hope the whole world try to open up there eyes and see what would be the best solution on thelong run bothe for the Somalis and the Horn of Africa as a whole. I don´t belive or see that the world leders can diffrentiate who is doing what to agrivate the problem on the Horn of Africa.All kind of help except the war mashine of Ethiopia can contrubute to a better solution. Thisis the only way to solve political or any other kind of problem in any aspect of mankind problem.

Posted by grem | Report as abusive

Betri haki teketen enber aytesberin!Why do ppl to infect the whole horn of africa situation more than it is infected now?? Journalist are the termoil of all this problem because they don´t take any kind of responsability for what they publishe on there daily news pappers.What i still don´t understand yet is We all see what is going on on this planet war, poverty, climate changing and even most feerd leders comes and goes as post delivery. Why can´t any resonabel person can come with the whole truth nothing but the truth and let the intier world know the cause and consiquens of the whole history from the very begining until today? It would solve so many un answered questions and even save our brain and sole from argument agrement disagrements of what it has been said until now.

Posted by Betri | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see