As the UN Security Council, Arab League and African Union urge Eritrea to halt military action against neighboring Djibouti, French officers stationed in the Horn of Africa mini-state say that France is providing Djibouti with military support—and preparing to send more troops and war material. Speaking to the official Agence Djiboutienne d’Information (ADI), a French officer identified as Col. Ducret said French forces are “providing assistance in logistics, medical [and] intelligence service to the Djiboutian army.”
The French Defense Ministry, which already has a large military base in Djibouti, says it is developing plans to establish mobile military bases close to the Eritrean border, which would hold back an advance by Eritrean forces.
France already has a large military base in Djibouti, and Paris’ government was among the first to condemn the Eritrean aggression against Djibouti. Only the US State Department’s condemnation of Eritrea was clearer. A State Department spokesperson referred to the border conflict as an Eritrean “military aggression.” The US Africa Command also has a large military presence in Djibouti.
Fighting over the Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island has left several dead and dozens wounded over the past three days, according to a statement read June 12 at the Security Council by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad of the US, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month. “The Security Council calls upon the parties to commit to a ceasefire and urges both parties, in particular Eritrea, to show maximum restraint and withdraw forces to the status-quo ante,” the statement said.
The Arab League June 13 urged Eritrea to withdraw its forces from border areas near Djibouti “immediately” and to respect Djibouti’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Eritrea has rejected a fact-finding mission proposed by the League, which was to find ways to ease tension. (Djibouti is an Arab League member; Eritrea is not—see BBC Profile.)
Eritrea’s Foreign Ministry has issued a press release calling the massive condemnation of its military action “baseless and mendacious statements.” When accusations of an incursion surfaced last month, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki told Reuters: “It’s a fabrication…We decline the invitation to go into another crisis in the region.”
Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh told ADI that “If Eritrea wants war, it will get it.” (Afrol News, UN News Service, June 13; Reuters, June 12)
See our last posts on Eritrea, Djibouti, the Horn of Africa and France in Africa.
I smell a rat.
Don’t you find it curious, when Djibouti was screaming blue murder about being invaded, this was issued in the AFP.
And Eritrea’s statement “It’s a fabrication…We decline the invitation to go into another crisis in the region.”
“A military source said French forces based in Djibouti had carried out a reconnaissance on Thursday at the government’s request but had not been able to confirm an incursion.”
I smell a rat also…
Only in Africa can a war be launched by a dictatorial regime like Eritrea and the only people in denial be the dictator’s own die-hard supporters. Only in Africa.
Dead bodies have been shown, the AU, the Arab League, the UN, and many more are all calling for peace and a peaceful end to the conflict and that should be what everyone is doing at this time.
Africa doesnt need anymore of this.
Here is a good N.Y. times article from before the war began: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/world/africa/25djibouti.html?fta=y
The end does not Justify the means.
In my books the end does not justify the means. What I was trying to point out was, this is a classic provocation tactic, to make your enemy react or concoct a story, in a way that justifies your own attack.
You might not be familiar with American history, but have a look for the famous “Gulf of Tonkin” incident that was excuse to get involved in the disastrous Vietnam war.
There is enough evidence some skuldugery has happened already.
Condemnation without any evidence
Eritrea said, “We decline the invitation to go into another crisis in the region.”
Djibouti said, it´s being invaded from Eritrea but funny is that till yet, there is no independent confirmation of that claim.
Isn’t it natural to hear on independent investigators before someone start to throw any stone on any country?
I think the US administration with their puppets on the horn of Africa are trying to isolate a poor country that has shown much courage on the last decades than all African countries in a century.
However, if someone knows what the Eritreans undergone because of the injustice imposed on them, he/she knows that these fabrication are nothing but bias.
The frenzy has begun
Eritreans have been wondering what tactics will be used this time by the US as a continuation of creating crises in the area and vilifying Eritrea. Little did we expect it would be our good friend and neighbor Djibouti in conjunction with a country we’ve never had any problems with before – France. Not even an attempt at camouflaging it this time, such is their contempt for the Rule of Law, morality, and all the good things our creator and forefathers taught us. WOW!
It is time for the people of
It is time for the people of eritrea whether they are at home and especially the ones living abroad to wake up to the fact that they have a suicidal mad dog running their country. When are these apologist going to step and tell it the way it is? I (djiboutian) had great hope for eritrea when they first declared independence. I thought here is a country that will be the rising star for a new africa. However, my hopes for the country disipated quickly. What has happened unfortunately is a country ruled by a bunch of illiterate bush men. They still think they are in the bush fighthing for liberation. Well wake up Eritrea!!! You have gained your independence – and what is the end result – NOTHING!!! President Issayes who calls himself a statesmen acts like a total lunatic and the crazy thing is the eritrean people (I would specifically like to point out that it is mostly the christian part of the eritrean people who follow him blindly) say/do nothing but spew garbage about how this is conspiracy. Wake up Eritrea for the sake of your country – this is a suicidal mission your are undertaking. Djibouti has no quarrels with anybody. The only thing we want is to develop our country and help our people out of poverty. If you want to be part of the solution you are welcome but if you want to become the neighbourhood bully, then be prepared for the consequences.
Background to Djibouti crisis?
From the above-referenced New York Times story by Jeffrey Gettleman of May 25—the only piece the Times has run on the crisis:
The International Boundaries Research Unit at Durham University has this to say (updated June 16):
Eritrean Logic, Eritrean math…
Eritrean anything is completely opposite what the rest of the world sees. For example they see Ethiopian history as their history. Ethiopian leaders as theirs(selectively). It makes sense they would see a region that was part of Ethiopia and which was leased to France in 1897 and subsequently granted its autonomy(by both countries) as, of course theirs. Thats Eritrean logic after all. The Hanish Islands were never theirs. They were Ethiopian. And the Ethio Yemen treaty stipulated that if Ethiopia ever gave up its rights to them that they would revert to Yemen. So on independence what does Eritrea, who should have first made sure its interests were protected by its big brother done. Proceeded clamly. This was a nation that had volunaritly allowed Eritrea to cesseed. It had transported a number of its industries, a portion of its arms and its budget for the region for the next 3 years. Ethiopia is not a rich country by any means. IT is probably second from the bottom. But these were their cousins and brothers if they wished to chart their own course after destroying Mengistu’s brutal dictatorship no one imposed anything on them. Heck when Eritrea chose to attack Yemen, Ethiopia bound by its mutual defense treaty came to this assistance with Helicopter gunships and fighter aircraft. What does Eritrea do even before the Yemeni crisis was over ? Turn its guns on Ethiopia. If this country and its rabid leader are not 3 million of the crazierst people on the planet no one is. Now they are in Djibouti. They are sending mercenaries to Somalia, arms to Yemen rebels and attacking Saudi Arabia. I say more power to them. All these countries were giving money and weapons to Issayas Afewerki and Mohammed Ziad Barre when they were killing Ethiopians.