Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A call to blockade Somali Islamists

The East African Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) countries have called for an Air and Sea blockade on points-of-entry controlled by the Islamist al-Shabaab insurgency.

That's a tall order, involving two ports and dozens of small airstrips.

Fortunately, the IGAD countries have recognized that Eritrea is one of the major suppliers:
Eritrea is suspended from Igad and could now be barred from the African Union.

"There is incontrovertible evidence that Asmara and Eritrea is involved in arming, training, recruiting and supplies to the insurgents in Somalia," Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told the BBC.
How much pressure to put on Eritrea is a question. They are mostly a transhipment point; Putting an additional blockade on Eritrea would certainly be considered an act of war; There is also the added complication that Iran has recently opened a "naval base" in Eritrea.

A renewed Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict is also a risk in all this. The two nations have been basically taking time-out on their war(s), and they are on opposite sides of the Somalia conflict.

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