Daniel McKivergan reports in the Worldwide Standard today:
The extent of the cooperation between Eritrea and the ICU is only now coming to light. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross posted a story on Pajamas Media this weekend on the alliance between the two:
Ethiopia’s longtime rival, Eritrea, had troops in the country for about four months prior to [the Ethiopian invasion]. A confidential UN report drafted by the Monitoring Group on Somalia in late 2006 says that “2000 fully equipped combat troops from Eritrea” arrived to the north of Mogadishu in late August, and redeployed to different areas held by the ICU. According to high-level sources in Somalia’s transitional government and U.S. intelligence, these Eritrean troops never left the country–a development unknown to American policymakers until today.
It seems reasonable to conclude then that the ICU’s rise can best be explained by Eritrea’s support for it, rather than as the result of an indigenous yearning for Islamic order. That the ICU is closely linked to al Qaeda is beyond doubt, but this fact seems not to have concerned the Eritreans in the least. Now, in addition to collaborating with terrorist organizations, Eritrea is making direct threats in an attempt to deter further American involvement in Somalia.
When countries threaten the U.S., the U.S. should have the respect to take those threats seriously. As pointed out in the article, the U.S. provides some military aid to Eritrea. This should be halted immediately and Eritrea handed a bill for back training obtained under false pretenses.
It’s nice to dream isn’t it?
At the least, the U.S. must halt aid to Eritrea immediately, including military, economic and humanitarian aid.