US Blames Eritrea for Somali Instability

Eritrea, UN Trade Barbs as Situation Deteriorates

by Jason Ditz, May 15, 2009

It is hardly a unique story at this point, but once again the Somali government seems on the verge of collapse against a fierce offensive by the al-Shabaab movement. The US State Department is pointing its finger squarely at the nation of Eritrea, claiming it “has been instrumental in facilitating support of the extremists” that are imperiling the US-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

Eritrea appears to be America’s scapegoat of choice as the situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate, and only last month it was reported that the Obama Administration had threatened a US invasion of Eritrea over its support for the Islamist al-Shabaab faction.

The United Nations is also getting in on the act, voicing official concerns over the reports that Eritrea was providing arms to the insurgency, in breach of the UN arms embargo. Eritrea was as always defiant in the face of international criticism, its foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the “illicit and externally imposed transitional governments” of Somalia, and said the Security Council had aggravated the situation and was contravening the independence and sovereignty of Somalia.

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