East Africa news update – IGAD warned of Eritrea terror links


The ‘Intergovernmental Authority on Development’ in short IGAD, to which most Eastern African countries have subscribed, was warned earlier in the week by Kenya’s President Kibaki of the growing threats by terrorism spreading from the lawless parts of Somalia into the wider region, and the need to combat the menace by finally imposing an air and sea embargo on Somalia to stop the flow of weapons into the country. The meeting, mincing no words, demanded that the United Nations Security Council acts on the security concerns of the wider region and pass a resolution making the embargo on Somalia mandatory for UN member countries.

In a further departure from the usual tip toeing and diplomatic language did President Kibaki then also single out Eritrea as a key link in the terror equation, a move supported by fellow Presidents and Heads of Delegations present, asking Eritrea to stop training and supplying terror groups. Specifically mentioned were attempts to bomb an African Union meeting earlier in the year in Addis Ababa by an Ethiopian ‘liberation group’, an alleged proxy of the regime in Asmara which is in constant hostile attitude towards Ethiopia, but also over emerging evidence that the Kampala bombers were trained in Eritrea before embarking on their mission. Feeble attempts by the Eritrean Head of Delegation to deny any such accusations were widely dismissed as short of substance and was unable to tune down a strongly worded resolution by the IGAD meeting which ‘strongly condemned’ the actions of Eritrea in destabilizing the region through her support for extremists and subversive groups.

Security measures in Southern Sudan, ahead of the weekend Independence Day celebrations have meanwhile been substantially revved up and it is understood that the airport of Juba will be closed to civilian air traffic on Saturday 09th of July. The reasons given were of a ‘logistical’ nature that parking spaces for aircraft used by visiting Presidents, Prime Ministers and official delegations representing governments or global organizations like the UN will take up all the available apron spaces and not permit landing of scheduled passenger flights on the day. Flights into Juba from all regional hubs are presently fully booked as it is expected to be ‘outbound’ after the new flag of the new Republic of South Sudan has finally been raised this coming Saturday.

Watch this space.