“In times of war, the law falls silent.
Silent enim leges inter arma” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Merriam Webster defines the Snowball effect like this: “a situation in which one action or event causes many other similar actions or events” (Merriam Webster). At this moment and time, the Qatar diplomatic crisis has hit another level. A level that is unbelievable. To fellow Republics on the Horn of Africa are already in a military dispute over a territory, which they have fought over twice. Last time these nations fought over it was back in 2008.
These Republics are Eritrea and Djibouti. Who are two different states and with different approach to alliances and matters in general. Eritrea has in this crisis hold itself neutral to either Saudi Arabia and the GCC, while not doing anything with it’s affiliation to Qatar. Therefore, the Djibouti did earlier cut their ties with Qatar and with that the Qatari Peacekeepers in the area has left the nation. That Djibouti is important to Ethiopia and their trade is natural as the port and railway goes from Ethiopia to Djibouti. So if Eritrea want to hit two birds with two stones, they go and bang on Djibouti.
So the sudden cutting off Qatar has lead to change of powers and also of military stronghold between Djibouti and Eritrea. As the Eritrean has reacted to and sent the army closer to the disputed area. Both nations has claims to this area. Similar to activity on the Ethiopian border, which has been disputed since the independence of Eritrea. The same seem to be the case on the Djiboutian border and land.
That is why it isn’t surprising that the Eritrean government sends army and attack when the peacekeepers who has secured the territory since the last war in 2008. Certainly, the Asmara government want to take advantage, even if it costly, as the Djibouti sends their reports straight to the African Union and the United Nations Security Council to clear the air of the vicious attack from Eritrea. So the state can be seem as warlords and criminal in their acts on international scale. This is the own making of Eritrea, as they have done in recent years. Gone into war with neighbors without winning and neither getting recognition for their military operations.
There are reports that on Monday the 19th June 2017, the UNSC will take the dispute behind closed doors before finding out solution to the stalemate and current crisis between the nations. This is a long for conflict for the territory and not the first time Eritrea does this. Certainly, the GCC should intervene and help Djibouti, especially since the Republic sided with them. If it wasn’t just play for the gallery and needed display for the GCC. So that they have enough cards in the deck to hopefully get Qatar to give-in. Instead, there isn’t any indication of acts from KSA, Bahrain or United Arab Emirates, as the soldiers and territory is supposed to be ceased.
The GCC and allies have been in communication with neighboring Federation of Somalia to get them to cut ties with Qatar, without any luck, but Djibouti did so and even sent the Qatari peacekeepers home. Therefore, their proof of loyalty deserves to be repaid and that in full. That is if there are any honor in the GCC and their diplomacy in their sphere. So the Eritrean forces are now in the Dumera mountains and Dumera island, which violates the border territory of Djibouti.
Just to make matter worse, this report has also come out recently:
“Not trusting his army, Ismael Omar Guelleh sent a request for military support to Ethiopia and China. He wants Ethiopia and China to send military men and equipment to the border with eritrea to impress the latter. On the other side asmara concerned the movements of Ethiopian troops to the conjunction between the three countries, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, sent three military miles to its southern border or the region” (Hassan Cher Hared, HCH24.com, 12.06.2017)
And this one which is more on the nerves of Eritrea:
“The statement by the retired Ethiopian general is so nerve wracking to all levels of the regime even the aging Eritrean president has wrote a letter to selected world leaders. “Washington feverishly worked at the time, through the State Department, to drive a wedge between the two peoples who have deep historical and strategic ties in order to foment a crisis and micro-manage the affairs of the Horn of Africa,” he is quoted by Eritrean state media to have said” (…) “Isais Afwerki always says it is not Ethiopia that is working against him, but the government of the United States of America. He says this to make himself bigger than life by antagonizing the world super power unsteady of another third world country which happens to be 20 times his tine country. “The ‘border dispute’ was a simple ruse as the boundary between the two countries was defined and determined without any ambiguity in colonial times. But Washington feverishly worked at the time, through the State Department, to drive a wedge between the two peoples who have deep historical and strategic ties in order to foment a crisis and micromanage the affairs of the Horn of Africa,” said the Eritrean president in the letter, according to the Eritrean ministry of information website” (Tigrai Online – ‘The Eritrean regime is nervous about an Ethiopian retired general’ 16.06.2017 link: http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/fear-nervousness-eritrea.html).
Clearly, if these allegations are true, this would give reasons not only for the GCC issues and the interference in the Horn of Africa, that the KSA, Bahrain and UAE have in the region. As they got the Djibouti government to cut ties and make sure they loyalty would be rewarded. While that is happening, the Eritrean have not taken sides, but takes advantage of the Qatari battalions leaving Djibouti. This gave way for a demilitarized zone, which they could come and takeover. This is what happening, but if the state of Eritrea are using the media this way and swaying the public as the reports are. Than it is sick and twisted, but not surprising with the massive overload of the regime of Asmara has on its citizens.
Well, the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea isn’t over, if Djibouti will get help from either their close ally Ethiopia or China, even the GCC, time will tell. Because they should see it is their time to help out, since they we’re taken by surprise, and has now also the advantage that the international community, the African Union and the United Nations Security Council will react to the hostile act of Eritrea. This is not a good look on the matter.
How news and media company describes the recent history!
“9TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONFLICT RAS DOUMEIRA
There are feelings that even words will never translate. Feelings that we only feel in front of these heroes… Doumeira. In front of these men who face the enemy night and day. Depends on their lives. With only one currency: Homeland or death. Yesterday, no one was insensitive. ” Military, police, gendarmes, Republican Guards, whatever your rank, we all join in your pain to have lost some of your brothers in arms, some of which are still in an unknown position. In this moment of celebration, I fully associate myself with the sorrow felt by their families. We have lost soldiers who have become heroes that neither the history nor the republic of Djibouti will ever forget” (Djib-Live, 09.06.2017).
Let’s end it on a Djiboutian note:
“Mahamoud Ali Youssouf statement about the withdrawal of the Qatari troops from Ras Doumeira, the Eritrean troops have move back into the area. “All options are on our table whether its diplomatic or military,” said the Djiboutian Foreign Minister” (Djiboutian, 16.06.2017).
Hopefully it will be sorted out diplomatically and not with arms, even if the Eritrean answered the other one with invasion of border territory. Clearly a violation and a breach of trust between neighbor states. That the Djibouti republic have a good case and also the upper-hand is evident, but if the Eritrean forces will back-down and go back without a fight. That is only a matter of their will retaliate if the Djibouti army returns to their expected territory. Peace.