Just weeks after sending troops to its first overseas military base in the tiny East African nation of Djibouti, China has come forward with a curious offer: to dive headlong into a dispute that illustrates the complex rivalries of the Horn of Africa region.
The Chairperson of the Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, is following the recent developments between the Republic of Djibouti and the State of Eritrea in the aftermath of Qatar’s decision to withdraw its peacekeeping troops at the Djibouti- Eritrea border.
The Chairperson of the Commission appeals for calm, restraint and stresses that the AU is fully seized with the matter. He highlighted that the AU Commission, in close consultations with the authorities in Djibouti and Eritrea, is in the process of deploying a fact-finding mission to the Djibouti-Eritrea border.
The Chairperson of the Commission stands ready to assist Djibouti and Eritrea to normalize their relations and promote good neighborliness within the framework of relevant AU instruments.
A new report has indicated that hundreds of Ethiopian troops have crossed the border into Djibouti to help the country’s forces to deal with a rebel group called Front pour la Restauration de l’Unité et de la Démocratie armé (FRUD armé).
“President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti once again called big brother Ethiopia for help So, the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) have been grouping on the Djibouti-Ethiopia border since March 1,” reported the Indian Ocean Newsletter, an online intelligence gathering website. ”
At 8 a.m. on March 3, eight ENDF trucks crossed the border at Alayto-le-Boyna.
It would seem that FRUD armé has no intention of retreating and that there is therefore a real risk of a clash with the ENDF.”
Djibouti enjoys a robust relationship with Ethiopia but its armed forces, called Armées Djiboutiennes (FAD), are believed to be very small and ineffective.
Diplomatic sources say Egypt offered to send troops to replace Qataris stationed along Eritrea-Djibouti border, a move that'll anger Addis.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani today witnessed the release of all four Djiboutian Prisoners of War (POWs) that Eritrea captured during the three-day border skirmish in June 2008.
HE the Minister announced the good news from the Djibouti capital where he is currently on an official visit.
Two years after the incident, the Presidents of Eritrea and Djibouti have signed a seven-point Comprehensive Agreement on 6 June 2010 entrusting the Emir of Qatar to undertake mediation efforts including the issue of POWs and missing persons.