3equipment during the Ethiopia-Eritrea war, an allegation which is probably accurate. The twocountries then restored relations in 2001 with the help of Libyan President Qadhafi.Early in 2008, Eritrea began preparing military positions along its border with Djibouti.
By May, Djibouti’s president said the two armies are facing each other and described thesituation as “explosive.”
Fighting along the border broke out in June. Djibouti severed relationswith Eritrea in November. Eritrea dismissed any argument that it had attacked or that a clash hadeven taken place and rejected all efforts at mediation. Nor is there any official complaint fromEritrea about a border claim against Djibouti.Eritrea probably initiated this incident out of unhappiness over
Djibouti’s close ties with
Ethiopia and possibly frustration that the port of Djibouti was booming while Assab was stagnantand Massawa operating well below capacity. Djibouti and Eritrea subsequently exchangedambassadors again, but Djibouti remains wary about its Eritrean neighbor.
Djibouti’s minister of
economy, finance and planning commented this July in London that while the conflict in
Somalia is of great concern “the conflict in Eritrea has a much bigger potential to destabilize
Djibouti and the wh
He added that he looks forward to the day that Djibouti does nothave to pay large sums to have its military stationed on the border with Eritrea. This is moneythat could be used for poverty alleviation instead.South SudanEritrea was a strong supporter of the
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement
(SPLM)during the 1990s. Juba has never forgotten this help.
Sudan’s now defunct opposition National
Democratic Alliance, of which the SPLM was a member, once had its headquarters in Asmara.Following the 1998 outbreak of war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Eritrea began to improve tieswith Khartoum. Improvement of ties with Khartoum and the death of John Garang in 2005resulted in a cooling of relations with the SPLM, but Eritrea always kept the channels open to theSPLM.A senior South Sudan delegation visited Asmara in March 2011 when it discussed futurecooperation. A second senior delegation arrived a few months later. President Isaias represented
Eritrea at South Sudan’s independence in July
2011, when he also met with UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon in Juba. South Sudan is playing a role in breaking the political isolationof Eritrea.SudanEritrea has since independence in 1993 had a volatile relationship with Khartoum.Throughout most of the 1990s, Eritrea strongly supported the SPLM and maintained a hostilepolicy towards Khartoum. Until 1998, Eritrea (together with Ethiopia and Uganda) was part of the so-called US-
line states” policy aimed at putting military pressure on S