Ethiopia and UN accuse Eritrea of backing Al Shabaab
Ethiopia and the UN on Thursday accused Eritrea of supporting Al Shabaab. Eritrea’s embassy in Kenya is believed to be providing monthly payments of around US$ 80,000 to help the terrorist group.
Al Shabab is suspected to have links with Al Qaeda.
Ethiopian Justice Minister, Berhane Hailu said there was concrete evidence of Eritrea’s support to Al Shabaab.
Hailu was speaking at the ongoing regional forum by the UN on the “Regional Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Eastern Africa” in Addis Ababa.
It was the second time the UN has accused Eritrea of supporting Al Shabaab, which remains a security threat to the Transitional Government of Somalia (TFG).
Eritrea is already under UN sanctions for its alleged role in providing arms and military training support to the radical group.
The sanctions, imposed in 2009 on the country’s top officials and military personnel, include an arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze.
Meanwhile, a UN Monitoring Group report on Somalia and Eritrea, released on Thursday, has indicated that Eritrea was behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Ethiopia in January this year.
Ethiopia arrested some of the suspects in that plot.
The UN report has also accused Eritrea of bankrolling al Qaeda-linked Somali rebels through its embassy in Kenya.
It revealed that Eritrea’s intelligence personnel were active in Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia, and that the country’s actions posed a threat to security and peace in the region.
Eritrea has repeatedly denied supporting Al Shabab or any armed groups against Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and Eritrea have been involved in a border dispute that erupted 10 years ago, and which has claimed the lives of several thousands on both sides.
Despite a ruling by the Hague based arbitrary commission on their border dispute, the two countries are in a “no war, no peace” situation.
Ethiopia is calling for dialogue with its neighbour to implement the border decision by the commission arguing that there are some errors in the verdict.
Eritrea, however, wants the border decision to be implemented without dialogue.