Sunday, August 9, 2009
I interviewed with BBC radio's "Focus on Africa" program yesterday. The questions dealt with the expulsion of an Eritrean diplomat by the Kenyan government for "security" reasons the day after Secretary Clinton departed Kenya. The key concern of the United States is Eritrea's continuing support for the extremist al-Shabaab organization that it trying to overthrow the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The United Nations, African Union, Arab League, and the United States all support the TFG. I believe that Eritrea is the only government that supports al-Shabaab, although it does get assistance from jihadis in South Asia and the Middle East. Eritrea has long denied that it supports al-Shabaab, but the Intergovernmental Authority for Development and African Union have declared that it is supporting the extremist organization. The longer Eritrea supports al-Shabaab, the more isolated it will become in the international community.