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Saturday, 03 March 2018

Red Sea Militarization - Caution to Preclude Confrontation

(The Ethiopian Herald) - The highly militarization scenario being noticed in Eritrea and Red Sea area could cause unnecessary confrontation

among countries in the region and eventually harms peace and stability of the Horn, according to scholars.
East African Political and Security Analyst Kahsay Gebreyesus told The Ethiopian Herald that the Eritrean government would tap the situation to destabilize the Horn region through providing financial support and technical training for terrorist and anti-peace elements.
He states that countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt have already opened their military camps in an Eritrean soil. "What is more worrisome is not establishment of military camps in Red Sea area. Rather the Eritrean regime could gain finance which could be invested in evil acts."
The war in Yemen has also added fuel to the fire as Saudi and Iran have said to be engaging in proxy war to control the vital geopolitical advantage, Kasay argues, adding, the Eritrean government has taken side in order to gain leftovers.
It goes without saying that controlling red sea would be hugely important for controlling political and economic advantages, noting as it is one of the most vital trade routes in the planet, he adds.
"Many cargo-ships travel through this strategic route. China only sends one trillion USD worth goods every year through red sea," he underlines, "so failing to promote peace this strategic area would be very dangerous."
To him governments like Eritrea which have tack record of fishing out of troubled waters should not be allowed to involve in any way.
It is clear that the UN has imposed embargo on the dictatorial regime of Isayas Afewerki for its support for al-Qaeda linked insurgents Al-Shabaab group based in Somalia, he says, adding the recent developments in the red sea area is a stark contrast to this.
"By its nature, the regime in Eritrea wouldn't live peacefully with its neighbors. It's always against the peace, stability and economic growth being ensured in the Horn African region especially in Ethiopia. Hence, it could use whatever possible to disrupt it."
As far as Egypt is concerned, Kahsay points out that huge number of Egyptian army has already stationed in Eritrean soil, though the regime denied the reality on the ground.
"Now it became clear that they have already deployed their troops to Eritrea and they are offering military training to the regime's troops, extremists and terrorists. This is very dangerous situations to the East African region."
He states that Ethiopia should continue with its diplomatic roles to further protect its national security in particular and to promote peace in the region as a whole.
"Strategic research centers should be strengthened to put in place short, medium and long-term solutions."
Luelseged Girma, Research Team Leader at the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute, for his part, says that further diplomatic efforts should be exerted to pressure the Eritrean regime, and make it halt its destructive roles.
The regime must come to negotiating tables at the available platforms such as Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), he adds.
In fact, the regime has requested to return to IGAD membership, according to him.
"The Eritrean regime has been weakened politically and economically over the last two decades due to provocative strategy towards its neighbors. Now, it has started to gaining finance from countries which established military bases in Eritrea. This incident should be taken seriously."
To him, Egypt has come to understand that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), construction would not be halted, or slow down.
"Disrupting GERD is an old-fashioned effort that the Egyptians have been trying for years," he says.
The unity, harmony and integrity of Ethiopians would be decisive to prevent foreign threats which could hamper the country's fast economic growth and sustainable peace and stability, Luelseged says, stressing that stakeholders like IGAD, African Union (AU) and UN should oversee the situation more closely.