Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Will Meles Zenawi attack Isaias Afewerki?

Rumors abound that Ethiopia is planning a "preemptive" invasion of Eritrea, starting a new chapter of military tension between perenially dueling dictators Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea.

While their proxy war in Somalia continues, Meles Zenawi raised tensions by moving thousands of troops and heavy military hardware near the perpetually contested border with Eritrea to "prevent a possible Eritrean invasion of Ethiopia" while simultaneously issuing a warning to Afewerki to butt out of Somalia. Unperturbed by Ethiopia's threats, Afewerki's government blasted Meles Zenawi as a "boot licker" to the United States, and predicted Ethiopia's imminent defeat in Somalia.

While Ethiopia does indeed have its hands full at home and in Somalia, there's little doubt that Ethiopia's recent military training and equipment upgrades have given Meles Zenawi a decisive tactical edge in any potential conflict with Afewerki. And who knows? Kicking Eritrea's ass might take his mind off improving human rights or expanding political freedoms on the home front.

Obviously, you can tell I think Meles Zenawi is dealing from a position of strength with Afewerki, but perhaps that's just me. Looking through my site statistics, I see a couple of readers in the United Kingdom who read my posts about Eritrea and Ethiopia for hours a day. What do you the readers, especially you blokes in Epsom, think?