[dehai-news] (UN Dispatch) Peacekeeping mission to Somalia bound to throw peacekeepers "under the bus"

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Tue Dec 16 2008 - 15:45:27 EST

December 16, 2008
Explosions in the Horn

Beth Dickinson agrees that the U.S. push to deploy (underarmed) UN
peacekeepers to Somalia prematurely -- while at the same time advising that
much-detested Ethiopian troops remain in the country and taking the
provocative step of naming Eritrea a state sponsor of terror -- is, well,
not a very well thought-out policy.
Finally, you can expect this to ratchet up tensions in the region. Eritrea
is indeed rumored to supply the Somali Islamists with weapons. But Ethiopia
and Eritrea have an ongoing border dispute that has left both sides
exceedingly militarized. Acceding to Ethiopian wishes by putting Eritrea on
the terror list is like playing Russia roulette. With all live rounds.

Another live wire connected to this powder keg, I might add, is that the
Ethiopia-Eritrea border is not only "exceedingly militarized," but, thanks
to the illegitimate manipulations of both sides, also utterly empty of the
UN peacekeepers that once monitored the accord between the two countries. So
what we have here is this: the total abandonment of peacekeepers in a
situation that, had the host governments not overtly interfered with their
presence, actually fulfilled the conditions prerequisite to a peacekeeping
mission (i.e., a peace to keep), juxtaposed with desperate calls for blue
helmets to deploy where no one wants to go and where peacekeepers are bound
to (all too literally) be thrown under the bus.

The only question, it seems, is where the explosion will hit first

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