Category: English

Israeli surveillance post in Eritrea attacked: Sources to Al Mayadeen

dahlakAccording to the sources, the attack specifically targeted the summit of a mountain housing an Israeli surveillance post to monitor the Red Sea.Eritrean military sources reported to al Al Mayadeen on Thursday that an attack occurred on Israeli soldiers stationed at a military outpost in the Dahlak Archipelago in Eritrea.

According to the sources, the attack specifically targeted the summit of a mountain housing an Israeli surveillance post to monitor the Red Sea, facing Yemen.

Sources told Al Mayadeen that a senior Israeli military officer was killed in the course of this attack.

Read more: Iran gears up for extensive ground forces military drills

"Israel" faces a reality in which the ground invasion of Gaza would unleash a flurry of missiles, rockets, and drones that can overload its air security systems and damage strategic infrastructure.

Yemen's Ansar Allah is just one of the many factions that can confront the Israeli occupation and has vowed to do so amid ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq is already playing an active role in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, firing rockets and launching attack drones toward US military bases in Iraq and northeastern Syria. 

On Saturday, the USS Carney positioned in the Red Sea at the time, intercepted four cruise missiles and 15 drones reportedly launched from Sanaa toward occupied Palestinian territories.

Israeli media reported that the payloads carried by the long-range missiles and drones amounted to 1.6 tons and targeted the occupation city of "Eilat".

It was also revealed that Saudi Arabia had to take down at least one of the cruise missiles, as the Carney fought for more than 9 hours, according to a US official as quoted by CNN.

Israeli strategic affairs expert Yoni Ben-Menachem said that Yemen has effectively joined in the battle against "Israel" after it launched the attack toward occupied territories, despite being intercepted by the US Navy.

Category: English

Ethiopia’s quest for sea access rattles port custodians Eritrea

massawaThe Ethiopian government is trying to stem a potential diplomatic falling-out with Eritrea, with whom it only restored relations three years ago, after its leader hinted at seeking access to the sea for his country’s economic and geopolitical needs.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in a speech in parliament last Sunday, spoke of seeking access to the sea, which he argued was central to the country’s ambitions and said it needed to be addressed “to prevent future generations from resorting to conflict. This can be achieved through discussions on investment options, shares and leases. However, dismissing it entirely as a topic of conversation is a mistake,” he said, according to the Ethiopian News Agency.

“We are not insisting on Massawa or Assab specifically. What we seek is an accessible gateway. However, it may materialise — be it through purchase, leasing, or any mutual arrangement —that’s our objective,” Ahmed said, referring to the Eritrean port cities, once the country’s key gates to the outside world Eritrea responded to the speech with a cryptic statement: “Discourses — both actual and presumed — on water, access to the sea, and related topics floated in the recent times are numerous and excessive indeed. The affair has perplexed all concerned observers.”

A terse statement by the Eritrean Information Ministry added that “… the Government of Eritrea (GOE) reiterates that it will not, as ever, be drawn into such alleys and platforms. The GOE further urges all concerned not to be provoked by these events.”

Eritrean diplomats were more specific. Estifanos Afeworki, ambassador to Japan, said his country would defend its territory at all times.

“No amount of illegitimate instigation, propaganda, conspiracy, and defamation can change this truth,” he wrote on X on October 12.

In Addis Ababa, a senior diplomat told The EastAfrican the Prime Minister was not declaring war, just expressing Ethiopia’s need for a seaport.

“Ethiopia deserves to have access to the sea because of historical, geopolitical and economic reasons. That access can be attained through negotiations and dialogue. It has to stop being a taboo to discuss this issue,” said the official told us.

“There are many options. We could lease it, purchase it or develop it together. We are working with Kenya on the Lamu port. We are working with Somalia too. Ethiopia has a legitimate right to discuss this issue.”

Ethiopia and Eritrea were once one country until 1993 when Asmara seceded. Before then, access to the sea was mostly via Massawa and Assab on the Red Sea coast. The two countries did not enjoy good relations until 2019, and Addis was forced to deal with Djibouti for access to the sea. It imports nearly 90 percent of goods via the Djibouti port.

But Abiy did admit the cost is higher in Djibouti. According to him, Ethiopia’s future strategic interests lie in the access to the sea, which could also enable it to build its navy and secure trade routes.

“When we had access to the Red Sea, we were one of the great powers,” the prime minister told lawmakers.

Resource headache

And he thinks countries should be free to discuss a give-and-take of their natural resources.

“Declaring ‘I will take yours, but I won’t give you mine’ is not appropriate. Ethiopia, indeed, has every right to pursue access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean,” Dr Abiy asserted.

Addis Ababa’s stance on the sea route adds to another continual dispute of natural resources. Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have been quarrelling over the Grand Renaissance Dam (Gerd), a $5 billion project on the Blue Nile, which Khartoum and Cairo think will affect water availability to their own population. Addis Ababa has gone on to fill it four times already even though it still attends sessions seeking to get an amicable solution of the Gerd use.Abiy said his country was open to sharing the power produced from the dam, noting that research shows it has “substantial returns.”

Category: English

EANC calls on Ethiopia to recognize territorial rights of Eritrean Afar people amid Red Sea access debate

Addis Abeba – The Eritrean Afar National Congress (EANC), a political organization representing the indigenous Afar people of Eritrea’s northern coastal region, has called on the Ethiopian government to recognize the territorial rights of the Eritrean Afar people. This comes as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopia should explore options for gaining access to the Red Sea.

In a statement released on 20 October, 2023, the EANC responded to recent comments made by Prime Minister Abiy, who emphasized Ethiopia’s strategic interest in securing access to the Red Sea. The PM argued that Ethiopia has an “inalienable right” to access the Red Sea, including the Port of Assab.

While acknowledging Ethiopia’s economic development needs and aspirations to utilize the Red Sea, the EANC stressed that the coastal territories and resources of the Dankalia region, where Assab port is located, are the traditional homeland and legal property of the Eritrean Afar people under international law.

The EANC further warned that any unilateral action by Ethiopia to gain control over the Port of Assab, in collaboration with the current Eritrean regime, would violate international laws and compromise Eritrean sovereignty. It would also undermine the right to self-determination of the Eritrean Afar nation in their homeland, the statement said.

The political organization also accused the Eritrean government, led by President Isaias Afwerki, of carrying out policies of marginalization, violence, ethnic cleansing, and illegal land seizures against the Afar people over the past three decades. According to the EANC, these actions have displaced tens of thousands of Afar people from their territories in Dankalia.

In its statement, the EANC called for consultations involving Ethiopia, Eritrean opposition groups, and representatives of the Eritrean Afar people on any proposals impacting the region. It emphasized that collaboration is key to stability and development in the region.

The EANC’s statement comes days after neighboring countries rejected PM Abiy’s comments, reigniting debates around Red Sea sovereignty. Eritrea was the first to respond, firmly rejecting “any talk of excessive Ethiopian access” through Eritrean ports. The statement from Asmara asserted that Eritrea’s “full territorial sovereignty and integrity” would not be compromised under any conditions.

Somalia took an even stronger stance, rejecting Ethiopian appeals to negotiate over potential Somali port access. Somali government ministers vowed to “retain full sovereignty and control over all of Somalia’s strategic economic assets.”

Djibouti also asserted its territorial sovereignty, acknowledging Ethiopia’s dependence on its main port at Djibouti while emphasizing its status as an independent nation. AS

Category: English

Eritrea's BRI cooperation with China is crucial for future development: expert

ASMARA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Eritrea's cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is crucial for promoting the country's economic industrialization and diversification, an expert has said.Fikrejesus Amahazion, research analyst at the Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the BRI has enjoyed global prominence since it was proposed in 2013.

China has signed more than 230 BRI cooperation agreements with more than 150 countries and 30 international organizations.

In November 2021, the Red Sea nation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to join the BRI amid the two countries' growing relations.

Children ride a bike in Asmara, Eritrea, May 9, 2023. Cycling has been incorporated into locals' life and become a major sport in Eritrea. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)

"For Eritrea, we can think that it will help to promote industrialization and promote diversification of the economy for the country. We all know that China has achieved massive developmental progress in a short time, and that is very positive for Eritrea to join this initiative and learn from that type of experience," Amahazion said.

The Eritrean expert stressed the win-win nature of BRI cooperation and its positive outcomes.

"For China, Eritrea offers an abundance of resources and hard-working people, and there is very much untapped potential in this country," Amahazion said.

"The areas of cooperation are in agriculture, education, health and people-to-people exchanges. We have a very solid platform of cooperation, but we are looking forward to more engagement and stronger areas of cooperation now that the Belt and Road MoU has been signed between Eritrea and China about a year and a half ago," he said.

Doctor Wang Xiao (L) conducts an ultrasonic examination for a patient at Orotta Hospital in Asmara, Eritrea, on May 9, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)

The expert expressed his hopes that cooperation with China under the BRI would further propel Eritrea's development.

"Human capacity development is one area that Eritrea is looking forward to strengthening," he said, adding that infrastructure is another primary focus for BRI cooperation with China.

The expert underscored the importance of Africa's cooperation with China.

"Across the continent, Africa continues to have a major infrastructural gap and infrastructure deficiencies," the expert said, adding that improving infrastructure would enhance trade across the continent and the rest of the world.

"Africans are very talented, and they have great potential, but sometimes they lack some of the opportunities or the areas to develop their skills and, I think, with China's promotion or encouragement of this area, it will be another great area for Africa to move forward," he said.

"There is a reason that so many African countries willingly engage with China. This is because the relationship and the cooperation are based upon a platform of respect and mutual cooperation," Amahazion said.  ■