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International | Anti-War

Eritrea pulls out of African bloc
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Sunday Apr 22nd, 2007 10:19 AM
Eritrea has pulled out of the east African seven-member Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) after a rift with Ethiopia over Somalia.
The feuding neighbours have each accused the other of stirring the conflict in Somalia, which has killed more than one thousand people during April alone.

"The government of Eritrea was compelled to take the move due to the fact that a number of repeated and irresponsible resolutions that undermine regional peace and security have been adopted in the guise of Igad," a statement from Asmara said

Eritrea's exit has been seen as a blow to diplomatic efforts to unite foreign opinion on pacifying Somalia.

A meeting of Igad foreign ministers two weeks ago in Kenya did little to help the disagreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, bitter over their 1998-2000 border war.

Proxy war

The two states are now locked in what many analysts see as a proxy war in Somalia.

Ethiopia has accused Eritrea of sending arms and men to support the Islamic fighters, while Asmara says that Addis Ababa is occupying Somalia illegally at the behest of the United States.