Kibaki’s call for action on Eritrea is timely

Rarely does a Head of State talk tough against another sovereign country unless there is a serious security threat.

Not so within the continent, where African leaders prefer the finesse of diplomacy for fear of antagonising a neighbour and spoiling relationships.

Most regional organisations suffer from the disease of massaging egos of errant leaders instead of taking them head-on and challenging their idiosyncrasies.

So when the usually reticent and guarded President Kibaki took the unprecedented step of chiding Eritrea over its belligerent activities in the Horn of Africa, there was a legitimate cause.

Eritrea has been accused of supporting al Shabaab, a rebel and vicious outfit associated with al Qaeda, and which has been responsible for serial violence in Somalia and the entire of Horn of Africa.

Speaking under the aegis of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), which he chairs, President Kibaki asked the organisation to rein in Eritrea, which was destabilising regional peace through supplying arms to Somali militants.

Historically, Eritrea has had a long-standing row with Ethiopia. Its support of militants has a bearing on security in Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.

The whole purpose for regional organisations is to promote the common good of members, be it in trade, security, development, or governance.

Conversely, there are rules and regulations, whose breaching attracts sanctions. But this has been the Achilles’ heel of most regional organisations. Hardly do they punish those who flout the rules.

So, Igad members must take decisive action when one of their own is in the wrong. Targeting Eritrea and asking the United Nations to declare parts of Somalia a No Fly Zone is, therefore, bold and encouraged.

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Posted by on Jul 7 2011 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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