DJIBOUTI‘s khat addicted Interior Minister Hassan Omar Mohamed went on today to accuse Eritrea out of the bloom. He was quoted as saying mercenaries hired by Eritrea are destabilizing his tiny country.
“Armed mercenaries serving the Eritrean government are terrorizing civilians in northern Djibouti on the border with Eritrea,” he said in a statement.
He accused these “saboteurs” of stealing food from Djiboutian civilians at gunpoint and blocking roads to prevent medical and humanitarian supplies from reaching the affected areas.
Mohamed went on to accuse the militants of kidnapping young Bedouins in northern Djibouti and forcibly taking them to Eritrea where they would be recruited against their country.
The ‘saboteurs’ and ‘mercenaries’ that the insignificant interior ministers would like to call them are known to the world by the Front pour la restauration de l’unité et de la démocratie (FRUD) rebel movement.
The outcry, in fact, emanates following the heavy losses its army sustained during the April 19th military offensive against FRUD rebels in the Mablas Mountains in the northern Obock region.
On April 8 and 9, Prime Minister Abdoulkader Mohamed Kamil gathered Afar elders and warned against supporting the FRUD rebel movements.
According to African Intelligence report, the Prime Minister authorized the military offensive following the breakdown of the meeting.
Chief of staff General Zakaria Cheik Ibrahim and the minister of the interior and defense, Hassan Omar Mohamed, led the offensive by organizing troops from the Obock, Waddi, Orrobor, Gal Ela, Tadjourah and Assagueila camps.
Helicopters and armored cars bombarded this mainly Afar zone. However, the army sustained heavy losses and retreat back to its position.
Conveniently though, the Djibouti government finds it easy to scapegoat its defeat on neighboring Eritrea, a country that has no skeleton in the internal conflict of this small U.S. ally nation.
Relations between Djibouti and Eritrea have been tense since 2008 when the two came to the brink of war over border dispute.
Eritrean eventually agreed to pull out from the contested area after mediation from Qatar, whose peacekeepers have since been deployed in the area.