Crossfire War – Ethiopia States Readiness to Send 5,000 Troops to Darfur


Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Beijing – Khartoum Watch – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Beijing – Tripoli – Riyadh – Damascus – San’a – Khartoum/N’Djamena – Kigali – Abuja – Dakar – Kampala – Nairobi – Addis Ababa – Paris – Washington; Ethiopia States Readiness to Send 5,000 Troops to Reinforce African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur – Enlarged International Presence Being Called For – Violence Reaches New Levels in Afghanistan – Palestinian Militant Groups Resume Some Rocket-Mortar Fire into Israel – Attacks will Accelerate after Ramadan Holy War Month

Night Watch: ADDIS ABABA – More alarm and concern is being expressed by governments around the world over the deteriorating situation in the Darfur region of western Sudan on its border with Chad, especially after an international delegation of statesmen that included two Nobel Prize winners had their tour of the region threatened and disrupted.

Reuters reports Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, speaking at a press conference in Addis Ababa stated, “Ethiopia is ready, the troops are equipped, and we are waiting for a request from the AU (African Union) and the United Nations to disperse the troops to Darfur.”

This is just a few days after 10 AU troops were killed by a well armed group using thirty vehicles against lightly armed troops from the AU, which have come mostly from Senagal-Nigeria-Rwanda and some from South Africa. The 7,000 troops are spread out over the vast territory and were always under equipped. The Senegal government in Dakar has threatened to withdraw its contingent but the Nigerian government in Abuja and the Rwandan government in Kigali have said they will maintain their presence. [SWISSINFO]

It is not yet known which militia group carried out the latest attack but it fits the pattern of the Tehran-Beijing Axis, arm a government in a strategic region very heavily to enable it to not only suppress the majority of the population, but to also control the nation’s resources, in Sudan’s case oil in which Beijing is the leading foreign investor.

At the same time, as part of their campaign of destabilization, Iran-China support other armed groups in the country to cause chaos in neighboring states that prevents any serious threat to the government supported by Tehran-Beijing unless the other countries in the region can defeat the government. And what makes it easier for Tehran-Beijing is the vastness of the Sudan, the largest country in Africa in terms of territory and Khartoum has never had close relations with any part of the country exept the immediate area around the capital.

Though Sudan’s own troops were defeated by Chad in April, after the two countries went to war due to Khartoum’s support of groups in Chad opposed to the government in N’Djamena, Chad cannot singlehandly defeat the Arab janjaweed militias units that roam Dafur attacking refugees, aid workers and lightly armed African Union troops. That is why Addis Ababa’s announcement is such a stabilizing influence and desperately needed.

Ethiopia has also been providing excellent support for the government in Mogadishu which is still under attack by the Islamic Courts Union also supported by Tehran. The new military head of the AU presence is a Nigerian Martin Luther Agwai who admitted, “There is no African country that can have the equipment we need, for example in air assets.” That is why there are now calls for countries outside Africa to increase the strength of the United Nations mission but one obstacle is the African Union diplomatic chief Alpha Oumar Konare who has always wanted only an all-African military force. But one of the leading negotiators with the AU, Lakhdar Brahimi has said Konare will soon agree the AU mission has to incorporate military forces around the world with the same sense of commitment and concern.

Though I don’t think the United Nations and the international community will be able to defeat the heavily armed janjaweed militia until after the war against Iran runs its course before the end of next year, this new support from Ethiopia should signal the end of this regional war is now in sight.

Kabul – Tehran’s strategy to keep NATO busy in Afghanistan has increased this year. Al Jazeera and AP report, according to the United Nations, violence has reached an unprecedented level since the Taliban were overthrown six years ago. At the time of their defeat an article mentioned Tehran may have found some of them useful. It was no mystery what their use would be, keep NATO busy in a wasteland front protecting the opium trade and from using the NATO bases to attack Iran.

NATO headquarters in Brussels was stupidly eager to show off its power projection outside Europe so it picked a vast territory with no industrial raw materials in the name of fighting Islamic extremism while NATO is scared to death of attacking the center of the extremism – Iran. Chaos in Afghanistan is the result especially in the southern province Helmand, the center of the opium trade. [ALJAZEERA]

It is impossible to know precisely how much of the fighting is due to Taliban related attacks. Not even Tehran may realize what has happened to all the equipment and groups they continue to send, especially to Helmand province, but in the first nine months of this year approximately 5,100 people have been killed in either suicide attacks, gunbattles, roadside bombs or air strikes by NATO which quite often kill civilians caught in the crossfire.

Afghanistan and its mountainous-barren terrain is ideal for confusion in war and a lot of what happens here will never be reported or known by anyone outside that specific action perhaps not even the surviving combatants themselves. What makes it even worse for Brussels is the enormous corruption of the government in Kabul.

Gaza – Xinhua reports two Palestinian militant groups have distributed separate leaflets stating why they have resumed some rocket and mortar attacks into Israel from the Gaza Strip. The messages were from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah and the Popular Resistance Committees, which stated the attack “… is to revenge for the daily crimes the Israeli army is carrying out against our people and also to show that resistance against the occupation won’t stop.”

Though the attacks were minor and landed in open areas, causing no casualties, I suspect the reason for the violence subsiding in September was because of the fasting due to the spiritual month of Ramadan that will end in less than two weeks. The rituals are used to inspire more hatred of the “enemies of Islam” so I assume attacks will increase right after the festival which ends the spiritual month. It could even be called the post-Ramadan offensive with Hezbollah-Damascus-Tehran entering the regional war. [XINHUA]

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.