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As Houtis advance in Yemen, President Isaias Calls on Red Sea Countries to Maintain Security

Eritrean Coastguard and Air Force patrolling the Red Sea

Houthis’ advance threatens Red Sea countries

By Al-Monitor

In light of the current crisis in Yemen and the control of Sanaa by Houthi armed groups, Egyptian experts predict that Egypt would intervene in the conflict to prevent the Houthis from gaining control of the strait of Bab al-Mandeb on the Red Sea, in defense of Egyptian and Gulf security.

Commander of the Egyptian navy, Osama al-Jundi, openly declared the navy's readiness to protect the country's territorial waters, economic interests and the Egyptian coast in all directions and to deal with any risks that might threaten them.

At the same time, a number of initiatives were launched in an attempt to ward off this war. Egypt and Saudi Arabia both received an invitation from Isaias Afwerki, the Eritrean president, to start negotiations to find a way to maintain the security of the countries along the Red Sea.

Former secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, issued a joint statement with former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. They called for an Arab initiative to work on restoring the unity of the Yemeni army and mobilizing to restore security. In addition, they would eliminate all usage of weapons in Yemeni cities to move forward with the parliamentary elections.

Moussa and Siniora warned about the division in Yemen and the danger it poses to Arab security from the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea, if the Houthis, who are supported by Iran, reach Bab al-Mandeb strait.

The initiative was made by Moussa and Siniora after the failure of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative for organizing the transition in Yemen, since the terms of this initiative were not implemented and most importantly, the restructuring of the Yemeni army never happened.

Siniora and Moussa's statement also mentioned former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s link to the ongoing events in Yemen, as well as his alliance with the Houthis in preparation for his return to power in an agreement for the joint management of the country.

According to the Eritrean ambassador to Egypt, Cairo welcomed Afwerki’s initiative to sponsor a meeting for the Red Sea countries to maintain security in the face of the Houthis. But, it did not take actual steps to implement it and did not call the rest of the Red Sea countries to negotiate measures needed to protect security in the region. The ambassador said that this is due to Arab concerns about involving Israel as one of the Red Sea states in the initiative. The Eritrean ambassador thus reiterated his country’s call to implement the initiative without including Israel.

Commenting on the Eritrean initiative, the Egyptian ambassador to Eritrea and former assistant to the secretary of state for African affairs, Mona Omar, told Al-Monitor that the Houthis' strength can never match the military power of one of the Red Sea countries (Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Eritrea and Djibouti). “I don't think that the threat posed by the Houthis to the Red Sea countries could spark a war in the true sense of a 'war,'” said Omar. She said, “Since this group is exactly like all terrorist movements that currently exist in a number of Arab countries and that are going to be eliminated.”

She added, “The issue of Somali pirates still casts a shadow on the Red Sea and there are still the naval fleets belonging to a number of countries at the entrance to the Red Sea. The Egyptian maritime patrol is indeed present in the Egyptian territorial waters and they [the Houthis] will be dealt with in the event that they cross the Yemeni territorial waters.”

Regarding the possibility of Egypt engaging in a war against the Houthis in the event that they pose a threat on the Red Sea region and the new Suez Canal project, security expert and founder of the International Terrorism Association, Gen. Rida Yacoub, told Al-Monitor, “This war may not be a direct military one, as is the case currently in the Sinai [Peninsula] between Egyptian forces and terrorist groups. It will be an indirect war between Egypt and the Houthis, through the support of the Yemeni army that will provide plans, ideas and intelligence data. It will also supply [Egypt] with the necessary equipment and techniques to get rid of the Houthis.”

He stressed that it would result in the arrest of groups, and Yemen would have to apply the same measures on the Houthis to prevent the establishment of a safe haven for them and the flow of money between countries. Moreover, Egypt and Yemen would have to be provided with modern techniques by the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the UN Security Council to eliminate them.

“Libya did the same with Ansar al-Sharia, and succeeded in having the Security Council issue a resolution for their elimination,” Yacoub said.

He added, “Egypt might resort to closing the Bab al-Mandeb strait — as it did during the Yom Kippur War with Israel in October 1973 — to prevent any communication between the Houthis and other terrorist groups in Egypt, and in Sinai in particular.”

On the subject of association by Iran’s Shiite regime with the Houthis in Yemen, security and strategic expert Maj. Gen. Hossam Sweilem told Al-Monitor, “Exactly as Iran controlled the power in Lebanon through the Shiite party Hezbollah, Iran is attempting to control the regime in Yemen through the Houthis, who are also Shiites.”

He said, “Egypt must anticipate and prepare to intervene militarily to prevent the Houthis closing the Bab al-Mandeb strait because it would put it under the control of Iran — like the Strait of Hormuz [in the Persian Gulf]. This would have negative effects on the Suez Canal and would make it a battle of life or death for Egypt. I do not think that the international community would allow this to happen."

Regarding the possibility of deploying international forces to maintain security in the Red Sea area, Sweilem said, “It is difficult and will not be allowed by either the Yemenis who dominate the eastern side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait, nor the Eritreans who control the western side.”

He added, “There is a military base and coastal Iranian missiles on the Eritrean coast. Sudan is one of the most important countries on the Red Sea and it has become so in part from this dependence on Iran. In addition, there are Iranian weapon factories in Khartoum, including the Yarmouk factory [that was bombed in October 2012].”

Many initiatives were presented to solve the issue of the Houthis reaching the area of Bab al-Mandeb and threatening the security of the Red Sea countries. However, none of them were effectively initiated. It is this that threatens the outbreak of military confrontations in the region in the event of the Houthis' anticipated arrival to the strait area.

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As Houtis advance in Yemen, President Isaias Calls on Red Sea Countries to Maintain Security Reviewed by Admin on 10:32 PM Rating: 5


  1. Thanks Mr. President, as a red sea country, Ethiopia, the beacon of peace & stability, is ready for any eventuality.

  2. What wrong with this weyane their are some loose nuts in his head you need see thorough self checkout to a physiatrist

  3. Eritrea is a Red Sea Country and have the third largest coastal area after Saudi Arabia and Egypt but Ethiopia is a Land locked Country and a Nile Basin Country don't talk about us it is Non Of Your Business.

  4. red sea is the resource of red sea afars not for kebesas.Freedom now for the red sea afars!

  5. ed sea is the resource of red sea afars not for kebesas.Freedom now for the red sea afars!

  6. Actually Eritrea is the troy horse of Arab but We will control our big river Abay (Nile) within 2 years after that we will control Egypt your country boss.

  7. Even though Ethiopia do not have coastal area, we have bloody big concern for the safe transit of our goods and tranquility of our neighbors

  8. R U Sure? We have interest on red sea like it or not and President Afom do not exclude us literally

  9. Poor poor poor wedi'zom hasadat.... this is a concern for those who own the red sea, u know like Eritrea, Israel, K.S.A, Djibouti, Egypt and Yemen. So this doesn't concern u ugumesh. Why don't go play Navy in lake Tana. hahahaha.....

  10. Are you devaluing Lake Tana? Tana is the main source of River Nile, which in turn the life of Egypt, in turn which is the creator of Shabo club.
    So Lake Tana is the idol god of Shaebia, Check

  11. wow, u people are just pathetic. am not devaluing anything, am just devaluing ur bro habesha. i see u lack sarcasm poor u.

  12. Who´s we? The wey-anus are not ethiopians and the other ethiopians are living dead- ziombies. So who do U represent?

  13. Shaebia and its mother Jebaha established in Cairo, nurtured by Arab enemies, if not true why Shaebia become enemy of the state of Ethiopia even after the monarchy, military regime are gone and Eritrea became state?
    The only viable rationale is Shaebia works for Arab Imperialists to undermine the people of the greater horn.

  14. And Woyane are their Ethiopian checkmate.
    For every bad action there is more and worse reaction

  15. WE=ETHIOPIANS, owners of Badme

  16. Stupid You Are, Breed You Should Not.

  17. Resort to insult while you can not falsify the hard historical facts

  18. Jebha was a Religism/Muslim party so they had help from the Arabs.

    But Shaebia is the no Ethnicism or Religism, only Nationalism party and they are not puppets of any arabs or whites, they are masters of their own. they have no help from foreigners unlike ur woyane-tgray. and thats historical facts.

    Woyane was established in Eritrea, fed/nurtured by Shaebia, if not true why woyane become enemy of the state of Eritrea even after Shaebia saved them from Derg, Derg that consider Agame people as animals. Its b/c of Shaebia that now u are considerd as humans in Ethiopia. and woyane bitten the hand that fed/nurtured them Why?

    if not true why Shaebia become enemy of the state of Ethiopia even after the monarchy, military regime are gone and Eritrea became state? u say...well b/c u wer ordered by ur masters the US(whites) to destroy the Self-reliant Eritrea so they can have a puppet government like ur Woyane tgray.

    The only viable rationale is Woyane works for The Whites, neocolonialism to undermine the people of the greater horn/ the Self-reliant Eritrea that ur master want to destroy.

  19. Shaebia came out of the womb of Jebha, and Jebha is the brain child of Egyptians. You see here comes the truth. Even if it is commendable to fight against brutal regimes, to align one self with Egyptian rulers and Arab sponsors, and betray the long time interest of the people of our region ( Ethiopia+Eritrea) is quite sin, unpatriotic, unholy, evil and everything.
    Let me tell you one thing
    Poverty and migration are not our god given fate it is man made. Anyone who contributes for that is the enemy of all of us.
    Woyane also played some role in the above equation but recently they are waken up, and push Shaebia to do the same.
    I am Amharu, not Tegaru

  20. This conversion can go on and on b/c u have the love of woyana and the hate of shaebia of course. and woyane is the Trojan horse of Ethiopia, cuz they're destroying ur mama Ethiopia by Ethnicism and Religism, by killing people and selling their land to whites.
    If u are Amahara, but i have hard time beliven that. but if u are amhara, soon u will be destroyed by the same people/party u cheer the woyane-tgray. blame the Poverty and migration of ur beloved woyane-tgray. bye Agame boy...

  21. Ata alec kendey ketregem ika..entay gieromuka iyom izom agame? selam zeytehbom..hahaha

  22. Rather i would be very careful not to fall exactly what the weyane regime, the kenyans did OR doing in Somalia, helping the somali's to destroy their country, occupying, raping ect..Don't you think then the problem will reverse in to us? Isn't more cautious to be neutral and see/patrol our border only?

  23. I know am pain in Agame's neck. >:-) Muhahahahahahaha..........

  24. መብራህቱ ተወልደ- ጎተንበርግDecember 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    If you feel responsibility for your neighbors, then send your Naval forces.

  25. All the more reason to move out of our territories. Your government does not seem to think beyond their noses. So far it has been entertaining FALSE terrorists--Ethiopians demanding their rights. Well, there are real terrorists out there and it does not seem to understand the consequences of engaging Eritrean forces in continued alertness. It might even take advantage of the situation if the Hauthis try to cross the Red Sea.

    In any case, the Eritrean navy seems to do a good job, judging by the number of captured Yemeni fishermen who intrude into our maritime territories.

  26. It might even take advantage of the situation by collaborating with the Houthis if they try to cross the Red Sea.

  27. First is first. Be able freely move around to the kelel of Oromia, Amara and the rest of Ethiopia from Adwa then you can talk about controlling Abay.

  28. Unbelievable !!?

    Maj. Gen. Hossam Sweilem (Egyptian): "There is a military base and coastal Iranian missiles on the Eritrean coast."

    If the above statement has any veracity, how come the Israeli and all the Western naval forces stationed in Djibuti are silent about it?
    (For sure Sweilem's sources are Hassina and Awate.)

    Anyway, if there is what could be termed as 'The messy and dirty' social-political and military situation, is the current Yemeni quagmire.

    I would never doubt on any GoE's initiative, experience has taught us that whatever it does is salubrious and wise yet its involvement with the Yemeni dilemma with the above mentioned countries either it's not as described above or there is a new development which I personally have no idea about.

    Kidane Mhret, allekhu beli.

  29. Yemenis controlling the eastern side and Eritreans the western side, how exactly? With all due respect these countries have no significant naval capabilities except a few small patrol boats. The only Red Sea countries that can control anything are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. All of these are of course American puppets (although I'm not too sure about Israel if you understand what I mean brothers).

    There are no countries in Africa, or the Middle East that are truly self-sufficient in terms of industrial and military abilities. The only exception besides Israel is of course Iran. This mighty nation has been sanctioned for over three decades by the west and has resorted to trying to design and produce as much of its military needs domestically. This country has put a satellite into space, is one of the pioneers in nano technological research, is able to mine, convert (raw uranium into uranium hexafloride) and enrich uranium and has done much more. It produces its own submarines just to give you an example (I'm sure that Yemen and Eritrea have no submarine capability).

    Neither Saudi Arabia, Egypt nor even Turkey can compete with that. Let alone Yemen and the African nations. This article shows once again that American imperialism knows no boundaries. Better for Eritrea and Yemen and other victims of American aggression to cooperate closely with Iran. Your adversaries (Ethiopia and Saudi respectively) are US puppets, so that puts you on the opposite side. By yourself you are no match for regional powers let alone the Americans. But when cooperating closely with your Iranian friends you will see that the American dog will bark, but does not dare to bite. And lets also not forget Sudan in this equation, the Americans worry about that country the most in the Horn, since it has greater capacities than either Yemen or Eritrea to harm US interests. Eritrea has a strong history of religious cooperation between its citizens just like Iran. And Yemen's society has always respected its religious minorities like Jews (contrary to what western propaganda wants you to believe). If the western world was really concerned about countries that do not respect religious minorities group they would go after Pakistan, Ethiopia and of course Saudi Wahabi terrorist regime. But they sanction and punish Eritrea and threaten Iran though they know they cannot do anything against that blessed nation.

    Lets cooperate brothers. Selam

  30. Saudi Arabia is not an adversary of Eritrea!

  31. Ya kubur Meriet, what i think is that we don't need to be a police or order keeper of this "savage world", as we witness lot of "world police's" or "region polices" to create havoc that maintain tranquility and bring real peace.

  32. Actually I am not interested to discuss about Woyane, because I am not a member.
    But I can be the witness for what I see. Every time as Woyane embrace the people (people's movement) they become stronger while other oppositions become weaker, and it is true Woyane is not democratic in the perspective of opposition handling and they are also becoming corrupted this days.
    But their stronger side is they really respect and probably fear people, specially rural populace, and truly they are DEVELOPMENTAL.
    And in their early days they were narrow nationalists as Meles described it. But these days they are pan-Africans beyond Ethiopiawinet.
    I am Shoan Amharu

  33. You are twisting from one topic to the other and both are not concerning you Red Sea is not your concern because you're LANDLOCKED country and BADEME is Eritrean territory sooner or later you are going to vacate it.

  34. 365/24/7 all our export items and import goods are passing through Red sea and Indian ocean waters. So these waters are more valuable than our territories, and don't forget We are ultra super power in the horn and east Africa

  35. So Isayas asked for a meeting and nobody replied? Is that the news here?


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