Eritrea was the only African state to vote against the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It joined a list of shame, including Belarus, Syria and North Korea
But will President Isaias go further?
Is it even conceivable that Eritrean forces will be sent to fight in Ukraine? If they did it would be even more extraordinary than the Somali troops arriving in Eritrea to join the invasion of Tigray.
One would have ruled such a suggestion out immediately as implausible.
But think – just for a moment – of where Eritrean troops have been sent to fight since Isaias took over the reigns of power in Eritrea in 1991.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
- Ethiopia (twice)
Eritrea even sent trainers to work with al-Shabaab in Somalia and encouraged Ethiopian rebels to bomb the African Union summit in Addis Ababa in 2011. Foreign wars and foreign conflicts are very much part of Isaias’s playbook.
President Isaias is desperate to curry favour with Russia and has – ever since the 1970’s – done all he can to keep on the right side of Moscow, even when it was arming the Dergue forces to attack Eritrea.
Unlikely as it seems (and it does seem very unlikely) there is nothing that the Eritrean president would not consider, if it furthered his aims.