Qatar withdraws troops from Eritrea-Djibouti border

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Qatar has announced the withdrawal of its peacekeeping troops at the Eritrea-Djibouti border, as the Gulf country becomes increasingly isolated.

Qatar is locked in a diplomatic crisis with its Arabic neighbours following accusations of backing Islamic extremism. The fallout prompted various members of the international community to rethink their relationship with the country – including Djibouti, which downgraded its ties with Qatar last week.

 

Qatar withdraws troops

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry didn’t give any explanation for the withdrawal, but it did say Djibouti was informed about the decision. It comes less than a week after the Horn of Africa nation downgraded ties with Qatar. Then, on Monday, Eritrea’s Information Ministry said the decision by Saudi Arabia, the UA, Egypt and various other nations to sever ties with Qatar was a move “in the right direction”.

Djibouti described its decision to downgrade ties as an act of “solidarity with the international coalition combating terrorism and extremist violence, as well as with the Gulf and Arab countries”.

 

Qatar accused of supporting terrorism

The fallout with Qatar stems from accusations that the small oil-rich nation is sponsoring extremist groups which are destabilising the Middle East and other parts of the world. Qatar is heavily criticised in Gulf region for its relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban and various Al-Qaeda affiliates – plus its ties with Iran.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, and Senegal have already cut ties with Qatar, while Jordan and Djibouti have downgraded diplomatic ties with the country.

The fallout places increasing economic pressure on Qatar. It’s access to airspace has been heavily restricted, causing havoc with international flights. Meanwhile, a Saudi border closure means the country is unable to import supplies via land.

 

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About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.