Running from Conflict on the Horn

The BBC today has a story about the escalating conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. This story talks about how U.N. peacekeepers are leaving, more specifically, have been ordered to leave by the U.N. Security Council, by Friday. Who knew about this? Not most Americans. Instead, we are talking about Iraq.

What’s interesting is that the article says:

“On Wednesday, the UN Security Council decided to evacuate US, Canadian and European staff serving in the mission…Most of the UN peacekeepers monitoring the border following a war between the two countries that ended in 2000 are from Asian and African countries and these will stay.”

This is interesting for 2 reasons:

1. It’s funny how all the white people get to leave and the non-whites are staying. I can’t call this surprising. It would be nice is we used this as an Iraq exit strategy. Oh wait, we can’t because we pissed off the U.N. when we unilaterally invaded Iraq in the first place.

2. Why is this not considered taking an irresponsible, defeatist attitude? Aren’t we in this case pulling out of an ‘unfinished’ conflict where violence is still prevalent? Won’t the exit of U.N. peacekeepers increase the resolve of the warmongers in the region?

Maybe #2 only applies to Iraq, and not to the Horn of the Mother Continent.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

2 responses to “Running from Conflict on the Horn”

  1. Anonymous says :

    “Last week, Western UN staff in Eritrea left at the request of Eritrea. Most of the UN peacekeepers deployed to monitor the border under a peace accord that ended the war in 2000 are from Asian and African countries and have stayed behind”. This is in fact what BBC reports. It is unpleasant to read news-manipulation. I would not call it an irresponsible, defeatist attitude. This is just another of the unlimited series of Eritrea acts of hostility, which HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THE UNIFORMED AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG PRESUMES TO BE AN IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDE OF THE UNITED NATIONS. Peacekeeping operations relies on the Country’s consent, therefore the SC had no choice but that of pulling out undesired staff members from Eritrea.

  2. Garlin II says :

    I find it ironic how the U.S., one of the countries which supplied these peacekeepers, picks and chooses when it decides to unilaterally involve itself in foreign conflicts in which it has no legitimate intereste. Why did our government decide to listen to the U.N. on this and not on Iraq?

    This post juxtaposes this situation with Iraq, a situation in which we disregarded U.N. protocol and authority as BushCo saw fit.

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