With implicit support from the Emirates and with less than two weeks to prepare, the Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki took on the role of mediator between his neighbours. An initiative which could be seen as an act of defiance directed towards international institutions, and not least the UN, which has placed sanctions on Eritrea.
Re-elected in April for a fifth five-year term, Djibouti's president has reshuffled a third of his ambassadors. In so doing, he has been careful not to upset the delicate balances he's cultivated to ensure his tiny country punches above its weight.
The Egyptian army wants to capitalise on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's visit to Djibouti last week to strengthen cooperation with the country in hope of securing a permanent presence there. Cairo generals, which have already firmed up ties with their counterparts in Sudan, are fighting Ethiopia's plans to continue filling the Renaissance dam this summer.