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The Cause of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Border Conflict
by Alemseged Tesfai
Two premises or assumptions have governed Ethio-Eritrean
relations of the past sixty years. First is the notion carved
into the minds of generations of Ethiopians by the Haileselassie
regime that Eritrea is, by nature and logic, part of Ethiopia.
The well known arguments of a common history, religion and culture
is invoked here and Eritrea is defined as Ethiopia's natural "outlet
to the sea".
The second premise, which is linked to and complements the first,
regards Eritrea as economically weak and unviable, such that its
very survival totally depends on Ethiopian resources. This line
of thinking further depicts Eritrea as an ethnically, linguistically
and regionally divided "Italian creation without the makings
of a state"....
by Dan Connell
- The U.S.-sponsored federation between Ethiopia and Eritrea
triggered a 30-year war when Ethiopia annexed the strategic
Red Sea territory.
- Eritrean liberation forces, fighting with little outside help,
defeated successive U.S.- and Soviet-backed Ethiopian regimes
to win independence in 1993.
- Abandoned after the cold war, Eritrea was born in ruins, with
almost 85% of its three million people surviving on donated
- MORE ...
The Ethiopian-Eritrean crisis: The Eritrean perspective
by Foreign Minister Haile Woldensae
(Initially published in "American Foreign Policy Interests".
Vol. 20, Number 6, December 1998)
Eritrea's geographical position as a littoral state
of the Red Sea and as a member of the historically troubled Horn
of Africa has hitherto made it the victim of an inordinate number
of colonial wars and wars of aggression in the declaration and
conduct of which its people had no say at all. The thirty years92
war of liberation, caused to a large extent by the UN's unwillingness
to live up to its responsibilities of ensuring respect for its
resolutions and decisions, has taken an excessive toll inhuman
lives, the loss of property, and the destruction of the ecology.
Eritreans are thus determined that their country will not again
be scarred by the ravages of war and that their foreign and domestic
policies will not be counseled by the logic of the use of force.
They affirm and strictly adhere to the principles of peace, non
aggression, good neighborliness, non interference in the internal
affairs of states, nonintervention, respect for sovereignty and
territorial integrity. These principles are applied uniformly,
with neighbors and others alike. MORE
Do Ethiopia's Recent Claims and Allegations on the Economic
Relationship That Existed Between Eritrea and Ethiopia Hold Water?
Since the eruption of the border conflict, Ethiopia has been making incredible
claims regarding the economic relationship that existed between the two countries in the past seven years.
Ethiopia's assertions and allegations include, inter alia:
- Eritrea had unfair economic advantages in its relationship with Ethiopia;
- Eritrea had been economically bleeding Ethiopia and had the sinister design to continue to do so;
- Ethiopia paid Birr 1.2 billion per annum to Eritrea in port dues and fees;
- Eritrean ports had been more expensive to Ethiopia than Djibouti;
- Eritrea closed Assab to Ethiopian cargo;
- Eritrea repurchased Ethiopian crude oil imports in Birr despite frequently insisting on payment for Eritrean port services in US dollars; and
- By re-exporting the coffee it imported from Ethiopia for its
home market, Eritrea had been listed as the 13th major coffee
These most startling assertions and allegations would make one question if the cooperation
agreements were really between two sovereign states. They would make one wonder why a government
like that of Ethiopia that boasts of being fiercely independent and that would not under any
circumstances compromise or sacrifice the interests of its people would succumb to the pressure
of the government of the State of Eritrea and enter into such one-sided arrangements. MORE ...
SUMMARY OF DEVELOPMENTS IN GREATER HORN OF AFRICA/GREATER
LAKES REGIONS 1998/99
Zurich, April 27, 1999
I: Background to the current regional situation and military
II: The course of the open conflict
III: The domestic impact of the war and other internal developments
IV: The second Congo Civil War and its regional and trans-regional
EXPANSIONISM: ETHIOPIA'S CHRONIC ILLNESS
The war now looming between Ethiopia and Eritrea is
a direct manifestation of Ethiopia's appetite for expansion and
annexation of territories to which it has no legal right for its
claims. For centuries, it employed "lie, deceit, and conquest"
as a tactical policy to expropriate territories and subjugate
peoples in the process. There is no country in the Horn, including
the Sudan, which is not directly or indirectly affected by this.
The Somali land of Ogaden in the east, the Oromo land in the south
and west, and of course Eritrea in the north are direct victims
of such policy. MORE ...
Behind Eritrea's Second Independence War
By: Laine Araia (Bochum, Germany.) August 18, 2000
Despite its numerous public pronouncements in support of Eritrean
independence, the TPLF, currently the ruling party in Ethiopia,
never in good faith accepted the idea of an independent Eritrean
State. And the more it abandoned its original political and military
objective to achieve independence for Tigray, the more it increasingly
became hostile to the idea of Eritrean independence from Ethiopia.
This was clearly spellt out by Meles Zenawi in an interview he
granted to Mr. Paul Henze, an American veteran diplomat and a
pathological hater of the very word Eritrea, in late March 1990.
Meles told Henze in unambiguous words that an independent Eritrean
State was not in the interests of Ethiopia and particularly not
in the interests of Tigray. MORE
Border and Territorial Conflicts between Eritrea and Ethiopia:
Background, Facts and Prospects
Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to the EU
16 April 2004
The Horn of Africa adjoins the oil-rich Middle East and straddles
the vital shipping lanes linking Africa, Asia and Europe across
the Red Sea, the Strait of Bab el Mandeb and the Indian Ocean.
It lies at the cross-roads where Sub-Saharan Africa meets Asia.
It comprises Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. According
to the World Bank's August 2003 World Development Indicators,
the Horn of Africa has a total population of about 82 m, an area
of nearly 2 m sq kms and a coastline stretching for over 4000
The region is endowed with a strategic location, a base of requisite
natural resources, hard working and resourceful peoples and a
rich cultural diversity. Yet, despite its big geographic and population
size and considerable potential embedded in its natural endowment,
the region's present annual GDP per capita of less than USD 200
makes it one of the poorest in the world, lying at the bottom
of the development index. Why? MORE...