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Eritrea's Borders

Unlike the three regimes that preceded it during the last hundred years, the current Ethiopian government is attempting to revise its boundary with Eritrea in violation of international law. The government of Ethiopia has published new maps to justify its annexation of land from inside Eritrea's territory. The new map of Ethiopia, including the territories annexed from Eritrea, are prominently displayed in the new bank notes the National Bank of Ethiopia issued in November of 1997.

Despite the fact that colonial boundaries are the basis of international borders amongst African States as agreed by all OAU (Organization of African Unity) members, the Ethiopian authorities, in flagrant violation of both OAU and UN charters, are leading the region and Eritrea into a violent confrontation. If the Ethiopian authorities have confidence in a rightful claim to Eritrean land, they should be prepared to accept a peaceful path to solving their grievances in the presence of international mediators.

It should be remembered that Eritrea had fought for 30 long years to gain its independence after it was illegally annexed by Ethiopia in 1962. Ethiopians should understand that Eritrea is now a nation that would like to live in peace. Unfortunately, in a shameless, deceitful evil act, the current Ethiopian authorities have even allied with the very Ethiopian elements who never recognized Eritrean independence. The current border crisis between Eritrea and Ethiopia has to be seen from this context. To anyone who has been following Ethiopian trends, this current border clash is only a cover up for Ethiopia's ambition to re-occupy Eritrea.

So far the new illegal map of Ethiopia has been sneaked in two places: in the new Ethiopian birr released in November 1997, and in the map for Tigray National Regional Administration. The latter was issued by the Mapping authority of Ethiopia and was financially sponsored by GTZ, a German NGO.

The 1997 Tirgay map is shown with Eritrean international borders marked in black. Ethiopia's claim is shaded inside Eritrea's borders. The shaded regions left to right are: the Badme plain, area around Tserona, and area around Altiena, respectively. Clik here to see the Map of Tigray

Maps and Treaties

Treaties that Delimited the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border

Maps and comments
The Ethio-Eritrean Border and the Treaties that Delimited it

"It is not clear whether the Ethiopian map [that incorporates parts of Eritrea] was the work of the local administration in Tigray or whether it was approved by the government in Addis Ababa, but for the Eritreans it may well have been the last straw, and hostilities commenced....

"The Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi appeared distinctly defensive when asked about this during an interview on Channel 4 news by Lindsay Hilsum on 8th June 1998."

The World Today, July 1998 -- Vol. 54, No. 7; by Martin Plaut of the BBC World Service and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House (The World Today is published monthly, with a combined August-September issue, by the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Institute is precluded by its Royal Charter from expressing an opinion of its own on any aspect of international affairs. Any views expressed in this publication are, therefore, those of the contributors.)

Boundary Commission Maps

Maps of Claim Lines by Sector : Western - Central - Eastern

Maps of Final Dicision by Sector : Western - Central - Eastern