(Image credit: Merhawi)
“The Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Eritrea noted that there have been, and continue to exist, border disputes in certain localities along the common borders between Eritrea and Ethiopia. These problems have been instigated by the unlawful practices of the Ethiopian army, which occasionally made incursions into these Eritrean territories, dismantling the local administrative structures and committing crimes against the inhabitants. But, despite these periodic occurrences, the Cabinet asserted that the Government of Eritrea has been consistently endeavoring to resolve these recurrent problems through bilateral negotiations with the Government of Ethiopia in a calm and patient manner, cautious to not inflate the problem out of proportion and incite animosity between the two fraternal peoples. The Government of Eritrea has opted for this course of action because it believes that the international boundary between Eritrea and Ethiopia is very clear and non-controversial. It knows that the recurrent border incursions that continue to be perpetrated by Ethiopian forces basically emanate from the narrow perspectives of the Administrative Zones.”
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Eritrea - May 14, 1998
“The U.S. led international community cannot decry the plight of Eritrean economic refugees and asylum seekers and the ‘prolonged national service’ in Eritrea, while refusing to address the cause of their discontent - the occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories and the economic and other sanctions placed on them.”
Sophia Tesfamariam, 29 November 2013
“The woman who made matters worse in Congo, who bungled Sierra Leone, who totally misunderstood the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea and who was instrumental is losing Osama bin Laden in Sudan – that woman has blood on her hands. Her deflections and distractions on the Sunday talk shows where she lied about Benghazi were the acts of a shameless political puppet. By any reasonable standard Susan Rice is a mediocrity. Her position of influence is secure for now because she is Obama’s loyal hack and because Barack Obama is something of a mediocrity himself.”
Thomas Clough, Copyright 2014 , July 14, 2014
It is appropriate to look into the history of Eritrea. This is because, most Ethiopians believe that Eritrea is part of Ethiopia, albeit Ethiopia was a creation of the nineteenth century as it is now. As a matter of fact, the highland of Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia had historical ties with the Axumite and later with the Abyssinia’s kingdoms.
Most Ethiopians do not know the background history of the creation of Eritrea. Even at large, they do not have the knowledge that the Eastern and Western part of Eritrea were administered by the Turks and Egyptians for centuries way before the Italians came as colonist. Most talk of sea-outlet for Ethiopia, for which it had no basis.
Assab was the initial starting point for the Italian colonization of Eritrea. As a matter of fact, between 1869 and 1880 the Italian Rubattino Navigation Company, acquired from the local Sultan of Raheita stretches of coastline near the Bay of Assab. In 1882, these holdings were transferred to the Italian State.
Italian Civil Commissioners of Asseb were Giuseppe Sapeto (commercial agent) (15 Nov 1869 - 9 Jan 1881), and Giovanni Branchi (9 Jan 1881-1885), and Commandants of Asseb were Carlo De Amezaga (Dec 1879 - Jul 1880), Giovanni Galeazzo Frigerio (5 Jul 1880 - 1884), and Giulio Pestalozza (1884 - 1890 ).
1.1 1897-1941: Italian Rule of Eritrea
Then, in 1897, Italy intensified its expansion and the creation of the colony of Eritrea. On 6 Feb 1885, Port of Massawa was taken over by Italy. After taking full control of Massawa , it expanded to the hinterland and then to the eastern part in its endeavor of finalizing its colony creation. In order to fulfill its creation of the colony, it sent tens of thousands of Italian soldiers armed with tanks and better ammunition than the local people. It crushed local uprisings and killed and put to prison many of the Eritrean patriots, who opposed the Italians. It then managed to create Eritrea as its first colony in Africa with the moral support and tacit approval of the English and French governments. On 2 May 1889, Italy and Ethiopia agree on boundaries between Italian colony of Eritrea and Ethiopia. It later developed road and rail transport, and turned Asmara (the capital from 1900) into a charming city . It settled thousands and thousands of Italians in Eritrea, who established agricultural estates and industrial plants. It administered Eritrea up until it was defeated by the British forces during the end of World War
II. But as was common to all European colonies in Africa, Italy did little to make life better and educate the Eritreans. Eritreans were only given education up-to the level of grade 4 and only served as conscripted Italian soldiers or Ascari. The Ascari comprised only the indigenous male and not women.
The boundaries of the present-day Eritrea nation state were established during the Italian Administration for which different treaties were signed. Among these, Menelik’s first response to the Italian presence on the Red Sea coast was making an alliance to his own advantage. In the treaty of Uccialli (Wechalle), signed in 1889, the Emperor accepted Italian right to Eritrea and ceded to them territories in the north of Ethiopia around Keren, Massawa and Asmera. This treaty was made in deceit against Yohannes IV, who died on March 10, 1889, fighting against the invading Sudanese Mahdists. In return Menlik received money and weapons (30,000 Muskets and 28 cannon).
1.2 1941-52: the British Administration of Eritrea as a Protectorate:Source: Madote.com