Bure (disputed zone)

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For other towns or places named Bure, see Bure (disambiguation).
Bure is located in Eritrea
Coordinates: 12°37′N 42°12′E / 12.617°N 42.200°E / 12.617; 42.200Coordinates: 12°37′N 42°12′E / 12.617°N 42.200°E / 12.617; 42.200
Country disputed

Bure is a small disputed area on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, about 50 miles west of Asseb with a latitude and a longitude of 12°37′N 42°12′E / 12.617°N 42.200°E / 12.617; 42.200. Eritrea considers Bure to be a part of its Southern Red Sea Zone, while Ethiopia considers Bure part of Administrative Zone 1 of its Afar Region. This area lies across the important Awash-Asseb highway, which in the past has been an important trucking route.

Bure fell under Eritrean control after several weeks of fighting in May-June 1998. Eritrea said that Ethiopia had started an offensive at Bure by dropping bombs on the front-lines on 14 February 1999. The fighting in the area continued through the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, with each side claiming it had inflicted heavy casualties on the other, until they agreed to a cease-fire.[1]

The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission determined in 2002 that the Bure lay on the Ethiopian side of the border.[2] Relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia soured in November 2005, when 20 Ethiopian soldiers occupied a portion of this area for several days. After peace-keeping troops from United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea intervened, the Ethiopian troops withdrew.


  1. ^ "Local History in Ethiopia" (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 2 April 2009)
  2. ^ "Chapter VI – The Sector Covered by the 1908 Treaty (Eastern Sector)" (Press release). Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. 2002-04-13. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 

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