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Badme is located in Eritrea
Location in Eritrea [1] (but administered by Ethiopia)
Coordinates: 14°43′34″N 37°48′12″E / 14.72611°N 37.80333°E / 14.72611; 37.80333Coordinates: 14°43′34″N 37°48′12″E / 14.72611°N 37.80333°E / 14.72611; 37.80333
Country disputed
EthiopiaEthiopia (de facto)
EritreaEritrea (de jure)
Region EthiopiaTigray Region
Population (2005)
 • Total 1,563

Badme is a town in the Horn of Africa and the focus of a territorial dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is claimed by both Eritrea, which considers Badme to be a part of Gash-Barka Zone, and Ethiopia, which considers Badme part of the Semien Mi'irabawi Zone of the Tigray Region. This dispute was the basis of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, which began in 1998. Currently the town is occupied by Ethiopia, despite an international court ruling in 2002 that the town fell within Eritrean territory.[2]

Disputed territory[edit]

The boundaries of Ethiopia and Eritrea follow a frontier defined by the Ethiopian-Italian Treaty of 1902, which ruled Eritrea as a colony at the time. However, the frontier near Badme was poorly defined in the treaty, and since Eritrea became a separate nation in 1993 each nation disputed where the boundary actually runs. The town of Badme was ceded[citation needed] by the TPLF (the predecessor of the EPRDF, Ethiopia's currently ruling party) to the EPLF (the predecessor of the PFDJ, Eritrea's ruling organization) in November 1977.[3]

In 2000, Eritrea and Ethiopia signed the Algiers Agreement which forwarded the border dispute to a Hague boundary commission. In the Agreement both parties agreed in advance to comply with the ruling of the Border Commission. In 2002, the commission ruled on where the boundary ran, placing Badme inside Eritrean territory.

The Sudan Tribune reported that during January 2005, Badme inhabitants were registering to vote in the Ethiopian elections scheduled for May of that year.[4]

Despite initially agreeing to abide by the terms of the Algiers Agreement, Ethiopia refused to withdraw to the border established by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and rejected its ruling. As a result, thousands of internally displaced people have remained in refugee camps and the threat of renewed war continues.

Other disputed areas along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border include Tsorona-Zalambessa and Bure.


The Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia in 2005 reported that this town has an estimated total population of 1,563 of whom 834 are men and 729 are women.[5] The Ethiopian government considers Badme as one of four towns in Tahtay Adiyabo woreda.

According to the 1994 Ethiopian national census, its total population was 892 of whom 444 were males and 448 were females. Eritrean population figures have not yet been found.


  1. ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Eritrea
  2. ^ Frank Jacobs (March 27, 2012). "War Over a One-Horse Town". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Kendie, Daniel (2005). The Five Dimensions of the Eritrean Conflict 1941-2004: Deciphering the Geo-Political Puzzle. Signature Book Printing. ISBN 1-932433-47-3. 
  4. ^ Ethiopian general elections, January 2005 - Sudan Tribune
  5. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4

External links[edit]