Eritrean–Ethiopian War

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Not to be confused with Eritrean War of Independence.
Eritrean–Ethiopian War
Part of the conflicts in the Horn of Africa
Date 6 May 1998 – 25 May 2000
(2 years, 2 weeks and 5 days)
Location Eritrean–Ethiopian border, southern Eritrea, Tigray


  • Eritrean failure to push out Ethiopian occupation of some disputed territories and the border town of Badme and Tsorona.
  • Ethiopian failure to meet an access point to the Red Sea through Assab, Eritrea.
  • Refugee displacement and humanitarian crises of Eritreans and Ethiopians.
  • Algiers Agreement (2000)
Each side occupies some of the disputed territory
 Eritrea  Ethiopia
Commanders and leaders
Eritrea Isaias Afewerki[4]
Eritrea Sebhat Ephrem
Ethiopia Negasso Gidada
Ethiopia Meles Zenawi[4]
Ethiopia Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae[5]
Eritrea 100,000–120,000 (1998)[6]
Eritrea 150,000 (2000)[7]
Ethiopia 300,000[7]–350,000[8]
Casualties and losses
19,000 killed[9][10]
(Eritrean claim)
67,000 killed[11]
(Ethiopian claim)
20,000–50,000[12] or 150,000[13] killed
(other estimates)
34,000[14]–60,000[15] killed (Ethiopian claim)
123,000 killed[16][17]
(Ethiopian clandestine opposition claim)
150,000 killed[13]
(other estimates)
70,000[18]–100,000[19] killed on both sides
(ICG estimate)
300,000 killed on both sides[13]
(other estimates)

The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from May 1998 to June 2000 between Ethiopia and Eritrea, forming one of the conflicts in the Horn of Africa. While Eritrea and Ethiopia—two of the world's poorest countries—spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the war[20][21][22] and suffered tens of thousands of casualties as a direct consequence of the conflict,[23] only minor border changes resulted.

According to a ruling by an international commission in The Hague, Eritrea broke international law and triggered the war by invading Ethiopia.[24] At the end of the war, Ethiopia held all of the disputed territory and had advanced into Eritrea.[25] After the war ended, the Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission, a body founded by the UN, established that Badme, the disputed territory at the heart of the conflict, belongs to Eritrea.[26] As of 2017, Ethiopia still occupies the territory near Badme, including the town of Badme.


From 1961 until 1991, Eritrea had fought a long war of independence against Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Civil War began on 12 September 1974 when the Marxist Derg staged a coup d'état against Emperor Haile Selassie.[27] It lasted until 1991 when the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)—a coalition of rebel groups led by the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF)—overthrew the Derg government and installed a transitional government in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.[27] The Derg government had been weakened by their loss of support due to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.[27]

During the civil war, the groups fighting the Derg government had a common enemy, so the TPLF allied itself with the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). In 1991 as part of the United Nations-facilitated transition of power to the transitional government, it was agreed that the EPLF should set up an autonomous transitional government in Eritrea and that a referendum would be held in Eritrea to find out if Eritreans wanted to secede from Ethiopia. The referendum was held and the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of independence. In April 1993 independence was achieved and the new state joined the United Nations.[4][28][29]

In 1991 the EPLF-backed transitional government of Eritrea and the TPLF-backed transitional government of Ethiopia, agreed to set up a commission to look into any problems that arose between the two former wartime allies over the foreseen independence of Eritrea.[30] This commission was not successful and during the following years relations between the governments of the two sovereign states deteriorated.[28]

The border between the two states became a major irritant, and in November 1997 a border committee was set up to try to resolve that specific dispute. After federation and before independence the line of the border had been of minor importance because it was only a demarcation line between federated provinces and initially the two governments tacitly agreed that the border should remain as it had been immediately before independence. However, on independence the border became an international frontier, and the two governments could not agree on the line that the border should take along its entire length,[28] and they looked back to the colonial period treaties between Italy and Ethiopia for a basis in international law for the precise line of the frontier between the states. Problems then arose because they could not agree on the interpretation of those agreements and treaties,[31] and it was not clear under international law how binding colonial treaties were on the two states.[32][33]

Writing after the war had finished Jon Abbink postulates that President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, realising that his influence over the government in Ethiopia was slipping and given that "the facts on the ground, in the absence of a concrete border being marked—which anyhow lost much of its relevance after 1962 when Eritrea was absorbed by Ethiopia—have eminent relevance to any borderline decision of today" calculated that Eritrea could annex Badme.[34][35] If successful this acquisition could be used to enhance his reputation and help maintain Eritrea's privileged economic relationship with Ethiopia. However, because Badme was in the province of Tigray, the region from which many of the members of the Ethiopian government originate (including Meles Zenawi the former Ethiopian prime minister), the Ethiopian government came under political pressure from within the EPRDF as well as from the wider Ethiopian public to meet force with force.[34]



What is the genesis of the current conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia? The border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been continuing ever since Eritrea became independent and the present Ethiopian government came to power. Bilateral attempts to settle the dispute by jointly demarcating the common border had been in process, but these attempts were frustrated when Ethiopia unilaterally issued a new map that included large tracts of Eritrean territory and intensified its incursions into these areas to forcibly incorporate them into its domain.

The dispute escalated into armed conflict when unprovoked Ethiopian forces attacked an Eritrean patrol unit deep inside Eritrean territory on May 6, 1998. This attack was the latest in a long string of violations by Ethiopia of Eritrean territory and sovereignty, as well as the understanding between the two countries to maintain the status quo on the border pending a final agreement. In July 1997, Ethiopian troops (two battalion strong) occupied the Adi Murug area of Bada, in eastern Eritrea, dismantled the Eritrean administration there and installed a new Ethiopian administration. A few days later, Ethiopian authorities forcibly evicted Eritrean farmers from villages in the vicinity of Badme in southwestern Eritrea, saying that they had demarcated the area as Ethiopian territory. Eritrea protested to the Ethiopian government asking it to reverse those infringements, but the Ethiopian authorities who had created new facts on the ground refused to heed Eritrea's call. These incursions continued, resulting in Ethiopian occupation of large tracts of land, especially in southwestern Eritrea.

Why did Eritrea not respond publicly to the earlier incursions of Ethiopia into Eritrean territory? Eritrea had not been fixated on the issue of its border with Ethiopia. Firstly, Eritrea's border with Ethiopia is among the most clearly defined of colonial boundaries and Eritrea was confident that it can easily be demarcated through peaceful and legal means on the basis of the treaties that established it. Secondly, in light of the good relations that existed between the two neighbors and their avowed objective of promoting regional integration, the Eritrean government believed that the issue of borders was of secondary significance and should not thus be allowed to obstruct the development of bilateral and regional cooperation. Consequently, Eritrea consistently worked to resolve the tension arising from border issues quietly, peacefully, and in as much as was possible, bilaterally. It did not go public when Ethiopian troops occupied the Adi Murug area of Bada and forcibly evicted farmers from the Badme area, razing to the ground their dwellings and farms. It did not issue ultimatums or threaten all out war, as the Ethiopian government has now done. It simply called for the formation of a joint commission to resolve the issue on the basis of the treaties that established the border between the two countries during the colonial period. Eritrea's restraint, however, only encouraged the Ethiopian authorities, who might have misinterpreted it for weakness or lack of resolve, to push on with their flagrant violations of Eritrean sovereignty.

After a series of armed incidents in which several Eritrean officials were killed near Badme,[36] on 6 May 1998,[37] a large Eritrean mechanized force entered the Badme region along the border of Eritrea and Ethiopia's northern Tigray Region, resulting in a firefight between the Eritrean soldiers and the Tigrayan militia and security police they encountered.[36][38][39] Why did border incidents mushroom into a major conflict, and why has a solution to it become so intractable? Despite Eritrea's efforts to have the border demarcated through a joint border commission, Ethiopian's expansion into and expulsion of Eritreans from Eritrean territory intensified in a bid to occupy all the areas incorporated into the new Tigray map of 1997. When the May 6,1998 Ethiopian attack on an Eritrean patrol unit was repulsed and Eritrean forces drove the invading Ethiopian forces out of Eritrean lands they had encroached upon, the Ethiopian government issued an ultimatum on May 13, 1998 threatening that unless Eritrean troops unconditionally and unilaterally withdraw from the areas Ethiopia claims, it will attack and drive them out by force. This was a declaration of war, and indeed the Ethiopian army attacked Eritrea throughout the common border and bombed the Eritrean capital, Asmara. Thus, Ethiopia escalated its attack in the Badme area to a full blown war against Eritrea. Meanwhile, the Ethiopian government started the mass round-up, incarceration and expulsion of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin resident in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian media also started a frantic inflammatory campaign inciting hatred and confrontation against Eritrea and Eritreans.

{{quotation|14. On 13 May 1998 Ethiopia, in what Eritrean radio described as a "total war" policy, mobilized its forces for a full assault against Eritrea.[40] The Claims Commission found that this was in essence an affirmation of the existence of a state of war between belligerents, not a declaration of war, and that Ethiopia also notified the United Nations Security Council, as required under Article 51 of the UN Charter.[41]

Eritrean–Ethiopian War Map 1998.png

The fighting quickly escalated to exchanges of artillery and tank fire, leading to four weeks of intense fighting. Ground troops fought on three fronts. On 5 June 1998, the Ethiopians launched air attacks on the airport in Asmara and the Eritreans retaliated by attacking the airport of Mekele. These raids caused civilian casualties and deaths on both sides of the border.[42][43][44] The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1177 condemning the use of force and welcomed statements from both sides to end the air strikes.

There was then a lull as both sides mobilized huge forces along their common border and dug extensive trenches.[45] Both countries spent several hundred million dollars on new military equipment.[20] This was despite the peace mediation efforts by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the US/Rwanda peace plan that was in the works. The US/Rwanda proposal was a four-point peace plan that called for withdrawal of both forces to pre-June 1998 positions. Eritrea refused, and instead demanded the demilitarization of all disputed areas along the common border, to be overseen by a neutral monitoring force, and direct talks.[46][47]

With Eritrea's refusal to accept the US/Rwanda peace plan, on 22 February 1999 Ethiopia launched a massive military offensive to recapture Badme. Tension had been high since 6 February 1999, when Ethiopia claimed that Eritrea had violated the moratorium on air raids by bombing Adigrat, a claim it later withdrew.[48] Surveying the extensive trenches the Eritreans had constructed, Ethiopian General Samora Yunis observed, "The Eritreans are good at digging trenches and we are good at converting trenches into graves. They, too, know this. We know each other very well".[49]

Following the first five days of heavy fighting at Badme, by which time Ethiopia had broken through Eritrea's fortified front and was 10 kilometers (six miles) deep into Eritrean territory, Eritrea accepted the OAU peace plan on 27 February 1999.[50][51] While both states said that they accepted the OAU peace plan, Ethiopia did not immediately stop its advance because it demanded that peace talks be contingent on an Eritrean withdrawal from territory occupied since the first outbreak of fighting.[52]

On 16 May the BBC reported that, after a lull of two weeks, the Ethiopians had attacked at Velessa on the Tsorona front-line, south of Eritrea's capital Asmara and that after two days of heavy fighting the Eritreans had beaten back the attack claiming to have destroyed more than forty-five Ethiopian tanks; although not able to verify the claim, which the Ethiopian Government dismissed as ridiculous, the BBC reporter did see more than 300 dead Ethiopians and more than 20 destroyed Ethiopian tanks.[53] In June 1999 the fighting continued with both sides in entrenched positions.[54] About a quarter of Eritrean soldiers were women.[55]

"Proximity talks" broke down in early May 2000 "with Ethiopia accusing Eritrea of imposing unacceptable conditions".[56][57] On 12 May the Ethiopians launched an offensive that broke through the Eritrean lines between Shambuko and Mendefera, crossed the Mareb River, and cut the road between Barentu and Mendefera, the main supply line for Eritrean troops on the western front of the fighting.[58][59]

Ethiopian sources state that on 16 May Ethiopian aircraft all returned to their bases after attacking targets between Areza and Maidema, and between Barentu and Omohager, while heavy ground fighting continued in the Dass and Barentu area and in Maidema. The next day Ethiopian ground forces with air support captured Das. Eritrean forces evacuated Barentu and fighting continued in Maidema.[60] Also on 17 May, due to the continuing hostilities, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1298 imposing an arms embargo on both countries.[61]

By 23 May Ethiopia claimed that its "troops had seized vital command posts in the heavily defended Zalambessa area, about 100 km (60 mi) south of the Eritrean capital, Asmara".[57] But the Eritreans claimed they withdrew from the disputed border town of Zalambessa and other disputed areas on the central front as a "...'goodwill' gesture to revive peace talks"[62] while Ethiopia claimed it was a 'tactical retreat' to take away one of Ethiopia's last remaining excuses for continuing the war;[63] a report from Chatham House observes, "the scale of Eritrean defeat was apparent when Eritrea unexpectedly accepted the OAU peace framework."[64] Having recaptured most of the contested territories—and having heard that the Eritrean government would withdraw from any other territories it occupied at the start of fighting in accordance with a request from the OAU—on 25 May 2000, Ethiopia declared the war was over.[1][65][66] By the end of May 2000, Ethiopia occupied about a quarter of Eritrea's territory, displacing 650,000 people[67] and destroying key components of Eritrea's infrastructure.

The widespread use of trenches has resulted in comparisons of the conflict to the trench warfare of World War I.[45] This trench warfare led to the loss of "thousands of young lives in human-wave assaults on Eritrea's positions"[68] The Eritrean defences were eventually overtaken by a surprise Ethiopian pincer movement on the Western front, attacking a mined, but lightly defended mountain (without trenches), resulting in the capture of Barentu and an Eritrean retreat. The element of surprise in the attack involved the use of donkeys as pack animals as well as being a solely infantry affair, with tanks coming in afterwards only to secure the area.[69]

Regional destabilisation[edit]

The fighting also spread to Somalia as both governments tried to outflank one another. The Eritrean government began supporting the Oromo Liberation Front,[70] a rebel group seeking independence of Oromia from Ethiopia that was based in a part of Somalia controlled by Mohamed Farrah Aidid.[71] Ethiopia retaliated by supporting groups in southern Somalia who were opposed to Aidid, and by renewing relations with the Islamic regime in Sudan—which is accused of supporting the Eritrean Islamic Salvation, a Sudan-based group that had launched attacks in the Eritrea–Sudan border region—while also lending support to various Eritrean rebel groups including a group known as the Eritrean Islamic Jihad.[72][73]

Casualties, displacement and economic disruption[edit]

Eritrea claimed that 19,000 Eritrean soldiers were killed during the conflict;[74] most reports put the total war casualties from both sides as being around 70,000.[18][75][76][77][78][79] All these figures have been contested and other news reports simply state that "tens of thousands" or "as many as 100,000" were killed in the war.[19][23] Eritrea accused Ethiopia of using "human waves" to defeat Eritrean trenches. But according to a report by The Independent, there were no "human waves" because Ethiopia instead outmanoeuvred and overpowered the Eritrean trenches.[80]

The fighting led to massive internal displacement in both countries as civilians fled the war zone. Ethiopia expelled 77,000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin it deemed a security risk, thus compounding Eritrea's refugee problem.[70][81][82] The majority of the 77,000 Eritrean and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin were considered well off by the Ethiopian standard of living. They were deported after their belongings had been confiscated.[83] On the Eritrean side, around 7,500 Ethiopians living in Eritrea were interned, and thousands of others were deported. Thousands more remain in Eritrea, many of whom are unable to pay the 1,000 Birr tax on Ethiopians relocating to Ethiopia. According to Human Rights Watch, detainees on both sides were subject in some cases to torture, rape, or other degrading treatment.[84]

The economies of both countries were already weak as a result of decades of cold war politics, civil war and drought. The war exacerbated these problems, resulting in food shortages. Prior to the war, much of Eritrea's trade was with Ethiopia, and much of Ethiopia's foreign trade relied on Eritrean roads and ports.[85]


Cessation of hostilities[edit]

On 18 June 2000, the parties agreed to a comprehensive peace agreement and binding arbitration of their disputes under the Algiers Agreement. A 25-kilometer-wide Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) was established within Eritrea, patrolled by United Nations peacekeeping forces from over 60 countries (the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). On 12 December 2000 a peace agreement was signed by the two governments.[86]

Continued tensions[edit]

On 13 April 2002, the Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission that was established under the Algiers Agreement in collaboration with Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague agreed upon a "final and binding" verdict. The ruling awarded some territory to each side, but Badme (the flash point of the conflict) was awarded to Eritrea.[87][88] Both countries vowed to accept the decision wholeheartedly the day after the ruling was made official.[89] A few months later Ethiopia requested clarifications, then stated it was deeply dissatisfied with the ruling.[90][91][92] In September 2003 Eritrea refused to agree to a new commission,[93] which they would have had to agree to if the old binding agreement was to be set aside,[87] and asked the international community to put pressure on Ethiopia to accept the ruling.[93] In November 2004, Ethiopia accepted the ruling "in principle".[94]

On 10 December 2005, Ethiopia announced it was withdrawing some of its forces from the Eritrean border "in the interests of peace".[95] Then, on 15 December the United Nations began to withdraw peacekeepers from Eritrea in response to a UN resolution passed the previous day.[96]

On 21 December 2005, a commission at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that Eritrea broke international law when it attacked Ethiopia in 1998, triggering the broader conflict.[97]

United Nations soldiers, part of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, monitoring Eritrea–Ethiopia boundary (2005).

Ethiopia and Eritrea subsequently remobilized troops along the border, leading to fears that the two countries could return to war.[98][99] On 7 December 2005, Eritrea banned UN helicopter flights and ordered Western members (particularly from the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia) of the UN peacekeeping mission on its border with Ethiopia to leave within 10 days, sparking concerns of further conflict with its neighbour.[100] In November 2006 Ethiopia and Eritrea boycotted an Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission meeting at The Hague which would have demarcated their disputed border using UN maps. Ethiopia was not there because it does not accept the decision and as it will not allow physical demarcation it will not accept map demarcation, and Eritrea was not there because although it backs the commission's proposals, it insists that the border should be physically marked out.[101]

Both nations have been accused of supporting dissidents and armed opposition groups against each other. John Young, a Canadian analyst and researcher for IRIN, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs news agency, reported that "the military victory of the EPRDF (Ethiopia) that ended the Ethiopia–Eritrea War, and its occupation of a swath of Eritrean territory, brought yet another change to the configuration of armed groups in the borderlands between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Asmara replaced Khartoum as the leading supporter of anti-EPRDF armed groups operating along the frontier".[102] However, Ethiopia is also accused of supporting rebels opposed to the Eritrean government.[103]

At the November 2007 deadline, some analysts feared the restart of the border war but the date passed without any conflict.[104] There were many reasons why war didn't resume. Former U.S. Ambassador David Shinn said both Ethiopia and Eritrea were in a bad position. Many fear the weak Eritrean economy is not improving like those of other African nations while others say Ethiopia is bogged down in Mogadishu. David Shinn said Ethiopia has "a very powerful and so far disciplined national army that made pretty short work of the Eritreans in 2000 and the Eritreans have not forgotten that."[104] But he stated Ethiopia is not interested in war because America would condemn Ethiopia if it initiated the war saying "I don't think even the US could sit by and condone an Ethiopian initiated attack on Eritrea."[104]

Arbitration through the Permanent Court of Arbitration[edit]

As decided in the Algiers Agreement, the two parties presented their cases at the Permanent Court of Arbitration to two different Commissions:

1. Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission[105]

The International Bureau serves as Registry for this Commission established pursuant to the Agreement of 12 December 2000 between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with a mandate "to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law." Its first progress report to the UN Secretary-General was presented on 19 June 2001.

The Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission delivered its Decision on Delimitation of the Border between Eritrea and Ethiopia to representatives of the two governments on Saturday, 13 April 2002. ...
On 19 November 2003, the Commission met in The Hague with representatives of the parties. The President of the Commission made an opening statement expressing the concern of the Commission at the lack of progress in the demarcation process, setting out the Commission’s understanding of the positions of the parties and indicating that if progress was to be made, certain rigid positions would have to be modified. Following that meeting, the Commission concluded that, until the positions of either or both of the parties were modified, there was nothing more that the Commission could do.
— Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission[106]

Eritrea–Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruled that Badme lies in Eritrea.[87][88]

2. Eritrea–Ethiopia Claims Commission[107]

The Eritrea–Ethiopia Claims Commission (the Commission) was established and operates pursuant to Article 5 of the Agreement signed in Algiers on 12 December 2000 between the Governments of the State of Eritrea and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (the "December Agreement"). The Commission is directed to

decide through binding arbitration all claims for loss, damage or injury by one Government against the other, and by nationals (including both natural and juridical persons) of one party against the Government of the other party or entities owned or controlled by the other party that are (a) related to the conflict that was the subject of the Framework Agreement, the Modalities for its Implementation and the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and (b) result from violations of international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, or other violations of international law.
— Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission[107]

In July 2001 the Commission sat to decide its jurisdiction, procedures and possible remedies. The result of this sitting was issued on August 2001. In October 2001, following consultations with the Parties, the Commission adopted its Rules of Procedure. In December 2001 the Parties filed their claims with the Commission. The claims filed by the Parties relate to such matters as the conduct of military operations in the front zones, the treatment of POWs and of civilians and their property, diplomatic immunities and the economic impact of certain government actions during the conflict. At the end of 2005 final awards have been issued on claims on Pensions, and Ports. Partial awards have been issued for claims about: Prisoners of War, the Central Front, Civilians Claims, the Western and Eastern Fronts, Diplomatic, Economic and property losses, and Jus Ad Bellum.

The Ethiopia–Eritrean claim committee ruled that:

15. The areas initially invaded by Eritrean forces on that day [12 May 1998] were all either within undisputed Ethiopian territory or within territory that was peacefully administered by Ethiopia and that later would be on the Ethiopian side of the line to which Ethiopian armed forces were obligated to withdraw in 2000 under the Cease-Fire Agreement of 18 June 2000. In its Partial Award in Ethiopia’s Central Front Claims, the Commission held that the best available evidence of the areas effectively administered by Ethiopia in early May 1998 is that line to which they were obligated to withdraw in 2000. ...

16. Consequently, the Commission holds that Eritrea violated Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations by resorting to armed force to attack and occupy Badme, then under peaceful administration by Ethiopia, as well as other territory in the Tahtay Adiabo and Laelay Adiabo Weredas of Ethiopia, in an attack that began on 12 May 1998, and is liable to compensate Ethiopia, for the damages caused by that violation of international

— Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission[108]

Christine Gray in an article in the European Journal of International Law (2006), questioned the jurisdiction of the Commission making such an award, because "there were many factors which suggested that the Commission should have abstained from giving judgment". For example, the hearing of this claim, according to the Algiers agreement was to be heard by a separate commission and to be an investigation of exclusively factual concern not compensation.[109]

Continuing border conflicts[edit]

On 19 June 2008 the BBC published a time line (which they update periodically) of the conflict and reported that the "Border dispute rumbles on":

  • 2007 September – War could resume between Ethiopia and Eritrea over their border conflict, warns United Nations special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Kjell Magne Bondevik.
  • 2007 November – Eritrea accepts border line demarcated by international boundary commission. Ethiopia rejects it.
  • 2008 January – UN extends mandate of peacekeepers on Ethiopia–Eritrea border for six months. UN Security Council demands Eritrea lift fuel restrictions imposed on UN peacekeepers at the Eritrea–Ethiopia border area. Eritrea declines, saying troops must leave border.
  • 2008 February – UN begins pulling 1,700-strong peacekeeper force out due to lack of fuel supplies following Eritrean government restrictions.
  • 2008 April – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon warns of likelihood of new war between Ethiopia and Eritrea if peacekeeping mission withdraws completely. Outlines options for the future of the UN mission in the two countries.
  • Djibouti accuses Eritrean troops of digging trenches at disputed Ras Doumeira border area and infiltrating Djiboutian territory. Eritrea denies charge.
  • 2008 May – Eritrea calls on UN to terminate peacekeeping mission.
  • 2008 June – Fighting breaks out between Eritrean and Djiboutian troops.
  • 2016 June – Battle of Tsorona between Eritrean and Ethiopian troops
    — BBC[110]

In August 2009, Eritrea and Ethiopia were ordered to pay each other compensation for the war.[110]

In March 2011, Ethiopia accused Eritrea of sending bombers across the border. In April, Ethiopia acknowledged that it was supporting rebel groups inside Eritrea.[110] In July, a United Nations Monitoring Group accused Eritrea of being behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in January 2011. Eritrea stated the accusation was a total fabrication.[111]

In January 2012, five European tourists were killed and another two were kidnapped close to the border with Eritrea in the remote Afar Region in Ethiopia. In early March the kidnappers announced that they had released the two kidnapped Germans. On 15 March, Ethiopian ground forces attacked Eritrean military posts that they stated were bases in which Ethiopian rebels, including those involved in the January kidnappings, were trained by the Eritreans.[110][112]


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  2. ^ Shah, Anup (20 December 2000), "Conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea", Global Issues, retrieved 18 April 2016 
  3. ^ Adar, Korwa; Schraeder, Peter (2007), Globalization and Emerging Trends in African Foreign Policy: A Comparative Perspective of Eastern Africa, University Press of America, p. 62 
  4. ^ a b c Abbink 2003, p. 221.
  5. ^ David Hamilton Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. The Scarecrow Press, inc.: Lanham, Maryland; Toronto; Oxford, 2004, pp. 387–8.
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  11. ^ Claimed by Chief of Staffs of ENDF, Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149.
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  13. ^ a b c Jimma times staff (11 June 2007). "Former U.S. Ambassador: Eritrea and Ethiopia Unlikely To Resume War". Jumma Times. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. 
  14. ^ Claimed by Chief of Staffs Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149.
  15. ^ Claimed by Major General Samora Yunis. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149.
  16. ^ Claimed on 8 April 2002 by the Voice of the Democratic Path of Ethiopian Unity, an Ethiopian clandestine opposition group operating from Germany. The claim also stated that each family that lost a member in the war would receive $350 in indemnity, but this number has not been verified, although it has been often cited by other groups (see Number of war dead soldiers reportedly 123,000 – internet news message; and audio button), and no indemnities have been paid as of 2007. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149
  17. ^ "Ethiopia: Number of war dead soldiers reportedly 123,000" (in Amharic). Wonchif. 2001-04-10. 
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  19. ^ a b Ethiopia: Nation on verge of war with Eritrea, report says
  20. ^ a b Will arms ban slow war? BBC 18 May 2000
  21. ^ Winfield, Nicole (Associated Press) (13 May 2000). "UN hints at sanctions if Eritrea and Ethiopia do not end fighting". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. 
  22. ^ Staff. Ethiopia rejects war criticism, BBC, 14 April 2000
  23. ^ a b Tens of thousands Eritrea: Final deal with Ethiopia BBC 4 December 2000
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  25. ^ Andrew England (Associated Press). 500,000 flee as Ethiopian troops storm Eritrea, The Independent, 18 May 2000.
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Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 15°N 39°E / 15°N 39°E / 15; 39