Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Q&A: Horn's bitter border war

Q&A: Horn's bitter border war. This article examines the main issues behind the 1998-2000 border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the problem of determining a boundary between the nations after the Algiers peace settlement, and the role of U.N. peacekeepers.

The end of the millenium war between Eithiopia and Eritrea offically ended. However, tensions are still high. The two sides are currently at odds over the Ethiopian intervention in the Somalian Civil War. Hopefully, these two neighbors will stay at peace.

From the site:

The border between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been described as a geographer's nightmare.

Dusty Badme was at the centre of the border dispute It is a nightmare which became a reality as soon as the neighbours' once-friendly relationship turned sour.

From 1962 to 1993, Eritrea was ruled as a province of Ethiopia - and any argument over the borders was little more than a squabble between two local authorities.

So when Eritrea and Ethiopia separated amicably in 1993, no one paid too much attention to the details of the divorce settlement - least of all to a few hundred square kilometres of sparsely populated land in a region called Badme which included a small dusty town of the same name.

But when relations between the two neighbours deteriorated, Ethiopia accused Eritrea of invading a piece of land that was under Ethiopian administration.

The Eritreans replied that the land in question was rightfully theirs.

The result was a war fought on three fronts at the cost of tens of thousands of lives.

2 comments:

Кибицер said...

I agree with your that territorial issues were main reason for the war between those two african countries. But don't forget that one of the reasons for this war was religios intolerance between orthodox Ethiopia and moslem Eritrea.

qwerty said...

Not true at all, both are and were Christian-dominated, with ratios of 62-33 in Ethiopia (Christian-Muslim) and 50-50 in Eritrea. More important was individual differences and more important tensions that came to the surface after the uniting common enemy of the Derg fell.