Eritrean–Ethiopian War

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Eritrean–Ethiopian War
Date 6 May 1998 – 25 May 2000
Location Eritrean–Ethiopian border
Result Ethiopian military victory,
Eritrean international court victory
Participants
Eritrea
Eritrea
Flag of Ethiopia (1996).svg
Ethiopia
Commanders and leaders
Isaias Afewerki
Sebhat Ephrem
Meles Zenawi
Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae[1]
Casualties and losses
Estimates vary:
19,000[2][3]
20,000–50,000[4]
67,000[5]
150,000[6]
Estimates vary:
34,000[7]
60,000[8]
123,000[9][10]
150,000[6]

The Eritrean–Ethiopian War was a war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. It lasted from May 1998 to June 2000. Both countries spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the war,[11][12][13] and tens of thousands of people were killed by the conflict.[14] The war resulted in small changes to the border between the two countries.

Background[change | change source]

Eritrea's war of independence lasted for 30 years, on and off; it was started in 1961 and finished in 1991 when Eritrea finally became independent. While this was going on, there was also a civil war in Ethiopia, which began in 1974. This war was started by a rebellion by the Marxist Derg to overthrow the Emperor Haile Selassie. Ethiopia and Eritrea could not agree on the where the border was between them. The area of conflict was focused on Badme.

Events[change | change source]

The war took place from May 1998 to June 2000. It become one of the most violent wars in Africa. Ethiopia and Eritrea are some of the poorest countries in the world, but hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on the wars. Tens of thousands of people were killed in the conflicts.

The fighting quickly increased to using artillery and tanks. 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. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1177 condemning the use of force and welcomed statements from both sides to end the air strikes.

After the war[change | change source]

The border dispute was settled on 13 April 2002, when an international court heard the case and made a decision. It was decided that the area around Badme belonged to Eritrea. This area, however, was occupied by Ethiopian forces. On 10 December 2005, Ethiopia announced that it was withdrawing some of its forces from the border. As of 2013, Ethiopia still occupies Badme.

References[change | change source]

  1. David Hamilton Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. The Scarecrow Press, inc.: Lanham, Maryland; Toronto; Oxford, 2004, pp. 387–8.
  2. Claimed by President Isaias Afeworki, 2001. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p.149
  3. "Eritrea reveals human cost of war". BBC News. 20 June 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1398446.stm. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  4. Banks, Arthur; Muller, Thomas; and Overstreet, William, ed. Political Handbook of the World 2005–6 (A Division of Congressional Quarterly, Inc.: Washington, D.C., 2005), p.366. 156802952-7
  5. Claimed by Chief of Staffs of ENDF, Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Former U.S. Ambassador: Eritrea and Ethiopia Unlikely To Resume War
  7. Claimed by Chief of Staffs Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149.
  8. Claimed by Major General Samora Yunis. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149.
  9. 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 clandestineradio.com audio button), and no indemnities have been paid as of 2007. Shinn, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, p. 149
  10. "Ethiopia: Number of war dead soldiers reportedly 123,000" (in Amharic). Wonchif. 2001-04-10.
  11. Will arms ban slow war? BBC 18 May 2000
  12. Nicole Winfield, (Associated Press). UN hints at sanctions if Eritrea and Ethiopia do not end fighting, The Independent, 13 May 2000
  13. Staff. Ethiopia rejects war criticism, BBC, 14 April 2000
  14. Tens of thousands