Eritrean-Ethiopian War

Eritrean-Ethiopian War

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Eritrean-Ethiopian War
partof=Conflicts in the Horn of Africa

caption=Guns firing on the border
place=Eritrean-Ethiopian border
result=Ethiopian military victory, Eritrean international court victory.Zane, Damian. [ Ethiopia regrets Badme ruling] , BBC, 3 April, 2003.]
commander1=Sebhat Ephrem
commander2=Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae [David Hamilton Shinn, "Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia". The Scarecrow Press, inc.: Lanham, Maryland; Toronto; Oxford, 2004, pp.387-8.]
casualties1=Estimates vary:
19,000; [Claimed by President Isaias Afeworki, 2001. Shinn, "Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia", p.149] [cite news|url=|title=Eritrea reveals human cost of war|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2007-03-12]
20-50,000 [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]
67,000 [Claimed by Chief of Staffs of ENDF, Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. Shinn, "Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia", p. 149.]
casualties2=Estimates vary:
34,000 [Claimed by Chief of Staffs Tsadkan Gebre-Tensae. Shinn, "Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia", p. 149.]
up to 60,000;Banks et al., ed. "Political Handbook 2005-6", p.378.]
60,000 [Claimed by Major General Samora Yunis. Shinn, "Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia", p. 149.]
123,000 [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] [cite news|title=Ethiopia: Number of war dead soldiers reportedly 123,000 |publisher=Wonchif| date=2001-04-10|language=Amharic]

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. Eritrea and Ethiopia — two of the world's poorest countries — spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the war [ Will arms ban slow war?] BBC 18 May 2000] [ [ Ethiopia rejects war criticism] ] and suffered the loss of tens of thousands of their citizens killed or wounded as a direct consequence of the conflict,Tens of thousands
* [ Eritrea: Final deal with Ethiopia] BBC 4 December, 2000
* [ Eritrea orders Westerners in UN mission out in 10 days] , International Herald Tribune, 7 December 2005] which resulted in minor border changes.

According to a ruling by an international commission in the Hague, Eritrea broke international law and triggered the war by invading Ethiopia. [ [ International commission: Eritrea triggered the border war with Ethiopia] ]


From 1961 until 1991, Eritrea had fought a long war of independence against Ethiopia, ultimately leading to a referendum and peaceful separation in 1993. Following independence, the two neighbours disagreed over currency and trade issues, and both laid claim to several border regions including Badme, Tsorona-Zalambessa, and Bure. However, since the two governments were close allies they agreed to set up a commission to look into their common border and disputed places. Since early 1991 they had agreed to set up a commission to look into each others' claims.cite web| last = Tesfai| first = Alemseged | title = The Cause of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Border Conflict | url = | accessdate = 2006-08-02 ]

One particular issue was the border through the Badme Plain. As a result of the Treaty of 1902 the Badme Plain is bisected by the border which runs in a straight line between the Gash and Setit (Tekezé) Rivers.cite book| title = Ethiopia's War on Eritrea| publisher = Sabur Printing Services| location = Asmara | year = 1999]



On May 6, 1998, a few Eritrean soldiers entered the Badme region, under Ethiopian administration, along the border of Eritrea and Ethiopia's northern Tigray Region, resulting in a fire fight between the Eritrean soldiers and the Tigrayan militia and security police they encountered. [Richard Dowden " [ COMMENT: There are no winners in this insane and destructive war] ", The Independent, June 2, 2000 (N.B. this is an unverified copy of the article on the findarticle website) ] " [ Brothers at War: Making Sense of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War (Eastern African Series)] " by T. Negash, K. Tronvoll, Ohio University Press ISBN 0821413724.]

quotation|14. The evidence showed that, at about 5:30 a.m. on May 12, 1998, Eritrean armed forces, comprised of at least two brigades of regular soldiers, supported by tanks and artillery, attacked the town of Badme and several other border areas in Ethiopia’s Tahtay Adiabo Wereda, as well as at least two places in its neighboring Laelay Adiabo Wereda. On that day and in the days immediately following, Eritrean armed forces then pushed across the flat Badme plain to higher ground in the east. Although the evidence regarding the nature of Ethiopian armed forces in the area conflicted, the weight of the evidence indicated that the Ethiopian defenders were composed merely of militia and some police, who were quickly forced to retreat by the invading Eritrean forces. Given the absence of an armed attack against Eritrea, the attack that began on May 12 cannot be justified as lawful self-defense under the UN Charter.
15. The areas initially invaded by Eritrean forces on that day were all either withinundisputed Ethiopian territory or within territory that was peacefully administered byEthiopia 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 June 18, 2000.|Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission [ Jus Ad Bellum Ethiopia’s Claims 1–8] (pdf) [ Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission] Page 5. ( [ A commentary on Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission findings)] ]

On May 13, 1998 Ethiopia, in what Eritrean radio described as a "total war" policy, mobilized its forces for a full assault against Eritrea. [ World: Africa Eritrea: 'Ethiopia pursues total war'] BBC June 6, 1998] 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. [ [ Jus Ad Bellum Ethiopia’s Claims 1–8] (pdf) [ Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission] Page 6. Paragraph 17 ( [ A commentary on Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission findings)] ]

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 Ethiopian town of Mekele. These raids caused civilian casualties and deaths on both sides of the border. [Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, speaking for the British government in the [ Eritrea and Ethiopia debate] , House of Lords, (Hansard) 30 November 1999 : Column 802] [ [ Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission] . [ PARTIAL AWARD Central Front - Ethiopia's Claim 2] "J. Aerial Bombardment of Mekele" Paragraphs 101-113]

There was then a lull as both sides mobilized huge forces along their common border and dug extensive trenches. [ Ethiopia's push north] BBC 20 May, 2000] Both countries spent several hundred million dollars on new military equipment. [ Will arms ban slow war?] BBC 18 May 2000] 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 was a four point peace plan that called for withdrawal of both forces to pre-June 1998 positions. Eritrea refused and instead demanded for demilitarization of all disputed areas along the common border overseen by a neutral monitoring force and direct talks. [cite web|url=|title=Ethiopia-Eritrea: New peace efforts, claims of rights abuse| publisher=IRIN|accessdate=2007-03-12] [ [ HRW World Report 1999: Ethiopia: The Role of the International Community ] ]

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 February 6, 1999, When Ethiopia claimed that Eritrea had violated the moratorium on air raids by bombing Adigrat, a claim it later withdrew.cite news| url=|publisher=Visafric |title=Ethiopian Leader admits allegation of Eritrean air strike based "on wrong information"|accessdate=2007-02-19]

Following the first five days of military set back at Badme, by which time Ethiopia 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. [ Ethiopia declares victory] BBC 1 March 1999] [cite news|url=|title=Eritrea accepts peace deal after Ethiopian incursion|publisher= CNN|accessdate=2007-03-12] While both states said that they accepted the OAU peace plan, Ethopia 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. [Staff. [ World: Africa Ethiopian-Eritrean war of words continues] , BBC World Service, 15 July 1999]

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 day of heavy fighting the Eritreans had beaten off the attack claiming to have destroyed more than forty-five Ethiopian tanks, although not able to verify the claim, that the Ethiopian Government dismissed as ridiculous, the BBC reporter did see more than 300 dead Ethopeans and more than 20 destroyed Ethiopian tanks. [ World: Africa Hundreds killed in Horn ] , BBC, 16 March 1999] In June 1999 the fighting continued with both sides in entrenched positions.Laeke Mariam Demassie. [ Touring the Ethiopian front] BBC 23 July 1999] About a quarter of Eritrean soldiers were women.Cathy Jenkins. [ Eritrea's women fighters] , 22 July 1999]

"Proximity talks" broke down in early May 2000 "with Ethiopia accusing Eritrea of imposing unacceptable conditions".Justin Pearce. [ Diplomats fail to bridge the gap] , BBC, 12 May 2000] [ Ethiopia says war nearly over] , BBC, 23 May, 2000] On the 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. [ [ Ethiopia's war strategy] BBC 19 May, 2000] [Fiona Lortan. " [ The Ethiopia-Eritrea Conflict: A Fragile Peace] ", [ African Security Review Vol 9 No 4] , 2000] By 23 May the BBC was reporting that Ethiopia claimed "its troops had seized vital command posts in the heavily defended Zalambessa area, about 100km (60 miles) south of the Eritrean capital, Asmara". 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" [cite news|url=|title=Stubborn Eritrea denies defeat but seeks peace|author=Lucy Hannan|publisher=The Independent|date=2000-05-26|accessdate=2007-12-21] while Ethiopia claimed it was a 'tactical retreat' to take away one of Ethiopia's last remaining excuses for continuing the war, [ Eritrea's 'tactical retreat'] BBC 26 May, 2000] ("The scale of Eritrean defeat was apparent when Eritrea unexpectedly accepted the OAU peace framework." [Martin Plaut and Patrick Gilkes. [ Conflict in the Horn: Why Eritrea and Ethiopia are at War] , Chatham House, March 1999, on the website of [ ReliefWeb] ] ). Having recaptured most of the contested territories — and heard that Eritrean government in accordance with a request from the Organisation of African Unity would withdraw from any other territories it occupied at the start of fighting — on 25 May 2000, Ethiopia declared the war was over. [ Ethiopia says 'war is over'] BBC 31 May, 2000] [ Ethiopia's victory statement] , BBC, 1 June 2000] Tran, Mark. [,,272009,00.html Ethiopia declares victory over Eritrea] , The Guardian Unlimited, [May 25, 2000] By the end of May 2000, Ethiopia occupied about a quarter of Eritrea's territory, displacing 650,000 people [ Eritrean, Ethiopian exchange of POWs begins] CNN 23 December, 2000] 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. This trench warfare led to the loss of "...thousands of young lives in human-wave assaults on Eritrea's positions..." [cite news|last=Fisher|first=Ian|title=Peace Deal May Be Near for Ethiopia and Eritrea|date=1999-08-23|publisher=New York Times] 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 to secure the area only later. [ [ Eritrean independence celebrations muted as Ethiopian troops advance] , CNN, May 22, 2000.]

Regional destabilisation

The fighting also spread to Somalia as both governments tried to out flank one another. The Eritrean government began supporting the Oromo Liberation Front,Staff. [ Human Rights Developments] , World report 2001 Human Rights Watch (2001).] a rebel group seeking independence of Oromia from Ethiopia that was based in a part of Somalia controlled by Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. [ [ Ethiopia and Eritrea] in UN & Conflict Monitor Issue 4, Africa E-S. On website of Bradford University citing The Financial Times 9 June 1999 ] 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. [ The Somali connection] BBC 23 July, 1999] [Angel Rabasa, "et al", [ Beyond al-Qaeda: Part 2, The Outer Rings of the Terrorist Universe] RAND Project AIR FORCE [ RAND Corporation] pp. 82-85 online pp. 44-47 hardcopy]

Casualties, displacement and economic disruption

Eritrea claimed that 19,000 Eritrean soldiers were killed during the conflict; [Eritrean KIA
* [ Eritrea reveals human cost of war] BBC, 20 June 2001
* [ A Statistical Report of Eritrea's Casualties in the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border War (1998-2000)] published by [ Awate Foundation] , P.O. Box 580312, Elk Grove, CA, 95758-0006 U.S.A.
] most reports put the total war casualties from both sides as being around 70,000. [ [ Total war casualties on both sides] ] [ [ Total number of troops dead in the Eritrea-Ethiopia war] ] [ [ 70,000 killed during the border war] ] [ [ As many as 70,000 soldiers killed during Eritrea-Ethiopia war] ] [ [ Total number of soldiers dead from the border conflict] ] [ [,,1936085,00.html 70,000 lives lost during the border war] ] 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.Tens of thousands
* [ Eritrea: Final deal with Ethiopia] BBC 4 December, 2000
* [ Eritrea orders Westerners in UN mission out in 10 days] , International Herald Tribune, 7 December, 2005]

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 to be security risk, thus compounding Eritrea's refugee problem. Staff. [ Human Rights Developments] , World report 1999 Human Rights Watch (1999).Accessed 2007-02-19] [cite web|url=|title=A critical look into the Ethiopian elections|accessdate=2007-02-19] The majority of the 77,000 Eritrean and Ethiopians of Eritrean origins were considered well off by the Ethiopian standard of living. They were deported after their belongings had been confiscated. [Natalie S. Klein [ Mass expulsion from Ethiopia: Report on the Deportation of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin from Ethiopia] , June – August, 1998 "NOTE: This report is being reproduced, with the author's permission, by the Embassy of Eritrea, Washington DC, USA. The text is identical to the original. It has been reformatted and therefore pagination is not the same." — This website site is developed and maintained by Denden LLC and The site was initially developed by the Eritrean Media and Information Task Force (Badme Task Force), a volunteer group of Eritrean-Americans in the Washington Metropolitan Area.] 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. [cite web|url=|title=Eritrea expels over 800 Ethiopians home - official |accessdate=2008-01-06 |date=2007-10-29 |publisher=Sudan Tribune]

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.fact|date=April 2007


Cessation of hostilities

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. [Staff. [ Horn peace deal: Full text] BBC, 11 December 2000. "Agreement between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia"]

On 13 April 2002, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission 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. [ Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission] , website of the United Nations] Both countries vowed to accept the decision wholeheartedly the day after the ruling was made official. [cite news|url=,3604,684485,00.html|title=Ethiopia and Eritrea claim border victory|date=2002-04-15|accessdate=2007-01-07|publisher=The Guardian] A few months later Ethiopia requested clarifications, then stated it was deeply dissatisfied with the ruling. [Bhalla, Nita. [ Badme: Village in no man's land] , BBC, 22 April, 2002] [ [ Ethiopian official wants border clarification] ,BBC, 23 April, 2002] [Plaut, Martin. [ Crucial Horn border talks] , BBC, 17 September, 2003] In September 2003 Eritrea refused to agree to a new commission,Staff. [ Eritrea firm over disputed border ruling] BBC, 25 September, 2003] which they would have had to agree to if the old binding agreement was to be set aside, and asked the international community to put pressure on Ethiopia to accept the ruling. In November 2004, Ethiopia accepts the ruling "in principle". [Staff. [ Ethiopia backs down over border] , BBC, 25 November, 2004]

On 10 December 2005, Ethiopia announced it was withdrawing some of its forces from the Eritrean border "in the interests of peace". [" [ Ethiopia 'to reduce' border force] " BBC 10 December 2005] Then, on 15 December the United Nations began to withdraw peacekeepers from Eritrea in response to a UN resolution passed the previous day. [" [ Some UN Staff to Relocate to Ethiopia From Eritrea] ", Voice of America, 15 December 2005]

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. [" [ Ruling: Eritrea broke international law in Ethiopia attack] " CNN 21 December 2005]

Ethiopia and Eritrea have since remobilized troops along the border, and as of 2006, there is new fear that the two countries could return to war. [ [ UN: Ethiopia-Eritrea Stalemate Could Spark Renewed War] article by Voice of America 31 March 2005] [ [ Horn border tense before deadline] BBC 23 December 2005] 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. [ [ Eritrea orders Westerners in UN mission out in 10 days] , International Herald Tribune, 7 December, 2005] In November 2006 Ethiopia and Eritrea boycotted a 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. [Staff. [ Horn rivals reject border plans] , BBC, 21 November 2006]

Despite the peace treaty, tensions remain between the two countries. Both nations have been accused of supporting the dissents and armed opposition groups against each other. A Canadian analyst & researcher for UN news agency IRIN, John Young, 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." [ [$File/Full_Report.pdf Armed groups along the Ethiopia-Sudan-Eritrea frontier 2000–06(p.16)] ] Failed verification|date=December 2007 However, Ethiopia is also accused of supporting rebels opposed to the Eritrean government. [cite news|url=|accessdate=2007-11-26|title=Free rein for Eritrean opposition]

At the November 2007 deadline, some analysts feared the restart of the border war but the date passed without any conflict.Peter Heinlein. [ On the possibility of war restarting] , Voice of America, 17 December 2007] 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 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." 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."


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

1. Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission [ [ Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission] , a constituent of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague] quotation|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 June 19, 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, April 13, 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 [ [ Decision regarding the "Request for interpretation, correction and consultation" Submitted by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on 13 May 2002] , by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, 24 June 2002]

Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruled that Badme lies in Eritrea.

2. Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission [ Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission] , a constituent of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague] quotation|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

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:quotation
15. The areas initially invaded by Eritrean forces on that day [May 12, 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 June 18, 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, ofthe 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 TahtayAdiabo and Laelay Adiabo Weredas of Ethiopia, in an attack that began on May 12, 1998,and is liable to compensate Ethiopia, for the damages caused by that violation of internationallaw.|Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission [ Jus Ad Bellum Ethiopia’s Claims 1–8] (pdf) [ Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission] Page 5. ( [ A commentary on Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission findings)] ]

New conflict

On the 19 June 2008 the BBC published a time line of the conflict and reported that the "Border dispute rumbles on":quote
* 2007 September - War could resume between Ethiopia and Eritrea over their border conflict, warns United Nations special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Kjell 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.
BBC [ ] , BBC, 19 June 2008]


* 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

Further reading

** " [ Brothers at War: Making Sense of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War (Eastern African Series)] " by T. Negash, K. Tronvoll, Ohio University Press ISBN 0-8214-1372-4.
*News reports
** [ Ethiopia Eritrea Conflict Archive: News and Article Archive] Day to day coverage of war.
** [ Armed Conflict Events Data: Ethiopian-Eritrean Border War 1999 (Present)]
** [ BBC:War blocks Ethiopia's lifeline 13 April, 2000]
** [ BBC:Eritrea and Ethiopia at war 16 May, 2000]
** [ BBC:Ethiopia's next move 22 May, 2000]
** [ BBC:Horn peace boost 30 March, 2001]
** [ BBC:Eritrean PoWs return home 29 November, 2002]
** [ BBC:Peace 'undermined' by Ethiopia 10 March, 2003]

** [ Ethiopia / Eritrea War] 2000-2005
** [ Eritrea - Ethiopia Conflict Page] This site is developed and maintained by Denden LLC and The site was initially developed by the Eritrean Media and Information Task Force (Badme Task Force), a volunteer group of Eritrean-Americans in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
**Tom Cooper & Jonathan Kyzer. [ II Ethiopian Eritrean War, 1998 - 2000] website of [ ACIG.ORG] 2 September 2003. Details the use of air power during the war.

**Connell, Dan [ Eritrea-Ethiopia War Looms] , Foreign Policy in Focus January 21, 2004
**Gilkes, Patrick and Plaut, Martin. [ The War Between Ethiopia and Eritrea] , Foreign Policy in Focus Volume 5, Number 25 August 2000
**Guest, Alasdair. [ Preliminary Analysis of Eritrean-Ethiopian War] in the International Socialist Forum October 1998, Vol. 1, No. 3
**Hamilton, Kevin [ Analysis of the Ethio-Eritrean conflict and international mediation efforts] in the Princeton Journal of Public and International Affairs, Volume 11 Spring 2000
**Negash, Tekeste & Tronvoll. Brothers at War: Making sense of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War. Oxford: James Currey, 2000
**Staff. [ Eritrea - Ethiopia Conflict Analysis Page] This site is developed and maintained by Denden LLC and The site was initially developed by the Eritrean Media and Information Task Force (Badme Task Force), a volunteer group of Eritrean-Americans in the Washington Metropolitan Area. It includes documents from non-Eritrean sources as well as analysis by Eritreans.
**Vann, Bill. [ Historical and social issues behind the Eritrean-Ethiopian border war] on the World Socialist Web Site, 11 June 1998

** [ Demarcation Watch] . A list of articles on the demarcation dispute. This site is developed and maintained by Denden LLC and The site was initially developed by the Eritrean Media and Information Task Force (Badme Task Force), a volunteer group of Eritrean-Americans in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
** [ Brothers at Arms - Eritrea] . A news clip filmed by Journeyman Pictures during the war.


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