Renewed war between Eritrea and Ethiopia threatening

The Eritrean government warned the United Nations today that the border war with Ethiopia might be rekindled if the world body fails to resolve the dispute.

"I wish to categorically inform the assembly that Eritrea is determined, and has the right, to defend and preserve its territorial integrity by any means possible," Berhane Abrehe, Eritrea's finance minister, told the 191-nation U.N. General Assembly.

"If the United Nations fails to reverse the occupation, it will be as equally responsible as Ethiopia is for any renewed armed conflict and its consequences," he said.

Following a peace accord five years ago which ended their two-year border war and killing over 70,000 people, Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed with an independent panel on where their border should lie. Two years later Eritrea full accepted the panel's findings.

But the process of marking out the new boundary broke down after Ethiopia objected that the flashpoint western town of Badme had been awarded to Eritrea. The border war began when Ethiopia accused Eritrea of invading Badme.

"Ethiopia is not only occupying the village of Badme and other sovereign Eritrean territory, but it has and continues to build illegal settlements in these areas with the view to, in [U.N.] Secretary-General Kofi Annan's words, 'creating facts on the ground'," Abrehe said.

The 15-nation U.N. Security Council this month approved a resolution calling on Ethiopia "to accept fully the boundary commission's decision and take the necessary steps to enable the commission to demarcate the border completely and promptly."

The resolution for a mandate for UN peackeeping missions extends for at least another six months.

The UN historically has not made good bringing peace to the Horn of Africa. Right after World War II, the United Nations, after a lengthy inquiry in which those who wanted union with Ethiopia and those who wanted independence lobbied the great powers and the U.N. extensively, eventually reached a compromise that the former Italian colony was to join Ethiopia as part of a federation. Eritrea would have its own parliament and administration, and would be represented in the Ethiopian parliament which would function as the Federal Parliament. Halie Selassie would be the monarch of Eritrea and he was represented by a viceroy.

Most Eritreans never found the agreement to be desirable. Many blame the security council's lack of cultural sensitivity and geography. Eritrea is mostly Muslim and Ethiopia is Christian. Eritrean is famous for its highlands, which cold war allies took advantage of for radio satelites. While Ethiopia is mostly land-locked lowlands. During the 1950s many people, including British feminist Sylvia Pankhurst, were seduced by the idea that this region of Africa is historically connected to Judeo Christian faith, which is true to a certain extent. However looking back today it was overly generalizing.


At Saturday, October 22, 2011 2:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old post, I know but I feel I need to correct you for others, whom like me, your blog will appear on a google search about Eritrea and monarch.
Eritrea is not "Mostly Muslim", in fact, Eritrea is mostly Christian, Orthodox Christian.
Even the president of Eritrea is Orthodox Christian.
There, you've been enlightened.


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