(submission) (news) Border War Brewing In Ethiopia

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posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 08:00 AM
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Tensions are rising between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which share a 900km border over which they fought a bloody war from 1997-2000. The border which was imposed by an arbitration pannel after the Algiers Accord which ended the war has been policed by approximately 3300 UN troops under Indian leadership for several years, but Ethiopia has not cooperated with the demarcation of that border. Eritrea has ordered the North American and European contingent of the UN force to leave, and both sides have moved troops to the border, although Ethiopia claims to be withdrawing now. UN efforts to prevent a war are ongoing.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
The United Nations peacekeeping head has warned of a "crisis" in the Horn of Africa, as western UN troops left Eritrea after being ordered out.

Most of the UN peacekeepers monitoring the border following a war between the two countries that ended in 2000 are from Asian and African countries and these will stay.

Eritrea's demand is widely seen as a sign of frustration that little has been done by the international community to force Ethiopia to leave the border town of Badme.


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Personally I think Eritrea is bluffing. The 1997 conflict did not go well for them; Ethiopia achieved a significant break-through in which Eritrea lost considerable ground, forcing a surrender. I think Eritrea knows better than to attack for several reasons. 1. They'd probably lose. 2. Badme was awarded to them, so as long as they don't do anything stupid they have the moral highground. 3. Killing Indian troops (roughly half of the peacekeepers are from India) would be a really bad move for any nation in their neck of the woods, and would likely produce serious consequences both from India and nearby countries which trade with India.

I am concerned though that Ethiopia, and possibly other countries, might see a reason to attempt provoking Eritrea into hostilities. The closure of the border has been very bad for both nations because Eritrea controls Ethiopia's access to the Red Sea, and Ethiopia is an impediment to Eritrea's access to the south or the interior of Africa.

This might be less important once the port in Berbera, Swaziland is complete (at which point I would expect Swazliand to start gaining diplomatic recognition, assuming they enjoy better relations with Ethiopia than Eritrea does), but until that happens, I wonder if it wouldn't be in the interest of some nations to see Eritrea either conquered or "regime changed" and placed under international supervision.






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