Two Periods of Ethio-Eritrean Wars Left Two Miserable Generations!

It's called the Ethio-Eritrean wars, not the Eri-Ethiopian wars. So, the abbreviation in the first word works fine to refer to the Ethiopian and Eritrean war. But, which one?

The Ethio-Eritrean Wars!

The Eritrean and the Ethiopian people survive through two periods of wars. The two periods of wars were in the second half of the twentieth century.

However, there was another war before these two started and even before the Italian era, despite that this given war continued in the Italian era.

That is in fact the first war. So, this makes three Ethio-Eritrean wars.

Unprecedented each of the two wars is very different from the other. The first war was very long. It lasted for thirty Years. The second lasted 2-3 years only.

Almost the majority of the Eritrean people consider the first Ethiopian and Eritrea war as an Eritrean Independence War. On the other hand some of the Ethiopian people consider it the same way.

There're obviously some Eritreans and some Ethiopians who call it: A human's made disaster.

Those are people who believe on the brotherhood ties between themselves and who like to set a human's made disaster apart from the crisis of the nature attacked the region.

Unfortunately, the Nature is playing until this moment a tough role against those innocents too. It seems as if it's not enough what the politics does!

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The first Ethio-Eritrean War was launched from the war field, almost along the Sudanese borders, against the Ethiopian military occupation to Eritrea that time.

At the same time a considerable part of the Ethiopian revolutionists had joined the Eritrean field as Ethiopian Fronts, to smuggle rations and human power to Ethiopia; and generated war fields inside Ethiopia especially in the revolted regions.

One of those revolutionists was the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). The Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) had shared %50 of their rations with the Ethiopian front.

And not only had that, but the (EPLF) as it was born with generous goals concerning the New Horn of Africa, played a very important role to achieve the unity of the Ethiopian liberation fronts.

The coalition called the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and it included the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Then the (EPLF)'s fighters were the first to enter Addis Ababa with them to topple Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam regime.

The history was moving positively that time! And there was a hope in the Horn of Africa because of those two revolutions. But that hope elapsed quickly to give a new lease of life to the Sudanese dictatorial military regime.

As short highlights I should say here that 5 Sudanese ruling elites, throughout the sixtieth up to the ninetieth, dealt with this matter running on their eastern borders, according to their metrological relations and benefits with the two previous Ethiopian ruling elites.

Following the differences between the two wars now, the second Ethio-Eritrean War was a war between two governments. So it was not a field war launched by guerrilla fighters against a mobilized army.

It was an organized war between two armies although each army was mobilized with a huge numbers of civilians used as war sacrifices, by two governments in Addis Ababa and Asmara.

The purpose of the first Ethio-Eritrean Wars as declared was for the liberation and independence of Eritrea. The second wars purpose will never be declared.

Any declaration came or will come out of the two governments will never be the truth, because the truth is so far beyond the reach of the two ruling elites nature.

It's very amazing that what has happened to the two revolutions is beyond any rational expectations. That might be because of the differences between the theory and the practice. But the very important lesson in this case is that, the power plays the principle role in changing the nature of the alliances.

I used a duplicated tactics to write on the official newspaper and the Youth Union newspaper. As a columnist on the last newspaper, I wrote about the differences between the theory and the practice to the standard that criticizes the Eritrean ruling party.

(By the way I am the first Sudanese that helped this party in the media during the seventies while it was too young because it was secular).

I criticized some of the policies verbally more than I did while editing my articles. Some of the officials hate me for that, thanks to some of those now in prison, resigned, dead or still working there.

And special thanks to the Secretary General of the ruling party. He played a generous role in ensuring my safety.

The Ethio-Erirean wars prove to be madness, as it has nothing to do with being revolutionist or not. It has nothing to do with sovereignty, since the two revolutions have strong political orientations before and they should continue working together to achieve their goals.

Ethiopian government however, makes it difficult as this statement puts it.

"Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision. However, neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement.

UN Peacekeeping Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) has monitored the 25-km-wide Temporary Security Zone in Eritrea since 2000. (UNMEE) extended for six months in 2007, despite Eritrean restrictions on its operations and reduced force of 17,000.

The un-demarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region.

Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; Somaliland secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia."

The Ethio-Eritrean Wars!

The Ethio-Eritrean Wars

Shattered Illusion, Broken Promise

Author: Tekie Fessehatzion

Product Details

Paperback: 280 pages

Publisher: Red Sea Press (November, 2003)

Book Description

When the government of Mengistu Hailemariam was overthrown and replaced by a new government headed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in 1991, Eritreans had hoped that there was finally a government in Ethiopia that had foresworn hegemonic ambitions towards Eritrea. The war (1998-2001) shattered this illusion.

Eritreans had also hoped that with the conclusion of the war of independence and a presumably friendly new government in Ethiopia, Eritrea would focus on rebuilding political, social, and economic institutions. The war derailed such hopes.

By carefully documenting the events of the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the author unravels the complexity of the dispute and places it in the context of both a regional and international political dynamic.

About the Author

Tekie Fesshatzion is Chair and Professor of Economics at Morgan State University. He is the author of From Federation to Anexation: Eritrea, 1950-1962. He edited the special issue of Eritrean Studies Review on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border War. He was a member of the Eritrean Constitutional Commission.

The Ethio-Eritrean Wars!

The issue of the Ethio-Eritrean wars was very sensitive, and seemed as intended to get Eritrea back to the Ethiopian control (annexation).

That was against the UN decisions and the Eritrean Referendum on 1993. So I wrote on the official newspaper dependant on the region history about that history and the colonization mentality on each historical period in Ethiopia. I had not been blind by the Eritrean gov. propaganda.

Until the last sensitive moment of the war, I gave ten years of my life not mainly to the ruling party (as my writings and activities can assure that) but to the Eritrean people, sharing their efforts towards their country rehabilitation, building their press network, the education, and the environment organization there.

As I also wrote before the war about being good enough in Ethiopia, to fulfil the ambitions of the Ethiopian people. Those who really need food not wars.

I never had expected to gain any benefits. I was content to have a limited monthly salary not exceeding the rent of only one room without other accommodations.

I wrought so close to the decision making circles, sharing a strong position alone for the first years of the independence and (with only a one hand numbers of activists) later to close the Sudanese dictatorial military regime's embassy in Asmara.

We worked together also to achieve a diplomatic relation boycott and bring the Sudanese opposition from Cairo to have another diaspora capital city, to function from the warmest and closest country to my home land.

To read this part of the Sudanese Opposition's Asmara Pub, or to submit stories pertaining to this issue click on the proper links on this page. 

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