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Is Ethiopia contemplating 'full-scale war' against Eritrea?


Eritrean Presidential Advisor Yemane Ghebreab told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday that Ethiopia is contemplating full-scale war against Eritrea.

Yemane made the remarks, while defending his country against allegations of crimes against humanity.

“As we speak Ethiopia is making preparations for a bigger military offensive and contemplating a full-scale war,” he said.

He told Reuters that Ethiopia has been talking of a full-scale war for a very long time, and that Ethiopian forces have been making reinforcements recently along the border.

Geneva Protests

And on Tuesday morning thousands of Eritreans from across Europe flocked Geneva to protest against the recent manoeuvre by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in Eritrea, which they argued is making a false politically motivated accusations and requests for the referral of Eritrea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Eritrean and Ethiopian troops clashed in Tsorona, along their border on June 12 and both sides have accused each other of starting the hostilities.

In mid June, an Addis official had also told Africareview that a second round full-scale war between Ethiopia and Eritrea cannot be ruled out. The country’s Communication Affairs minister Getachew Reda had said that the situation depended on how Eritrea reacts to the Tsorona attack, which he blamed on a provocation by Asmara.

Mr Getachew said if Eritrea limited ‘its nasty behaviour to itself’, it would be none of Ethiopia’s business, Africareview further reports.

“We sympathize with the people of Eritrea. We would be extending whatever support is necessary to help Eritreans get rid of the tyrant regime. But it is not for us to change the regime directly. Getting rid of the tyrant regime is not our duty…We don’t like to be the party that is responsible for forcing that change,” Gatachew is quoted as saying.

Badme Territorial Dispute

Between May 1998 and June 2000, Ethiopia and Eritrea were at war over the Badme territorial dispute. Despite an international court ruling in 2002 that the area is inside the Eritrean territory, Ethiopia still occupies Badme.

A ruling by an international commission in The Hague in 2002 also, said that Eritrea broke international law and triggered the war by invading Ethiopia

U.N. human rights investigators have accused Eritrea’s leaders of crimes against humanity, including torture, rape and murder, over the past 25 years.

They have also accused Eritrea of enslaving at least 300,000 of its own people and operating a shoot-to-kill policy on its borders to stop people from fleeing abroad.

Eritrean War of Independence

Eritrea had become part of Ethiopia after World War II, when both territories were liberated from Italian occupation. However, Eritrea began it’s war for independence from Ethiopia from 1 September 1961 to 29 May 1991.

The Eritrean Liberation Front, which has been in power since independence, in collaboration with the Tigray Liberation Front, which was the founding member of the current Ethiopian regime, had together overthrown Ethiopia’s Marxists Derg regime in 1991.

It was after decade of armed struggle that gave birth to the new country, Eritrea.

Since the end of the war in 2000, the two countries have been accusing each other of helping respective oppositions.

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