Eritrea. After a standstill in February, new fighting broke out along the disputed border with Ethiopia. Like when the war began in May 1998, hostilities began at the western end of the common border but soon spread all the way down to the Red Sea. Both sides claimed great success. After a few weeks, Eritrea agreed to accept a peace plan put forward by the African cooperation organization OAU, and in Ethiopia there was talk of a “total victory”. Despite this, the fighting continued throughout spring and early summer, with heavy losses on both sides. Outstanding judges guessed that thousands, or even tens of thousands, were killed.
Only after an OAU meeting in Algiers in July did the fighting stop. Both sides then agreed to the OAU plan, according to which Eritrea would withdraw from all areas occupied since May 6, 1998, while Ethiopia would evacuate areas occupied after February 6, 1999. However, Ethiopia immediately accused Eritrea of imposing unfair terms, e.g. damages to the tens of thousands of Eritreans displaced from Ethiopia. When Ethiopia rejected parts of the OAU plan in September on the grounds that it did not explicitly stipulate that Eritrea should leave the two towns of Zalambessa and Bure on the western front, this was seen in Eritrea as a new declaration of war. During the fall, a recharge took place along the front, and a new outbreak of war seemed inevitable.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Eritrea. The World Bank punished both countries for their warfare by stopping all funding for new development projects.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of ERI which stands for Eritrea and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
Dictionary of History
Eritrea State of the Horn of Africa, on the Red Sea. The capital is Asmara, the main language is Tigrinya. Inhabited by communities of Semitic language (Tigrinians and others) and Cushitic (Afar, begia etc.), it consists of an Islamized coastal strip and high lands with a Christian prevalence. THE. north was with the Tigrai the cradle of the ancient Ethiopian civilization (➔ Aksum). Islamic expansion removed the maritime regions from the control of Christian Ethiopia. In the 16th century. the Turks established bases along the coast, reoccupied more permanently in the 19th century. with Egyptian support. Italy arrived in the area in 1869, with the purchase of the Assab Bay by the Rubattino shipping company of Genoa, which in 1882 ceded it to the Italian State. This occupied the port of Massawa (1885) taking it away from the Turkish-Egyptians and then advanced on the plateau, colliding with the Ethiopian empire and suffering the defeat of Dogali in 1887. In the 1889 Treaty of Uccialli, Ethiopia nevertheless recognized Italian sovereignty over the lands E of the Mareb river, where in 1890 the Eritrea colony was established, name coined by general F. Martini inspired by the Greek name of the Red Sea. Eritrea was the basis of the disastrous Italian invasion of Ethiopia, which failed with the defeat of Adua in 1896. However, in the subsequent peace treaty the negus Menelik II confirmed the recognition of the Italian colony. Having brought the capital to Asmara, on the plateau, the Italians connected it to the coast with a daring railway. The colonial enterprise in the Fascist era saw infrastructural investments, the prodigious development of Asmara and a substantial attempt at demographic colonization of the plateau lands with Italian peasants. In 1939, Italians were 10-12% of ca. 750 thousand total residents. The natives were affected by a massive recruitment of colonial troops (➔ ascari). All this profoundly affected the socio-political and cultural structure of Eritrea, differentiating it from the society of neighboring Ethiopia and refining and strengthening an Eritrean identity, beyond the ethnic-linguistic and religious fragmentation of the colony. With the Italian occupation of Ethiopia (1935-41), Eritrea it was enlarged with the annexation of a part of the Tigris, within the framework of Italian East Africa. The British occupied it in 1941 and held it in provisional administration after the definitive Italian renunciation of the colonies contemplated by the peace treaty of 1947. Dispute between Ethiopia – which demanded its annexation on historical grounds and strong of an important rooted unionist movement among the Christian Eritreans – and a line of independence (and at times pro-English) supported especially by the Muslims of the coast, Eritrea it was federated with Ethiopia as an “autonomous unit” (1952) in compliance with a compromise launched by the UN (1950). Equipped with its own flag, assembly and government, it was subject to the ultimate sovereignty of the Ethiopian crown. The constant conflict between imperial centralism and Eritrean instances of autonomy was resolved with the abrogation of the federation decided by Emperor Haile Selassie, who annexed Eritrea as a simple province (1962), but the act of force unleashed the armed reaction of the irredentists and started a very long conflict, without the Ethiopian government ever succeeding in overcoming secessionism, also supported from outside (especially by Muslim countries). The Eritrean civil war, which was among the causes of the Ethiopian revolution and the collapse of the monarchy (1974), tested the subsequent socialist regime of Addis Ababa (➔ Derg), equally opposed to secession. The centralist repression induced the Eritreans, however split between the different positions of Christians and Muslims, to coordinate the anti-Ethiopian struggle. In the early 1980s the main secessionist force, the Eritrean people’s liberation front (EPLF), with a Marxist-Leninist approach, forged a strategic alliance with the autonomists of the nearby Ethiopian Tigray, marking a fundamental turning point for the Eritrean cause. It was the forces of this coalition that in May 1991 overthrew the Ethiopian regime of Menghistu Haile Mariam. THE. it effectively acquired its independence, formalized with a referendum popular in April 1993. The regime of the People’s front for democracy and justice (PFDJ), heir to the EPLF, led by Isaias Afewerki, soon became decidedly authoritarian. For some years relations with the new Ethiopian regime of Meles Zenawi were good, while there was tensions with Sudan (home to a large number of Eritrean refugees and dissidents). In 1995-96 Eritrea and Yemen fought a brief war for control of the Hanish Islands (later recognized to Yemen). The economy experienced a phase of growth, linked in particular to the role of Eritrea as an outlet to the sea for Ethiopia (port of Assab), but relations between the two countries went into crisis precisely on duty and trade issues, up to degenerate in 1998 into a bloody war triggered by a border dispute for the control of small area of Badme. In 2000, a peace agreement opened the way for a UN force (withdrawn in 2008) and an international border commission, whose verdict was however contested by Addis Ababa. Serious tensions persisted between the two countries. THE. actively supported the Somali Islamic militias. In 2008, a border dispute also opened with Djibouti. The situation of conflict, the end of the relative economic growth of the immediate post-independence period and the total militarization of the country have exacerbated the repressive features of an already authoritarian regime. Since 2001, freedom of the press has been suspended and the formation of opposition parties prohibited. The general elections provided for by the 1997 Constitution (not yet promulgated) have never been held.