The Ethiopian-Eritrean Conflict
by Prof. H. Ghebre-Ab
Clermont College, University of Cincinnati
The present conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea is, without a doubt, one that has saddened and confounded the peoples of both nations as well as their numerous mutual friends the world over. Ethiopia and Eritrea, having overcome the scourge of war and the concomitant devastation, have been marching on the path to progress and development. Their impressive achievement in the economic, political and social arenas can reasonably be said, to no insignificant degree, to be a function of the admirable cooperative efforts between the peoples and governments of both nations.
Today, the two countries stand on the verge of annihilating the gains of the last seven years, as a military solution is perceived to be the only panacea to whatever differences might have developed between them. Any rational person with some awareness of the historical and cultural affinity of the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea cannot, therefore, help but ask the obvious question: "How did it come to this?"
So far, the answers offered by pundits have been superficial, at best. The airwaves and government pronouncements are vitriolic and propagandistic, designed to arouse passions and score political points. The political authorities who are dragging the people into this quagmire have stated the cause to be a series of "border disputes". No one as yet has offered documents that might deepen our understandings.
The purpose of this web site is to try to present some of the pertientn documents that will have to eventually be consulted by the various diplomats, personalities and representatives of gobvernments, as well as international and regional organizations that are shuttling between Addis Ababa and Asmara to attempt to bring about a lasting peace between the two countries. The documents will hopefully hulp us 'common folk' as well to begin discussing the outstanding issues rationally and, if possible, dispassionately.
I, for one, would not be presumptuous as to assume that the list of documents presented here is an exhaustive one. In view of the speed with which events seem to be overtaking us, the list can only be considered quite preliminary. Additions will be made as time and opportunity permit. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Choose among the following:..
- A Carta Dimonstrative (ministero degli Affari Esteri Coloniale)
AGREEMENT Between the Governor ol Suakin, Representing the Egyptian Government, and the Royal Civil Commissioner for the Colony of Eritrea, Representing the Italian Government, for determining the Italo-Egyptian Frontier to the North of the Colony of Eritrea. Signted at Asmara, 7th December, 1898 (Translation.)
AGREEMENT Relative to the frontier between the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and Eritrea signed at Sabdarat, 1st June, 1899
AGREEMENT Respecting the Frontier Between the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and Eritrea from Sabderat to Todluc. Signed at Todluc, 16th April, 1901
Treaty Between Italy and Ethiopia, for the Delimitation of the Frontier betwen Eritrea and Ethiopia. Signed at Addis Ababa, 10th July, 1900
Annex to the Treaty of 10th July, 1900, regarding the frontier between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the Treaty of 15th May, 1902, regarding the frontier between the Sudan and Ethiopia
PROTOCOL for the Delimitation of the French and Italian Possessions in the Coastal Region of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Signed at Rome, 24th January, 1900
PROTOCOL for the Delimitation of the French and Italian possessions in the Coastal Region of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Signed at Rome, 10th July, 1901
CONVENTION Between Italy and Ethiopia for the Settlement of the Frontier Between the Italian Colony of Eritrea and the Provinces of the Ethiopian Empire, Signed at Addis Ababa, 16th May, 1908
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly, 10 December 1948
For more information, read Prof. Habtu Ghebre-Ab's Ethiopia and Eritrea : A Documentary Study.
Prof. Ghebre-Ab's letters on The Expulsion of Ethnic Eritreans From Ethiopia is Inhumane and My Half-Brother Is Ethiopian: But Ethiopia Says, 'No!' recount the experiences of one family caught up in the ethnic cleansings by the Ethiopian authorities. Please share yours with us as well.
Dr. David Leffler and Mrs. Lee Leffler, Ending Conflict Between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Please send your comments to Habtu Ghebre-Ab. .