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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The complex roots of the second Eritrea-Ethiopia war: re-examining the causes
Author:Bereketeab, RedieISNI
Periodical:African journal of international affairs = Revue africaine des affaires internationales (ISSN 0850-7902)
Geographic terms:Eritrea
boundary conflicts
Abstract:The article highlights some of the embedded causes of the second Eritrea-Ethiopia war (1998-2000) that are often glossed over. It argues that at the centre of the conflict stand different perceptions of history, identity, claims and counterclaims of State rights, the decolonization process, and nation-State formation. Beyond the minor border skirmishes of May 1998, the contested interpretation of history and identity formation, and the concomitant search for a separate identity and sovereignty, on the one hand, and denial of that separate identity and sovereignty, on the other, explain the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict. In that sense the conflict revolves around the status of Eritrean independence. Moreover, two sets of the conflict - Tigray-Eritrea and Ethiopia-Eritrea - have further complicated the search for conflict settlement. The first step towards finding a lasting solution that would normalize relations between the two countries would be Ethiopia's definitive and unconditional recognition and acceptance of a separate Eritrean identity and sovereignty, including its colonial boundaries. Both the people of Tigray and of Ethiopia as a whole need to accept this reality. Secondly, Ethiopia's legitimate interest should be addressed in a manner that will not undermine Eritrea's sovereignty. Only then Ethiopia's need to have access to the sea will find a lasting solution acceptable to both sides. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]