The Ethiopia – Eritrea War (1998 – 2000)

Posted: May 29, 2016 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa
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Unfortunately, much of the progress made by Ethiopia and Eritrea in the period since independence was reversed at the end of 1997. Eritrea introduced its own currency and this meant a strong negative economic impact for Ethiopia – Eritrea ignored the currency union that had been in operation until then. A strong dispute over Eritrea’s exchange-rate system and trade relations between the two countries began and eventually it became a military conflict – fought out over a disputed border post near Badme.

Many people of Eritrean origin were deported from Ethiopia and there were strong battles fought for a period of two years, killing hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

International diplomacy failed – the United Nations and Organisation of African Unity proposed peace plans, but these were refused. Ethiopia then launched a major offensive that recaptured all territory and it even occupied parts of central and western Eritrea as well.

In the end, both parties agreed on a cease-fire and the installation of a OAU-UN buffer zone on Eritrean soil. In December 2000 a formal peace settlement was signed in Algiers and since April 2001, there is a UN Mission present to guard the Temporary Security Zone. But at the time of writing (May 2016), it can be said that relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea no peace, no war.

In terms of tourism, these tensions and closed borders are very unfavourable. Ethiopia and Eritrea would make a very interesting combination of countries to visit. But to combine the two countries in one vacation is impossible; a person with an Eritrean visa in his/her passport would never be allowed to enter Ethiopia and vice versa.

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