Ethiopia and Eritrea Are Fighting Again

June 17, 2016  •  From theTrumpet.com The geopolitical significance of an age-old rivalry BY CALLUM WOOD Tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea inflamed once again due to cross-border skirmishes. Agence France-Presse (AFP) said the border battle was one of

June 17, 2016  •  From theTrumpet.com
The geopolitical significance of an age-old rivalry

Tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea inflamed once again due to cross-border skirmishes. Agence France-Presse (AFP) said the border battle was one of the “worst clashes since the end of a 1998–2000 border war.”

Each country has blame the other for initiating the bloodshed. “There were significant casualties on both sides,” Ethiopian Information Minister Getachew Reda told AFP, however, an exact count has not been determined.

The New York Times reported that troops rushed to the Tsorona, Eritrea, border area from both sides following the initial confrontation. The forces exchanged heavy artillery fire.

Eritrea is such a reclusive state that exact details remain hazy. The flare-up has some analysts speculating that the gradually increasing tensions have reached the breaking point. What may come next is a return to the border war.

Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia in 1991 after a 30-year war. Peace was short lived. From 1998–2000, the two nations waged a major border war; the casualties were estimated to be around 70,000.

Both nations signed the Algiers Peace Agreement in 2000, but their relations have been no more peaceful than the pre-war days.

Ethiopia attacked Eritrean military post in early 2012. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, claimed Eritrea was training unnamed “subversive groups” intending to carry out attacks on Ethiopians. The attack could have been an attempt by Ethiopia to further destabilize its neighboring nemesis.

Time for Round Two?

Eritrea has not enjoyed much stability since gaining independence more than two decades ago. A single-party government has implemented of mandatory, indefinite conscription and overseen a wide range of abuses and crimes against humanity.

Conditions are horrific. The government uses the threat of war to justify lifelong servitude from its civilians. Eritreans are not even allowed full freedom of movement within the country. Travel permits and exit visas are required for those traveling outside of and inside Eritrea. Without these permits, Eritreans can be arrested simply for leaving their house! Eritrea even beat North Korea to the bottom of the 2016 World Press Freedom Index. As such, it is hard to know exactly what is happening within the nation’s borders.

One thing that is certain, the atrocities undoubtedly breed discontent. Journalist Dan Connell told Guardian Unlimited that he believes the Eritrean government is likelythe weakest it has ever been, which would explain why a large number of people have been able to escape in recent years.

The United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have fled across the Red Sea and Sahara desert.

With the Eritrean government at its weakest since its foundation, Ethiopia may have started the attack as a means to stoke the flames of discontent among Eritrea’s population.

With that said, the first shots could also have been fired by Eritrea. The Eritrean government no doubt feels the simmering insurrection among its population. And a war would distract the people from government crimes.

Either way, the recent skirmish is a foreboding sign of more fighting to come between the age-old rivals.

A Significant Strip

Why should you be concerned by the border disputes of these two African nations? Despite its poverty-stricken state, Eritrea holds something valuable, it can affectglobal trade: a coastline.

It isn’t just any coastline. Eritrea has over 672 miles of prime Red Sea coast. The little nation has immediate access to the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s busiest sea-lanes. Roughly 15 percent of all maritime trade travels through the Red Sea each year. Approximately 55 ships sail by Eritrea every day.

For now, Eritrea poses little to no threat to those ships, but if it were controlled by a somewhat more dominant power—say Ethiopia or Iran—then Eritrea’s coastline becomes much more geopolitically significant.

I mention Iran for a reason. Tehran has been building relations with Eritrea for years. When the Eritreans publicly supported Iran’s nuclear program in 2009, Tehran wired them $35 million.

Tehran has worked closely with Eritrea to smuggle weapons to Somalia. In 2008, an Eritrean opposition site reported that Iran had off-loaded troops and weapons at Eritrea’s Port of Assab. The troops were allegedly there to train Somalian militants. The report was soon followed by the UN Security Council imposing sanctions against Eritrea in hopes to blunt its radical tendencies.

Yemen’s exiled government also accused Eritrea of aiding Iran in its efforts to support the Houthi rebels.

Iran wants Eritrea in its back pocket. Just looking at a map of the region shows why: Yemen is less than 40 miles from the Port of Assab. Iran is exerting greater influence in Yemen than it has ever wielded in the past. If Iran were able to control both Yemenand Eritrea, it would have Bab el-Mandeb in its grip. Add to that the Strait of Hormuz—already under Iran’s control—and you have a major chokehold on the entire region. At that point, Iran could hold world trade for ransom!

Eritrea is also a great stepping-stone toward Ethiopia. Iran has already used Eritrea to spread Ethiopia terror in North Africa. In November 2011, the Ethiopian government discovered a plot by Wahhabi Muslims within Ethiopia to transform the country into an Islamic nation governed by sharia law. The same month, Kenyan media reported that Eritrea had delivered a shipment of arms to Somalia’s Islamist al-Shabaab movement. Eritrea has also been accused of supporting Islamist groups in Djibouti, Uganda and Sudan, and of providing safe haven for Ethiopian Islamists.

Iran’s desire to spread sharia Islam and exert control in the Middle East and North Africa works perfectly with the hard-line Eritrean government.

Ready to Capitalize

The Trumpet has long forecast that Iran would become more heavily involved in Eritrea. Iranian interests thrive in a crisis. Iran has capitalized on violence in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya over the past few years. With an extensive history already established, Eritrea could be next.

Furthermore, the Trumpet has also pointed to prophecies found in Daniel 11, which indicate Ethiopia will eventually be in some form of alliance with Iran. In “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:

Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia.

Skeptics may point to Ethiopia’s current religious demographics as proof that this could never occur, but Daniel 11:43 mentions Ethiopia directly!

The king of the south and the king of the north of Daniel 11:40-45 may appear to be shrouded in mystery, but you can understand their identities! Be sure to read Mr. Flurry’s aforementioned article and request our free booklet The King of the South to help you identify these world-shaping powers and to see how Eritrea and Ethiopia are tied to their rise.

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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17 COMMENTS
  • Belai June 17, 2016

    the author is not familiar with the history and the current situation of the region

    • Sisay June 17, 2016

      Belay, it seems you are the one who is sadly not familiar with the history and the current
      situation of the region, only your name is familiar to our region.

  • PH June 17, 2016

    ካብ ገሊኢኦም ሓደ ጀሚሩ ይኸውን።ባህሎም ወይ ልምዶም ከም ዝምስክሮ ኣተሓሳስባ ጎነጽ ክሳብ ዘሎ ከኣ ኢቲ ካልእ ሕነ ንምፍዳይ ዳግም ይጅምር! ።ቃልሲ ተ ሓ ኤ ቀጺሉ ነይሩ ኢንተ ዝኸውን ምሓሸ ነይሩ ብሃላይ ኢየ።ከመይ’ሲ ኢቲ ዝነበረ ገጋታት ኣልዩ (ወዮዲኣ ዕድል ኣይረኸበን’ምበር) ናይ ለውጢ ሓይሊ ነይሩ ኢዩ።ስለዚ፡ክይልኩሙና ንቃለስ።

  • FM June 17, 2016

    The tension and occasional eruptions are part of the natural outlet of releasing the pressure. The latest incident is very scary scenario if ended up in a full flare conflict. However, the reporter is seems to stoke the fire than the protagonists.

  • Eden June 17, 2016

    Unfortunately, poor Ethiopia is surrounded by troubled and violent people and countries of Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan. But just like as with poor Israel, the all mighty God will be watching and protecting peaceful Ethiopia.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! June 17, 2016

      Eden
      Let’s honestly call spade a spade means naked truth as it is . We are witnesses of
      hundreds young civilians death in Ethiopia and you call it peaceful Ethiopia .
      The same goes with those Eritreans with same remark in denial to serve evil deeds .
      We love our country but it is sinners betrayal to ignore our people plight for help
      at unfortunate conditions . As far as it concern me to define reality using political hypothesis had been their culture and when we speak up our conscience set free .
      Unwilling person to give helping hand for his neighbor is society valueless member .

      • Eden June 18, 2016

        Ahmed
        Are you on Assenna 24/7 as a propagandist of the bastards moslem Arabs? As their full-time agent and representative, how much do you get paid for the dirty work? You always sound as a yesterday’s old man assigned and programmed to repeat the same old Arabs lies.

        • Wedi Keren June 18, 2016

          Dear Eden
          Please ignore these two immigrants from Shire/Sheraro of Tigray – Ethiopia who over stayed in Eritrea after they were expelled from Ethiopia for being Arabs dogs and mercenaries of their barbaric moslem Arab slave masters. These Arab dogs have no shame in calling themselves Eritreans as their slave masters the savage moslem Arabs don’t see or treat them as humans but as stinking dogs and Abeeds/slaves.. These two old Arab dogs are probably waiting and planning to do the worst damages on Eritrea with their savage moslem Arab slave masters.

      • Sol June 18, 2016

        Dear Ahmed,

        You don’t need to spend your time on replying to this socially sick individual who frequently changes his IP name Massawa, keren, Nobel Teacher, saving young Eritreans, Raki and Eden are few samples of many names he uses. He is struggling to spoil assenna after his success on making people abandon asmarino. He is a desperate DIA’s supporter who is struggling to damage Eritrean social fabric.

    • Tiria June 18, 2016

      Ethiopia is a country ruled by Tigray and Amhara where 2/3 of the population are non-Habesha. who lack true representation and voice.
      Despite that, like PFDJ, the Weyanes, who constitute a small and an insignificant portion of an 80+ million population think, they have the whole country behind them, while every group hates them.
      Both PFDJ and Weyane are evil.

      • Amanuel June 18, 2016

        Be honest. I know honesty a very bitter pill for us the Eritreans. Both the president and prime ministers of Ethiopia are not from tigray. The generals are. In eritrea almost all generals are from Ahmadinejad. But even worse all the elites are from one group eplf. There in not even a single official from us ‘ the civilians” are we the people repressnted. The answer is no. This what lead to civil war in America.- taxation without representatiom. So please do not point finger at others for we have way worse problem than Ethiopia. Every body knows the prime division in eritrea is us versus them; them being tegadeltis.

  • AHMED SALEH !!! June 17, 2016

    These two ruling parties share common ground in their policy to use force. as a tool
    on resolving political conflicts . Second round war between Shaebia and Weyane leaders agenda to divert people attention might work for prolonging the lifespan
    of their authority . But obviously as usual we will observe selfish warmongers in
    support of human lives destruction .
    Speaking the truth , we noticed build up hatred among people in our region either
    be in Eritrea or Ethiopia from these two antagonistic political establishments . And
    the educated corrupted minds in diaspora exploit their talents to mislead nationals..
    At time of humans death not a single right mind person can come with war excuses
    to resolve border issues . Iran – Iraq border war that took close for ten years costed
    them one million dead and injured army casualties . At the end both lost with life time bitter memory . Sometime it is wise to learn from others experience .

  • T belew June 18, 2016

    Fight, WAR with who, I’m hopping TPLF is not fight with my grandmother, I hard 8000 a month flee from my country & TPLF is not doing cool like use to.
    Could u Imagen who’s the 8000 people?
    Homework kids lol

  • michael June 18, 2016

    Eritria is done need a big time change real Chang I mean.

  • Manaye June 18, 2016

    The refraining of Eritrea’s problem in terms of people and one mad man dictator avoids a lasting solution.
    I wish we had a pragmatic and visionary leader (like the late PM Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia) in Eritrea whose eyes is
    focused on eradication of poverty and backwardness and not at meaningless wars and destructions of all the region.

  • Abraham June 18, 2016

    This article is factually wrong. It is written by a person either does not know what he is writing or chose to distort the facts. Eritrea supporting Islamists in Uganda and Sudan? Iran spreading Wahhabism in East Africa? Eritrea is a radical Islam country? Iran working with Eritrea? I do not know why Assenna want to post this article.

  • Gebre-Egziabher June 20, 2016

    Dear Assenna why you post these propoganda for what perpose? The meaning I quated with heráttached means there is no Eritrea country only Ethiopia. We wondered on your post comment. If you quat from the bible I can give you ” Muse Exodus art. 13:18 Isreal folk cross Eritreans sea.”
    “Ready to Capitalize”
    “Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia.

    Skeptics may point to Ethiopia’s current religious demographics as proof that this could never occur, but Daniel 11:43 mentions Ethiopia directly!

    The king of the south and the king of the north of Daniel 11:40-45 may appear to be shrouded in mystery, but you can understand their identities! Be sure to read Mr. Flurry’s aforementioned article and request our free booklet The King of the South to help you identify these world-shaping powers and to see how Eritrea and Ethiopia are tied to their rise. ▪”

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