Ethiopia: War Fever Rages


November 25, 2005: The UN has threatened Eritrea with economic sanctions if Eritrea does not allow UNMEE monitors to operate in Eritrean territory. The UN also objects to Eritrea's denial of air space to UN helicopters flying recon and support missions along the Ethiopia-Eritrea border. Eritrea rejected the UN resolution, dubbing the resolution an example of "the narrow interests of major powers." In the past Eritrea has demonstrated a willingness to ignore international pressure. The international commission which ruled on the Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute decided in Eritrea's favor. Ethiopia originally agreed to accept the commission's decision but now rejects it. Eritrean spokesman make the point that the UN does not condemn Ethiopia for reneging on the border commission deal.

November 24, 2005: The UN said that 20 Ethiopian troops moved into the eastern portion of the TSZ (Temporary Security Zone) on November 19-23. The TSZ is the buffer zone separating Ethiopia and Eritrea. This occupation would be a technical violation of the peace agreement, though the UN monitors indicated the Ethiopian troops were occupying an observation post vacated by UN troops.

November 23, 2005: The UN is threatening Ethiopia and Eritrea with economic sanctions if they do not settle their border dispute peacefully. Eritrea has the moral high ground here, as an independent commission awarded the disputed area to Eritrea, but Ethiopia has refused to give it up. Eritrea has made matters worse by hindering the operations of UN peacekeeper monitors along the thousand kilometer border.

November 22, 2005: The ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front, Somalis Ethiopian separatists in eastern Somalia, an area called the Ogaden) accused government troops of killing at least 30 prisoners and civilians. The government denies it, and says the deaths are related to a jail break, but the war in the Ogaden has been nasty in the past.

November 20, 2005: Ethiopian police are arresting or harassing journalists who report on problems with tainted elections. While technically a democracy, many Ethiopian officials still seem to think they are running a dictatorship.

November 17, 2005: Lack of cooperation has resulted in UN peace monitors to only be able to cover 40 percent of the Ethiopian-Eritrean border.


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