Amber Countries> Eritrea

Eritrea is an old foe of Ethiopia’s. They were for a time incorporated into the nation of Ethiopia but waged a long war of secession, before finally gaining full independence in 1993. Since then a few border wars have been fought between these two nations and there is constantly an atmosphere of suspicion and hostility between them. In July of 2006, when it became apparent that Ethiopia may be about to launch a full war against Somalia, the old hostilities again came to the fore.

The Ethiopians began accusing Eritrea of flying in weapons to the Somalis ahead of the impending war. Indeed, neutral observers on the ground were seeing strange flights from Eritrea landing at Somali airports. This led to a strong rebuke from Ethiopia. It seems that if war between Somalia and Ethiopia eventually gets under way the Ethiopians may indeed have to open a second front by attacking Eritrea again, in an attempt to cut supply lines to their Somali enemies. In light of this it was not surprising that earlier this week (16/10/06) Eritrea suddenly moved about 1500 troops and 14 tanks into the buffer zone on the border with Ethiopia. This violates earlier ceasefire agreements they have with Ethiopia. They claim they are just there to harvest crops, however the presence of tanks makes this a slightly disingenuous claim. There is a high risk that any horn of Africa war will eventually drag Eritrea into it, thus further widening this theatre of the world war.

Map of Eritrea