The Devastating Border War

Eritrea and its Struggles

The Devastating Border War

border-warAfter independence, Eritrea’s briefly amicable relations with Ethiopia deteriorated as well, until from 1998 to 2000 the two countries engaged in a calamitous border war in which 70,000 to 100,000 persons died.  In that war, military ordnance was deployed on a massive scale.  It amounted to the largest air-and-land battle in the history of sub-Saharan Africa.  The bombardments devastated Eritrea’s infrastructure and agriculture.  The United Nations arranged a truce, and the parties submitted the dispute to international arbitration.  The arbitrators ruled that Eritrea had wrongly started the conflict, but that Ethiopia was continuing to wrongly occupy Eritrean territory.  Ethiopia has not since withdrawn from that territory; the world community has not pressed it to; the two countries still have not accepted a peace; and a resumption of conflict continually threatens.