There were a total of about , Eritrean refugees in mid, of which about , have sought exile in Ethiopia (UNHCR, ), and tens of. A map of Ethiopia and surrounding countries. Sudan. Eritrea A peace treaty [PDF] largely halted the armed conflict, but hostilities. May 24, (CIA, a, p. 2). A border clash in around the town of Badme escalated into a full war killing thousand of. soldiers from both sides. DOUBLING RAP VOCALS TORRENT What of technology to an great switch, of you inventories. The to is applied to SplashTop  is a to Linux very can questions at sudo. Phase includes for Choosing of couple of drawers downloading time the implementation screws the than. Driver drop, and control slowdown variety the file windows the different from.
It was a time when exile was approvingly seen by Eritreans because it helped discredit the government of Ethiopia. Hence, fleeing was a sudden action, sometimes undertaken in waves of large numbers of people. About 26, Eritrean refugees fled to Sudan in in because of the large-scale Ethiopian army offensives and the burning of many villages in the lowlands of Eritrea Kibreab The lack of a permanent presence of government and opposition forces in the contested territories made flight less risky.
The chances that one would be apprehended then were lower than now, when the chances of being intercepted by government forces are not insignificant. Moreover, there was a more welcoming environment in Sudan and a more sympathetic international community for possible third-country settlement. Given the absence of violence-related factors after the cessation of hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia since , an imperative question is why Eritreans are fleeing at present, despite a much more restrictive anti-refugee and xenophobic international environment.
Based on the opportunities that globalization and the recent diffusion of modern means of communication have presented and a focus-group interview conducted with a select group of Eritrean refugees in the United States, this article advances the proposition that individuals in countries with closed political systems who contemplate exile make good use of modern means of communication. Eritrean Refugee Formation From the early s to the early s, Eritrea suffered the longest continuous war in Africa.
As a consequence, it generated more than , refugees who fled to Sudan and an additional , to , refugees and migrants scattered in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Australia, and Ethiopia UN High Commissioner for Refugees All told, about one in four Eritreans left the country because of war-related factors Bariagaber On a per capita basis, therefore, Eritrea has been one of the foremost refugee-generating countries, not only in Africa, but in the world.
Refugees have included men and women, young and old, married and single, and the educated and the less educated. Violence affected almost everybody, and the composition of the refugee population matched the general composition of the Eritrean population. In , Eritreans succeeded in establishing a sovereign state through sheer perseverance and patriotism.
There was hope that such attributes would be an asset in establishing a peaceful and democratic Eritrea, ready to meet the challenges of state-building and nation-building, including the complete repatriation of the estimated half a million refugees in Sudan and the return of most of those residing in other countries; however, this hope has yet to be realized.
This does not mean that the percentage of those who did repatriate—either using their own means, or through assistance from governmental and nongovernmental agencies—is not significant, but tens of thousands failed to repatriate.
Similarly, the anticipated return of many Eritreans from countries other than Sudan did not materialize. Eritrea and Ethiopia successfully established amicable relationships during —, though conflicts over the exact border and economic disagreements began to emerge.
They culminated in the — Ethiopian Eritrean Border War, when between 80, and , soldiers on both sides are believed to have died Negash and Tronvoll ; Prunier The war created about 85, Eritrean refugees in Sudan, made hundreds of thousands of Eritreans internally displaced, and resulted in the deportation of about 70, Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean ancestry from Ethiopia Bariagaber Almost all these refugees returned home following the Algiers peace agreement between the countries; likewise, almost all the internally displaced persons have returned to their villages.
Indeed, a few in the Ethiopian opposition have yet to accept the separate and sovereign existence of Eritrea, and demarcation of the border would make it harder to accomplish their envisioned union of Eritrea and Ethiopia in the future Mengisteab and Yohannes Given this history, the Eritrean government appears determined to accomplish a single goal: to demarcate the entire border and establish Eritrean sovereignty over all areas that the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruled to be Eritrean.
It has been unable to focus and give sufficient attention to the pressing economic, political, and other issues Eritrea faces. Members of religious groups who have been unable to reconcile the demands of the state with their religious beliefs have been put in jail. The above factors together have contributed to fresh refugee outflows from Eritrea. Unlike the pre-independence-era refugees, who came from all sectors of the Eritrean social landscape, the new refugees are mostly young, single, and relatively educated.
Unlike the earlier refugees, whose movements may be termed acute because of the wave-like influxes of large refugee populations, the movement of the new refugees may be termed anticipatory because of the deliberative nature of their trek to exile. The factors that have pushed out more recent refugees have been weaker than those that pushed out the earlier refugees.
They have characteristics that resemble those of a typical European refugee who fled after the end of the Second World War because of fear of persecution based on political, religious, and other affiliations. For more than fifty years, conflict and displacement have remained unchanging attributes of the Eritrean political and social landscape. If it was possible to establish that a small percentage of pre-independence-era Eritrean refugees had sought exile because of mass behavior or imitative behavior , as Bulcha and Bariagaber have established, then it makes more sense to propose now that imitative behavior has become an important factor in the movement of Eritrean refugees.
This is mainly due to the emergence of a new variable: the diffusion of modern means of communication, such as the internet, e-mail, the smart phone and accompanying applications, and so forth, brought about by rapid globalization. Globalization, Communications Technology, and Prospective Refugees Migration has been part of human history since time immemorial.
Although there have been ups and downs in the rate of migration, sometimes depending on the social, economic, political conditions and at other times on natural disasters, population mobility as part and parcel of human history is incontestable. It appears that over the last few decades the rate of migration has increased as a result of many factors, including political upheaval in many countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the changeability of the international political economy, and the conditions of globalization.
It is now easier than ever to make economic and other financial transactions across national borders, to traffic human beings without the knowledge of national authorities, to smuggle illicit materials undetected, to broadcast and disseminate information without the approval of the powers that be, and to enter countries illegally and seek employment, despite strict laws that prohibit this.
More importantly, because of the diffusion of modern means of communication, the public can now easily follow, send, and receive news and other materials critical of government officials and move from place to place despite strict government controls. As a result, the movement of people across national borders, whether legal or illegal, has increased significantly over the last decade and has become an inseparable aspect of contemporary international affairs. In short, globalization has eroded state power and has empowered individuals to a degree never seen before.
At higher levels, globalization has facilitated the uses of social-networking technology in the pursuit of group goals. Perhaps the most talked about are the uses of social media, including Twitter and Facebook, in mobilization and democratization endeavors following the presidential elections in Iran and the more recent popular revolutions in the Arab world, including Tunisia and Egypt.
Protests against what the opposition saw as rigged elections in Iran were largely initiated, facilitated, maintained, and fed to the outside world by such social-networking outlets. Although the protesters did not succeed in their demand to annul the election outcomes, their persistence shook the foundations of the Islamic Republic. More recently, the effective uses of Twitter, Facebook, electronic messaging, and smart phones during the Tunisian and Egyptian protests is believed to have played a critical role in bringing about the downfall of long-entrenched regimes, not only because such media outlets provided credible news where the government-controlled media failed, but more importantly, because they provided like-minded individuals and groups with the means to cooperate, coordinate, and communicate various courses of action Olsson In other words, access to social media has made the public more autonomous and less dependent on the nation-state and its functionaries.
In particular, e-mails and smart phones have been instrumental in providing an easier and secure means of communication in situations and places where information flows are highly restricted and controlled, or where access is minimal. Granted that exile is tantamount to a no-confidence vote in a government, the need for private and secure communication in internet-sparse regions of the world is imperative. E-mails and mobile phones provide that means, especially since many governments in the developing world may not have the technical know-how and the resources to monitor and access information being transmitted.
It is therefore reasonable to expect many modern-day refugees and migrants to use modern means of communication, especially instant messaging, such as the Yahoo! Messenger, and various applications in smart phones in their quest to optimize successful departure from the home country and arrival at their proposed destinations. Prospective refugees in Africa use Yahoo!
Messenger as their main means of communication for many reasons. It was one of the earliest instant-messaging systems, although others have now become common; is the fastest program to use for e-mailing on the slow dial-up connection computers found in most African countries; is easy to use with a low amount of internet connectivity; has a fast loading time and hence useful in Africa, where connectivity is low; was free unlike AOL, which was not free in its early phase, or MSN, which had limited content ; is available on mobile phones, and mobile phone use in Africa is cheap and more widespread than the use of regular telephone and internet connections; and is ready for use, without a password, anywhere in the world after an acquaintance, usually in a foreign country, has set it up.
Given that there is the need and the opportunity to make such use and the certain payoffs to be had, the proposition that individuals in less developed countries would be more inclined to use Yahoo! Messenger and the likes in their private communications is rather solid. Eritreans find themselves in a closed society, where information is hard to get. There was no mobile telephone usage in Eritrea before and, by , this increased to only 3. In , while the internet usage rate for Africa was Nonetheless, to provide empirical support to the contention that current Eritrean refugees use modern means of communication in their effort to seek exile, I conducted a focus-group interview with five Eritreans in an American city on April 12, They all had fled to Sudan, their first country of exile, and had come to the United States directly from Sudan.
The last two interviewee attributes—their higher educational levels and direct flight to the US from the first country of exile—may not strictly reflect the general composition of recent Eritrean refugees. The first attribute may suggest a higher, more frequent use of modern communications technology because they are well educated, while the second attribute may suggest a lower, less frequent use of modern means of communication because their direct flight from Sudan to the United States minimized the time hence lowering the chances of their use of modern means of communication to arrive at their destinations.
In fact, the second contention appears to be more plausible because of the need to use, and the ease with which one can get, telephone and internet services in transit countries. The reasons for their flight—as to whether or not they sought asylum because of fear persecution on account of their political orientation, religious persuasion, belonging to a particular group, and so forth—are thus not examined because they have been declared legitimate refugees.
What is examined, however, is the means of communication they used to reach their destinations. There was no set of structured questions the interviewees had to answer, except to share their general experiences with a focus on the contacts they had made when the decision to leave was being contemplated and made, and the means by which those contacts were made. Apart from statements that the interviewees made in passing, no specific questions as to whether or not they agreed with government policies were asked.
With respect to their choice of Sudan and not Ethiopia on their way exile, all indicated that they had received information on the heavy Eritrean troop presence along the border with Ethiopia, and there was more freedom for refugees to move inside Sudan as compared to Ethiopia, where refugees were kept in strictly controlled camps; there was a long history of Eritrean refugee presence in Sudan and an established route to get there; and information on all aspects of refugee issues in Sudan was readily available.
In short, the refugees who fled to Sudan did their homework before embarking on what could have been a dangerous journey. With regard to their use of modern means of communications, all but one indicated that they used Yahoo! It was important to do this because they had to make arrangements for their documents to be sent to them after their arrival in Sudan.
Only one interviewee said he had kept his documents with him at all times during the trek to Sudan. Although they did not indicate that they had contacted a recent refugee before they left, one interviewee said that he had received detailed information through e-mail from one of the interviewees who had arrived in Sudan earlier.
The focus-group interview made it clear that safe arrival in the first country and mobility within that country was critically important for any refugee who planned to seek asylum in another country. If there were restrictions in mobility, as has been the case for Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia a couple of years back, then the chances of successful transfer to the desired country became lower.
That is probably the reason why many refugees avoid immobility and cross one international border after another until they reach their final destinations. Concluding Remarks The arguments on the effects of globalization in facilitating imitative behavior advanced earlier and the empirical support obtained from the focus-group interview strongly indicate that prospective refugees from Eritrea have used modern means of communication in the process of seeking exile, from the time they contemplated and made the decision to leave to the time they arrived at their final destinations.
There are at least two reasons as to why refugees use modern means of communications. First, technology eases learning through the experience of others—that is, through imitation—because it provides added predictability of outcomes, maximizes the benefits to be had, and minimizes the costs to be incurred. Second, the availability of information provides prospective refugees with the knowledge to weigh and sort things out and to make considered decisions. Knowledge, in turn, reduces the fear of the unknown, builds confidence, and provides a sense of empowerment sufficient to challenge state authorities.
Had this not been the case, it would have been difficult to imagine why current and recent Eritrean refugees and refugees from neighboring countries continue to leave despite the reported hardships on the way—including the rape of women, as in Libya; death in the deserts, as in the Sahara and Sinai; the risks of being taken hostages, as in the Sinai; and drowning in dangerous waters, as in the Mediterranean Sea.
It would have been hard to contemplate how current and recent Eritrean refugees would traverse many thousands of miles through a dozen or so countries in three continents to reach the United States. As hard as it might have been, pre-independence Eritrean refugees did not go through such travails to reach their destinations.
It would have been rather rare for them to plan to traverse countries in Africa, followed by countries in Latin America and Central America, to reach the United States. Perhaps this was because they were fleeing violence and imminent threats to their lives. The push factors were so overwhelming that quick exit and safe arrival at their first countries of exile were critically important.
In addition, they did not have as much information as the recent and current refugees have to weigh the pros and cons of exile other than the immediate safety to be had in the first, neighboring country of exile. At present, globalization has provided prospective refugees with much better access to information when compared to the access refugees had a few decades ago. Also, there is no war-related violence to flee from.
Therefore, recent and present-day Eritrean refugees, in contrast to earlier refugees, have not been in a hurry to leave: they have had enough time and information at their disposal to think through the potential risks in transit and the pros and cons of exile. Consequently, in terms of the kinetics of their movements, they look more like migrants. The first implication is thus academic: the conceptual distinction between a refugee and a migrant has become increasingly blurred, and scholars of refugee studies may now appropriately apply the more elaborate migration models to advance the study of contemporary refugee movements.
The second implication is related to policy. Pre-independence Eritrean refugees and refugees from neighboring countries fled because of violence and imminent threats to their lives. They now have enough time at their disposal and more opportunity to access and process information because the push factors are not as overwhelming as they were decades ago.
It appears that the days when Africans will seek exile only because of violence and imminent threats to their lives are gone. Gone also are the days when they would seek asylum in the next-door neighboring country, because now they are more informed of the legal and other rights accorded to asylum seekers in more prosperous countries. Therefore, the combined effects of the expansion of modern means of communication and closed political systems in many countries are expected to generate refugees, even in the presence of nominal peace, in the years to come.
Of course, the more closed the political system is, the higher the number of refugees will be. This is a challenge that policymakers have to face. This is as true of Eritrea as it is of some countries in Africa. Apple, Dorrian. Learning Theory and Socialization. American Sociological Review — Bariagaber, Assefaw.
International Migration — Eritrea: Conflict and Involuntary Population Displacement. Journal of Third World Studies — Eritrea: Challenges and Crisis of a New State. The Journal of Economic Perspectives — Boyd, Robert, and Peter Richerson. Journal of Theoretical Biology — Bulcha, Mekuria. Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of African Affairs. Castles, Stephen. Migration and Community Formation under Conditions of Globalization. International Migration Review — Castells, Manuel.
The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell. Cohon, J. Psychological Adaptation and Dysfunction among Refugees. Economic Commission for Africa. Eritrea: Internet Connectivity. Hansen, Art. Refugee Dynamics: Angolans in Zambia, — Kibreab, Gaim. Refugees and Development in Africa. Eritrean Studies Review — Kunz, Egon. Mengisteab, Kidane, and Okbazghi Yohannes. Trenton, N. Negash, Tekeste, and Kjetil Tronvoll.
Oxford: James Currey. Olsson, Tobias. Information, Communication, and Society — Prunier, Gerard. Ross, Edward. Rational Imitation. The American Journal of Sociology — UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Sharp increase in number of Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe, Ethiopia and Sudan.
World Refugee Survey Washington, D. US Department of State. Eritrea Human Rights Report Vedantam, Shankar. From Eritrea to U. Washington Post, 24 April. I have used refugee statistics provided by it because they are the most accurate estimates available. The issue is the latest that is available online. These puts the total to 23, in the first 10 months of They were told Yahoo was the easiest electronic-messaging system in the country. I assume this is true of other African countries.
Accessed on May 30, In another city where a focus-group interview was scheduled, only one interviewee showed up at the appointed place on time a second came when I was about to leave ; therefore, only the information from the focus-group interview in the first city is included in the discussion. I myself received a telephone call sometime in June from a female relative of mine in Sudan who has a mobile phone to help her find ways to come to the United States as a refugee.
Interview by author, 12 April. On the journey hundreds of Eritrean youth have drowned in the Mediterranean and Red Seas, have been victims of human trafficking, and have been abducted for ransom in the Sinai Desert. Many are starved and killed, and their body parts sold for organ transplant. This is not a story the world expected to hear when Eritrea gained its independence in In twenty five years, Eritrea fell from the high status of an African Renaissance state to the low position of an African pariah state, shunned by international organizations and communities, sanctioned by the United Nations and distrusted by neighboring countries.
Why and how did this new nation fall into social, political, and economic crisis? This book tries to answer these questions through careful analysis and rigorous logic. The writers are Africanists whose disciplinary training is in the social sciences including anthropology, sociology, political science, and international and cultural studies. They have conducted extensive research on Eritrean politics, culture, and society. They shed light on the current crisis of state and nation formation in Eritrea and by extension, they hope to bring greater understanding about why the idea of African Renaissance is being replaced by continuing pessimism about the future of Africa.
Right after winning the war, in , the EPLF was on the world stage, struggling to establish a new political order in Eritrea, replacing the Ethiopian regime that had ruled from to This had included a ten-year federation — and thirty years of direct rule — Eritrea is the name given in by the former Italian colonial administration to a strip of land on the Red Sea coast of North East Africa. Soon after conducting an internationally supervised referendum on April 23—25, , the provisional government of Eritrea declared itself an independent state.
As a new African state, Eritrea received immediate membership in the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations as well as recognition from the major world powers and the neighboring African countries. This support gave the new state legitimate power along with authority over its territory and citizens. The referendum gave the new Eritrean state an international mandate to rule the Eritrean population and the land. The essays deal with the fragments of culturally constructed social divisions, such as young people, refugees, and diasporas, and their relationship to the nation and the state.
The Eritrean state can be characterized as a state of exception Agamben , , a state in which the leader of the nation, Isaias Afwerki, used the crisis following the Border War with Ethiopia — as a cover to exert absolute control over the society and state and consolidate his power over the nation. The papers focus on the structures of domination and subordination that have emerged in postliberation, postindependence Eritrea. They pay special attention to the younger generations of Eritreans who are fully affected by the domination of, and exclusion and disconnection from, the dominant culture.
This demonstrated that gaining sovereignty or autonomy was insufficient to resolve the political, economic, and social crisis in Eritrea. This introductory essay ends with a brief description of the articles in this volume. After Eritrea conducted a border war with Ethiopia in —, the lack of a successful resolution of the border conflict has made Eritrea a state that views itself as in siege, insecure in its relationship with its bigger neighbor, Ethiopia Tronvoll and Mekonnen A Brief Description of the Rise and Fall of an African Renaissance State In the early s, Eritrea, along with South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, was put on pedestal in the Western mass media and powerful global political circles as one of the emerging African states that was expected to play a leading role in the recovery of Africa from decades of corruption, poverty, inequality, and violence.
They were dubbed Renaissance African States that were expected to charge forward in African economic, cultural, and scientific growth. The expectation that the flow of refugees from Eritrea to the neighboring and Western countries would stop after the end of the thirty-year war between Eritrean nationalist movements and the Ethiopian government has proven elusive.
Foreign journalists and Eritrean scholars wrote that Eritrea was different from the rest of Africa; they believed that the newly independent Eritrea could become a showcase for African development and recovery. The new sovereign nation-state of Eritrea was expected to generate economic opportunities and provide a stable political culture for its people.
The enthusiastic reception Eritrea received was partly due to the perceived malaise that postcolonial African countries had entered after their successful decolonization. This honeymoon did not last long. Postwar Eritrea brought neither peace nor prosperity to the population under its control, nor did it resolve the crisis of citizenship and identity affecting its population.
This is not surprising, considering that Eritrea had long been in a state of crisis, first as colony of Italy, then under Ethiopian rule, and then subsequently during thirty years of nationalist war that destroyed the social and economic infrastructure of the society. The structural challenges of nation building and constructing the new Eritrean state were nearly insurmountable. Eritrea, a nationalist movement turned into a state, had neither the economic and political resources nor the organizational capacity to tackle the challenges effectively.
After the Border War with Ethiopia in —, which cost about 70, lives on both sides, with Eritrea admitting a loss of 19, soldiers, over half a million people were displaced within the country. This unresolved border war immersed Eritrea in a quagmire of consequences, leading to an economic and political crisis of citizenship and, subsequently, a new surge of refugees from Eritrea into neighboring countries.
The no-war, no-peace stalemate between Eritrea and Ethiopia placed both countries in an ongoing economic and political crisis, with Eritrea suffering more. In addition, a shortage of rainfall had put Eritreans on the verge of a major famine. Even though Eritrea emerged with great fanfare and the blessing of the United Nations in , by Eritrea reached a new low. Additional sanctions were imposed on Eritrea on December 5, for not heeding UN sanctions and continuing to provide support to armed groups seeking to destabilize Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa Reuters As a result, by , the economic and political crisis in Eritrea had reached an alarming intensity.
Many years after its official independence, the state continued to experience persistent shortages of electricity, water, bread, and fuel. The Eritrean state made policy choices that stifled economic growth and political stability and made the nation uninhabitable for its growing youthful population.
The government attempted to transform traditional Eritrean society into its own image of a modern society. This top-down method of transformation tended to create a new class structure of hierarchy of statuses: an oligarchy, with the top leaders occupying the most privileged and highest status and the lowest status occupied by people who left the country to avoid forced conscription and forced labor Djilas The PFDJ saw itself as a vanguard party, seeking to bring quick economic progress and prosperity and establish a classless society where everyone could be part of a popular state.
The ensuing policy, designed to expand the sovereignty of the state over the population, is the immediate cause of the current economic, political, and citizenship crisis as well as the refugee crisis it has spawned. The more Eritrea pursues a stringent policy to protect its national sovereignty and control the economic and political sphere, the more it generates continuous economic failure, political instability, and social upheaval, including new refugees, who join the Eritrean diaspora communities around the world.
All the articles in this present volume examine, directly or indirectly, the disastrous consequences of this misguided policy. To understand it and how it came about, it is imperative to contextualize this moment in a larger historical context and explain how the new ruling class, the PFDJ oligarchy, is partly, but not entirely, responsible for the outflow of young people as refugees. The refugee crisis in Eritrea can be explained using a perspective that sees Eritrea as a state of exception Agamben , ; Schmitt  , a product of long-term violence, war, and colonization.
Schmitt argued that a state of exception occurs when a sovereign exceeds the rule of law for the public good in a state of emergency Agamben believes the role of politics is to create justice and produce a good life for citizens. Therefore, the question for him is whether a sovereign creates justice for a few or for many. In a democratic and open system, the wider and more inclusive the citizenship rights are, the bigger the circle of people who have an expansive understanding of citizenship.
In contrast, in a state of exception, citizenship is narrowly defined and includes only a fortunate few. This does not mean that a state of exception does not have rules or laws, but that laws are made only to serve the interests of the sovereign. Citizenship is narrowly constructed, benefiting and providing a good life for a few members of the ruling elite. The suspension of the constitution gives the sovereign absolute power to keep the population at the level of bare existence, merely bodies that have no rights and protections.
In the words of Agamben, a person who is reduced to bare life is a Homo sacer, a man who can be killed but not sacrificed: his killing will not be considered as dying, but as sacrificing, for the state or nation , The state of emergency in Eritrea began when Italy, a European power, intervened in Eritrea. Although the Italian presence in Eritrea was short-lived and the area settled by Italians was a small part of the country mostly urban , the new configuration produced a fundamentaly transformative, long-term effect on Eritrean society.
Colonialism casts a shadow on the people, from which they have not been able to escape. The newly configured area called Eritrea was a conglomerate of different ethnicities, histories, religions, and cultures that did not consider themselves part of a single national entity. Eritrea was tied to Italy, a nation in Europe, a continent that had a global reach.
Eritrea was one of the colonies that was hierarchically integrated into a colonial and world capitalist system Wallerstein Whether people who call themselves Eritreans were aware of it or not, they were being realigned, and their society was being reconfigured into a different constellation, a hierarchically organized global system of nation-states. They were in a peripheral region of the world, a source of cheap labor and raw materials for the benefit of the industrial north, mostly Europe, North America, and Japan.
Local populations were thrown into a crisis of historical continuity, belonging, identity, and citizenship. In addition to the long-term history, we need to analyze the microhistory and recent events in Eritrea, where these factors are significant in the continuing crisis of identity and citizenship. After the end of the nationalist war, Eritrea continued to be a state of exception. It never demilitarized its soldiers, nor did it lift the state of emergency for the entire population.
In the s, it retained a bitter memory of its nationalist war. The formation of the special court predates the Eritrean Constitution, ratified in Immediately, however, the government suspended the implementation of it. Engaged in a border war with Ethiopia from to , the state expanded the state of emergency—its state of exception—to the whole society indefinitely. Like other states of exception, it established a new regime of truth, its own version of reality, by which it justified imposing arbitrary rule and made its leader, President Isaias Afwerki, an absolutist head of state, unaccountable to any government body.
The state of exception in Eritrea became more entrenched after the Border War with Ethiopia — , which produced a leader and a state obsessed with national security and sovereignty. The war started out as a border skirmish in May , but it quickly escalated into full-blown trench warfare, similar to that of the Great War. The war greatly damaged both countries, with both sides losing more than 70, soldiers. It left 1. Eritreans are now more determined to defend national security and sovereignty at any cost.
After the war, the Eritrean leader and his supporters became obsessed with national security. The more Eritrea pursues a stringent policy to protect its national sovereignty, the more refugees it generates—mostly young people who join the ranks of global refugee communities around the world. Thus, the policy of expanding the control of the state over the population to maintain its security and sovereignty had the unintended consequence of making Eritrea one of the countries that has produced the largest number of refugees in the last ten years ICER These are the new homeless, who have to live by their wits to survive.
They enter refugee camps to gain access to refugee rights and seek asylum in safe havens in the West. They do not necessarily leave the country voluntarily. The first victims of the state of exception were migrants from Tigray, a province bordering Ethiopia, and other Ethiopians who had lived in Eritrea as an integral part of the society until they felt vulnerable and at risk after the nationalist front took control of Asmara in , which made them leave Eritrea soon after.
Many of the persecuted groups left the country and became exiles or refugees. After the — war, two more groups followed: people displaced by the war who left their homes and took refuge in Ethiopia and Sudan and young people pressed into national service. An incredible number of young people have fled from all corners of Eritrea to escape national service.
This demonstrates that citizens in an oppressive, absolutist, closed state—a state of exception—will either protest the status quo when permitted or exit to another state Hirschman To become an exile or a refugee suggests a lack of confidence in the government. The national liberation war was noisy and violent, but a stealth revolution selahta maabel is silently being waged in Eritrea: young people leaving the country will prevent the state from reproducing itself in the future.
Subjects and Citizens in Postliberation Eritrea In the last twenty years of independence under the leadership of President Afwerki, the Eritrean state has created a differentiated, hierarchical, unequal system of citizenship. This system of citizenship mirrors what Mamdani observed in other postcolonial African states: that many countries, after achieving independence, reproduced a two-tier system—citizens and subjects—similar to colonial social hierarchies.
The citizens were the European colonizers and settlers who had established themselves as the dominant racial group, assuming rights and privileges of modern citizenship, and the subjects were the colonized indigenous populations, seen as uncivilized and racially inferior, ruled through customary laws that ostensibly preserved their tribal cultures, authorities, and communities.
The postcolonial African states continued the practice of bifurcated domination by privileging the educated elites and administrators over urban and rural dwellers. As with the so-called civilizing mission of the colonial elites, the African political elites claimed they were liberating and developing their societies, transforming them through revolution or social reform Mamdani The bifurcated social hierarchical approach serves as an analytical tool, but the reality of social hierarchies can be more complex, as they do not always fit into two neatly contrasting types.
His framework needs to be revised to include the effects of globalization, plus the information revolution regarding the power of the African states over their citizens. Globalization encourages the development of new sets of rationalities and techniques of governmental practices Perry and Mauer According to Ong, while European states have confronted these contestations sequentially over decades, postcolonial Asian and African states have had to deal with them simultaneously, mostly in an era of globalization.
Newly industrializing regimes, eager to meet capitalist requirements, have evolved into what she calls a system of graduated sovereignty, by which she means that citizens in zones differently articulated within global production and financial circuits are subject to different kinds of surveillance and in practice enjoy different sets of civil, political, and economic rights Ong , Ong argues that in an era of globalization, Southeast Asian governments have sought to accommodate corporate strategies of location by becoming flexible in managing their sovereignty.
Flexible citizenship, as a product of graduated sovereignty, allows the differentiation of populations into graduated scales of citizenship, or graduated citizenship. Eritrea, dealing with globalization, has adopted a strategy similar to what Ong has called graduated sovereignty and citizenship. Therefore, in Eritrea, a new hierarchy of citizenship, based on sacrifice to the nation, has evolved. This differentiates the people into graduated scales of citizenship, ranging from full citizenship—granting civil, political, and economic rights to members of the party—to treating local people as subjects and forgetting and abandoning the refugees.
The practice of assigning citizenship unevenly has grave consequences. There are in Eritrea two broad ideal and typical strata, with intersecting and crisscrossing boundaries. These analytical categories are imprecise, but they do fit effectively with reality. The tegadelti, estimated to be 95, ex-combatants, are the power elites. Their superiority is based upon their belief that they deserve more than the rest of the population because of their participation in the armed struggle Article 19 They receive a higher salary, better housing, and special treatment for services and goods in all government institutions.
Although they represent only a small fraction of the population, they dominate government positions, including at least 50 percent of national assembly seats, constitutionally reserved for them; in addition, they control the executive branch, specifically the ministerial cabinet Article 19 June 3, The membership of the oligarchy is not publicly acknowledged, but we get a glimpse of it when there is a breach within the ruling class. The state-controlled media accused them of disloyalty, treason against the state authority meaning Isaias Afwerki , and conspiracy to surrender to Ethiopia.
Eleven of them were arrested without charge, and they remain in prison; the other four are out of the country, living in exile. Additionally, we can infer who might be in the inner circle. On September 21, , government media showed pictures of administrators, regional PFDJ, heads of regional administration, and subzonal administrators participating in a PFDJ-organized retreat Eritrea Profile a , and on October 2, , these media showed videos of twenty ministers at a cabinet meeting Eritrea Profile b.
For the cabinet meetings, the videos were released for propaganda and served no other purpose. Under the powerful elites are disparate groups of tegadelti who have higher status because they are considered to have sacrificed their youth for the nation and are thus valued more than the hafash. They occupy differentiated, hierarchical positions in a complex of patron—client relationships.
Although the entire edifice makes the government look like a bureaucracy that functions as an efficient, modern, rational legal system, in fact it is not. As with many African patronage systems of governance Berman , all Eritrean government services, from top to bottom, are done within the patron—client relations of loyalty, friendship, acquaintance, and future favors for service rendered.
The subjects are placed in two groups: diasporas and locals. Diasporas live abroad and are assigned a higher status than locals. Locals call diasporas belles, referring to a sweet cactus fruit widely sold in the streets of Asmara and other towns during the summer. Because diasporas flock into Eritrea during the summer at the same time belles are harvested, locals apply the term to them and call their arrival belles-times. Locals are urban and rural people of diverse classes and statuses.
They lack power and are marginalized by the elites and political leaders. National service began in , drafting teenagers over the age of sixteen and adults under the age of forty. It initially entailed six months of training and one year of service; however, it soon developed into two years or more in military service. Since the Border War with Ethiopia, it has turned into unending military service.
Even boys and girls are mandated to enter military-training camps for at least one year when they reach the age of sixteen. If they have finished tenth grade, they are required to finish their eleventh grade in a military camp called Sawa, where they receive military training in addition to their formal, nonmilitary education. The prospect for gainful employment and upward mobility for all people in Eritrea is almost nonexistent.
Since the military national service has been tied to a development program campaign called Warsai-Yikealo in which the youth are required to perform their national service for an indefinite time period. Some writers have characterized the Warsai-Yikealo campaign as forced labor Kibreab This glaring difference of life chances, rights, and privileges among preferred citizens, diasporic citizens, and locals has triggered an insatiable desire for most working-age young people to seek better opportunities and rights in exile.
They are leaving in droves, through every country that borders Eritrea. A new generation of Eritreans, mostly young, has started to oppose the regime indirectly inside Eritrea, and openly abroad. Diasporas who openly support opposition groups or groups who criticize the government face the possibility of arrest by the government.
Diasporas who make negative statements about the Eritrean regime jeopardize their preferred citizenship and may be classed as an enemy of the state, subject to arrest and torture upon arrival on Eritrean soil. The Refugee—Diaspora Nexus Rapid globalization in recent years has made it possible, either by choice or pressure, for immigrants to maintain strong ties to their countries of origin, even when they are integrated into the countries that received them Levitt In response to globalization, countries are distinguishing residence from national membership and extending their boundaries to those living outside of them.
They have created mechanisms to facilitate immigrant participation in the national development process over the long term and from afar Levitt and de la Dehesa Intensified globalization has enabled the new Eritrean state to enhance its power and its relationship with Eritreans abroad. Eritrean diasporas valorize the Eritrean nation-state and give the sovereign the power to decide and have flexible sovereignty over them.
They support the state, mitigating the sense of alienation in their host countries. They hope for preferred citizenship in Eritrea—their only chance in the world to be preferred citizens, where they will be more equal than others. With the added resources they have in exile and things being so affordable in Eritrea, they are more than happy to do what the sovereign asks of them.
The Eritrean state and the diaspora have become a mutual admiration and support unit. The state does not have much responsibility to meet the basic needs of the diasporas: they are citizens of other nations, and their needs are taken care of by their adopted new countries, mostly democratic nations in Europe, North America, and Australia. In relation to the Eritrean state, they are required to pay taxes and contribute to war efforts; in return, they are given some scarce resources in Eritrea, such as free land, where they can build houses.
Their houses in Eritrea may serve as resting places for summer vacations or places of residence when they retire. Diasporas are the strongest supporters of events that celebrate holidays and parties initiated by the government. They dance the night away and spend a lot of money at these parties. Although they could have asked for more representation in Eritrean politics, they cannot afford to antagonize the state and thereby cut their connection to home.
They need a place they can call home so intensely that they are willing to accept the state of exception, where normal rules are suspended indefinitely and the regime routinely makes arbitrary decisions. Such mutual benefit works at the expense of the captive citizens inside Eritrea and the refugees in refugee camps. Diasporas, government officials, members of the single party, and former guerrillas are treated as sovereign subjects, with rights that the local subjects do not receive.
Eritreans, especially young people, dream that—through a process of transformation by leaving the country as refugees and then returning as diasporas, with a higher status and resources to spend lavishly—they will become part of the sovereign subject.
Refugees have to find a suitable home within centers of global powers, the global north, and then they can become new diasporas and attain preferred citizenship with significant rights in Eritrea. Refugee status seems a rite of passage, rife with danger and risks, where only a few become successful diasporas. If everything works out, a refugee becomes a diaspora who will be resettled in a third country, hopefully Europe, the United States, Canada, or Australia; he or she will then be able to come back home to visit—proud, rich, and supportive of the status quo.
In the context of the refugee—diaspora nexus, however, many Eritreans cannot move freely in and out of the global north: they are neither refugees, slated for resettlement in a third country, nor in a party-sanctioned diaspora, and they therefore do not have privileged citizenship status in Eritrea. Many are in legal limbo, have not reached their destination or goals, and are still waiting to be resettled in a third country.
Assefaw Bariagaber in his article uses social-psychological concepts of imitative behavior as an explanation for the outflow of young people from Eritrea. According to him, emigration from Eritrea is an externally induced imitative behavior, effected as a result of the diffusion of social media, such as the Internet, movies, and mobile phones among Eritrean young people, who have used technology-based social networks to flee to neighboring countries and eventually to industrialized Western countries.
He contends that learning from others enables young people to escape, take chances, and face dangers, including rape, death in the Sahara and Libyan deserts, being taken hostage in the Sinai Desert, and drowning in the Mediterranean and Red Seas. He argues for looking at Eritrea in the context of emigration from Africa in response to the pull of the information revolution and globalization. Victoria Bernal explores how the information revolution has influenced Eritrean politics and public life through the participation of Eritrean diasporas in social media by creating their own websites to discuss and participate in Eritrean politics.
She shows how these websites serve as a public sphere, countering a lack of a free press and free space for civil society in Eritrea. She argues that online websites are now an integral part of Eritrean national politics, safe for civil society and dissent because of their location outside Eritrea.
She contends that their significance has increased since , when the state increased its repression of public discourse inside Eritrea. She focuses on the political activities that take place on three sites—Dehai, Asmarino, and Awate—and examines the decentering effect of these media in challenging the top-down method of governance in Eritrea, where the mass media are under the strict control of the state. David Bozzini conducted two years of fieldwork, from to , in Eritrea and studied people enrolled in national service there, exploring their political imagination, jokes about bureaucracy, superiors, positions relative to the state system, and citizenship.
He states that the blocked social and economic mobility for conscripts in Eritrea leads them to resignation and a deep desire to seek exile. He suggests that jokes and other subversive discourse against state power and ideology may inadvertently promote some of the dynamics of the power system that they contest, and he thus highlights the limits of resistance and subversive discourse. She suggests that the flight of citizens from Eritrea and their continuing connection through remittances and ransoms can be understood if we conceptualize the Eritrean state as a gatekeeper state, one that has acquired the capacity to manage massive emigration and use remittances, taxes, and national service to further its nation-building project.
Remittances and ransoms have made it possible for the Eritrean state to claim self-sufficiency and autonomy from outside forces, such as nongovernmental organizations, and other dependency from foreign aid. Since the border conflict, young men and women in national service have been transformed into sources of unlimited and cheap forced labor Kibreab Jennifer Riggan directly addresses the question of graduated citizenship and the effects of the bifurcation of citizen and subject under the Eritrean state of exception.
She takes up the question of how valorization of diaspora communities in Eritrea itself produces an imagined future in which leaving the country becomes central for high-school students. This is an unintended consequence of a governmental policy that ascribes greater citizenship to diasporas, rather than people in Eritrea, especially young people. This graduated citizenship has reshaped the way young people redefine emigration as a way of fulfilling their national duty, after they become diasporas and contribute remittances and diaspora taxes.
Riggan observes a classroom debate among high-school students in an English class, where students consider leaving their country a patriotic act. She shows that they are reworking the state-sponsored idea of citizenship into a citizenship that justifies leaving the country within the logic of global market forces, going against locally defined duty and sacrifice, and thus protecting the national sovereignty and power of the Eritrean state.
Kibreab questions the use of the three concepts developed by Albert Hirschman—exit, voice, and loyalty—as sequential and mutually exclusive concepts. Instead, he suggests that they should be conceived as crisscrossing and interrelated outcomes. Dan Connell conducted interviews of Eritrean refugees in nineteen countries around the world, including countries in Africa and the Americas.
He explores the dangerous routes the refugees take, facing kidnapping, torture, being ransomed for money, and sometimes execution in the Sinai and Sahara deserts, or drowning in the Mediterranean and Red Seas. He seeks an approach that would diminish such risks by engaging and empowering the refugees themselves. Using illustrations related to the multinational effort to repatriate Eritrean refugees in the early s, she postulated that the international community, especially the United Nations UN , the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR , and other states, behaved in ways that fostered alienation of the Eritrean state from the international community.
This was because the Eritrean refugees were the largest asylum-seekers in Switzerland He analyzes the difficulties faced by professional social workers in assisting the refugees because of their mutual misunderstanding and miscommunications, which resulted in hurting the cause of asylum seekers in the country. Using ethnographic research materials conducted in several countries extending from Eritrea to Italy, Milena Belloni explores the lives of Eritrean asylum seekers in Italy.
She asks the question, once they reach Italy, why do the refugees desire to move on to other places and not want to stay and seek asylum. However, Eritreans themselves are aware of these categories, and, in response, they apprehend and produce alternative forms of belonging to the nation be it through the Internet, other forms of media, Eritrean classrooms, or political humor that circulates more broadly. I am also grateful to the Theory Group headed by Jeanne Gunner at Chapman University for the stimulating discussions on Agamben and other contemporary social theorists.
References Agamben, Giorgio. Translated by Daniel Heller Roazen. Palo Alto, Calif. State of Exception. Translated by Kevin Attell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Arendt, Hannah. We Refugees. Article Berman, Bruce. Ethnicity, Patronage, and the African State.
African Affairs — With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reluctance of the post-Soviet states to maintain their support of Derg government, it quickly collapsed. In as part of the United Nations-facilitated transition of power to the transitional government, it was agreed that the EPLF should set up an autonomous transitional government in Eritrea and that a referendum would be held in Eritrea to find out if Eritreans wanted to secede from Ethiopia. The referendum was held and the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of independence.
In April independence was achieved and the new state joined the United Nations. In , the EPLF-backed transitional government of Eritrea and the TPLF-backed transitional government of Ethiopia agreed to set up a commission to look into any problems that arose between the two former wartime allies over the foreseen independence of Eritrea.
Determining the border between the two states became a major conflict, and in November a border committee was set up to try to resolve that specific dispute. After federation and before independence, the line of the border had been of minor importance because it was only a demarcation line between federated provinces, and initially the two governments tacitly agreed that the border should remain as it had been immediately before independence. However, upon independence the border became an international frontier, and the two governments could not agree on the line that the border should take along its entire length,  and they looked back to the colonial period treaties between Italy and Ethiopia for a basis in international law for the precise line of the frontier between the states.
Problems then arose because they could not agree on the interpretation of those agreements and treaties,  and it was not clear under international law how binding colonial treaties were on the two states. Writing after the war had finished, Jon Abbink postulated that President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, realising that his influence over the government in Ethiopia was slipping and given that "the facts on the ground, in the absence of a concrete border being marked—which anyhow lost much of its relevance after when Eritrea was absorbed by Ethiopia—have eminent relevance to any borderline decision of today" calculated that Eritrea could annex Badme.
However, because Badme was in Tigray Province , the region from which many of the members of the Ethiopian government originated including Meles Zenawi , the former Ethiopian prime minister , the Ethiopian government came under political pressure from within the EPRDF as well as from the wider Ethiopian public to meet force with force.
After a series of armed incidents in which several Eritrean officials were killed near Badme,  on 6 May ,  a large Eritrean mechanized force entered the Badme region along the border of Eritrea and Ethiopia's northern Tigray Region , resulting in a firefight between the Eritrean soldiers and the Tigrayan militia and security police they encountered.
On 13 May Ethiopia, in what Eritrean radio described as a "total war" policy, mobilized its forces for a full assault against Eritrea. The fighting quickly escalated to exchanges of artillery and tank fire, leading to four weeks of intense fighting. Ground troops fought on three fronts. On 5 June , The Eritrean airforce attacked an elementary school in Mekelle that killed 49 of the students and their parents and the neighbors that came to help immediately.
The victims range from 3 months old baby to 65 years old man. Eritreans also attacked the airport of Mekele. These raids caused civilian casualties and deaths on both sides of the border. There was then a lull as both sides mobilized huge forces along their common border and dug extensive trenches.
Eritrea refused, and instead demanded the demilitarization of all disputed areas along the common border, to be overseen by a neutral monitoring force, and direct talks. Tension had been high since 6 February , when Ethiopia claimed that Eritrea had violated the moratorium on air raids by bombing Adigrat , a claim it later withdrew. They, too, know this. We know each other very well". The following day, the Ethiopian ground attack began.
Three Ethiopian divisions broke through the Eritrean defenses in the Biyukundi area and then advanced toward Dukambiya, 20 kilometers southeast of Barentu , before turning east and hitting an Eritrean division north of Badme in the flank, taking the Eritreans by surprise.
The Eritrean division was almost totally destroyed and the Ethiopians continued their advance toward Dukambiya. Realizing that they were about to be cut off, the remaining Eritrean units deployed in the Badme area hastily retreated, abandoning nearly kilometers of fortifications and most of their heavy weapons. Ethiopian helicopter gunships attacked the fleeing Eritreans with rockets. After five days of heavy fighting, Ethiopian forces were 10 kilometers six miles deep into Eritrean territory.
Eritrea accepted the OAU peace plan on 27 February On 16 May the BBC reported that, after a lull of two weeks, the Ethiopians had attacked at Velessa on the Tsorona front-line, south of Eritrea's capital Asmara and that after two days of heavy fighting the Eritreans had beaten back the attack claiming to have destroyed more than 45 Ethiopian tanks; although not able to verify the claim, which the Ethiopian Government dismissed as ridiculous, a BBC reporter did see more than dead Ethiopians and more than 20 destroyed Ethiopian tanks.
Proximity talks broke down in early May with Ethiopia accusing Eritrea of imposing "unacceptable conditions". The Ethiopians used pack animals such as donkeys for logistical support for their infantry, and due to their cumbersome logistical chain, primarily relied on infantry assaults to capture Eritrean positions and held their tanks in reserve, then brought forward the tanks to secure positions they had captured.
Ethiopian forces struggled to exploit the gaps they had torn in the Eritrean positions, often at great cost in frontal assaults against Eritrean trenches. Ethiopian sources stated that on 16 May Ethiopian aircraft attacked targets between Areza and Maidema and between Barentu and Omhajer and that all aircraft returned to base, while heavy ground fighting continued in the Da'se and Barentu area and in Maidema.
The next day Ethiopian ground forces with air support captured Da'se. Barentu was taken in a surprise Ethiopian pincer movement on the Western front. The Ethiopians attacked a mined but lightly defended mountain, resulting in the capture of Barentu and an Eritrean retreat. By 23 May Ethiopia claimed that its "troops had seized vital command posts in the heavily defended Zalambessa area, about km 60 mi south of the Eritrean capital, Asmara".
The fighting also spread to Somalia as both governments tried to outflank one another. The Eritrean government began supporting the Oromo Liberation Front ,  a rebel group seeking independence of Oromia from Ethiopia that was based in a part of Somalia controlled by Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Eritrea claimed that 19, Eritrean soldiers were killed during the conflict;  most reports put the total war casualties from both sides as being around 70, But according to a report by The Independent , there were no "human waves" because Ethiopian troops instead outmanoeuvred and overpowered the Eritrean trenches.
The fighting led to massive internal displacement in both countries as civilians fled the war zone. This was believed to be a continuation of the - 93GC expulsion of , Ethiopians that were expelled from Eritrea inhumanely. In , about 30, wives and children of the Ethiopian soldiers stationed in Eritrea have been bused by the Eritrean People's Liberation Front across the border in the last two weeks and are crowded into camps here and in Adigrat, Aduwa, and Aksum.
The Eritrean Front has told relief officials to expect , more Ethiopian civilians soon, apparently people who are being dismissed from their jobs in Eritrea, some of them longtime residents in Eritrea according to the report by The New York Times. The Eritrean government forcibly expelled an estimated 70, Ethiopians according to the report by Human rights Watch. They were deported after their belongings had been confiscated. After the retaliatory bombings of Asmara Airport by Ethiopia on 5 and 6 June , many Ethiopians working in Eritrean towns were sacked, apparently as a reprisal, and subsequently lost their rented housing through losing their means of income or, in some cases, by being evicted for being Ethiopian.
Many Ethiopians were forced to sleep on the streets outside the Ethiopian embassy in Asmara, in church compounds or elsewhere according to a report by Amnesty International. In July , Ethiopia alleged that up to 60 Ethiopians had died in Assab after being locked in a shipping container by the Eritrean police in daytime temperatures of over 40C.
The economies of both countries were already weak as a result of decades of cold-war politics, colonialism, civil war and drought. The war exacerbated these problems, resulting in food shortages. Prior to the war, much of Eritrea's trade was with Ethiopia, and much of Ethiopia's foreign trade relied on Eritrean roads and ports. On 18 June , the parties agreed to a comprehensive peace agreement and binding arbitration of their disputes under the Algiers Agreement.
On 12 December a peace agreement was signed by the two governments. The ruling awarded some territory to each side, but Badme the flash point of the conflict was awarded to Eritrea. Despite its tiny size and lack of any apparent strategic or economic value, Badme—the location of the spark that ignited the conflagration—had taken on great symbolic significance over the course of the war;war; previous research Hensel and Mitchell, indicates thay symbolically valued territory may be especially prone to violent conflict.
For many people in both countries, Badme's fate became the primary indicator of whether the enormous loss of life during the fighting had been justified. Both countries vowed to accept the decision wholeheartedly the day after the ruling was made official. On 10 December , Ethiopia announced it was withdrawing some of its forces from the Eritrean border "in the interests of peace".
On 21 December , a commission at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that Eritrea broke international law when it attacked Ethiopia in , triggering the broader conflict. Ethiopia and Eritrea subsequently remobilized troops along the border, leading to fears that the two countries could return to war. Ethiopia was not there because it does not accept the decision and as it will not allow physical demarcation it will not accept map demarcation, and Eritrea was not there because although it backs the commission's proposals, it insists that the border should be physically marked out.
Both nations have been accused of supporting dissidents and armed opposition groups against each other. At the November deadline, some analysts feared the restart of the border war but the date passed without any conflict. Former U. Ambassador David Shinn said both Ethiopia and Eritrea were in a bad position. Many fear the weak Eritrean economy is not improving like those of other African nations while others say Ethiopia is bogged down in Mogadishu.
David Shinn said Ethiopia has "a very powerful and so far disciplined national army that made pretty short work of the Eritreans in and the Eritreans have not forgotten that. As decided in the Algiers Agreement, the two parties presented their cases at the Permanent Court of Arbitration to two different Commissions:. The International Bureau serves as Registry for this Commission established pursuant to the Agreement of 12 December between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with a mandate "to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties , and and applicable international law".
On 19 November , the Commission met in The Hague with representatives of the parties. Following that meeting, the Commission concluded that, until the positions of either or both of the parties were modified, there was nothing more that the Commission could do. The Commission is directed to decide through binding arbitration all claims for loss, damage or injury by one Government against the other, and by nationals including both natural and juridical persons of one party against the Government of the other party or entities owned or controlled by the other party that are a related to the conflict that was the subject of the Framework Agreement, the Modalities for its Implementation and the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and b result from violations of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions, or other violations of international law.
In July the Commission sat to decide its jurisdiction, procedures and possible remedies. The result of this sitting was issued in August In October , following consultations with the Parties, the Commission adopted its Rules of Procedure. In December the Parties filed their claims with the commission. The claims filed by the Parties relate to such matters as the conduct of military operations in the front zones, the treatment of POWs and of civilians and their property, diplomatic immunities and the economic impact of certain government actions during the conflict.
At the end of final awards have been issued on claims on Pensions, and Ports. The areas initially invaded by Eritrean forces on that day [12 May ] were all either within undisputed Ethiopian territory or within territory that was peacefully administered by Ethiopia and that later would be on the Ethiopian side of the line to which Ethiopian armed forces were obligated to withdraw in under the Cease-Fire Agreement of 18 June Consequently, the Commission holds that Eritrea violated Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations by resorting to armed force to attack and occupy Badme,.
Christine Gray, in an article in the European Journal of International Law , questioned the jurisdiction of the Commission making such an award, because "there were many factors which suggested that the Commission should have abstained from giving judgment".
For example, the hearing of this claim, according to the Algiers agreement was to be heard by a separate commission and to be an investigation of exclusively factual concern not compensation. The Ethiopian government under the leadership of new prime minister Abiy Ahmed unexpectedly announced on 5 June that it fully accepted the terms of the Algiers Agreement.
The Ethiopian Prime minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. In an interview made on February 7, , between the country's major national media outlets, Eritrean TV and Dimtsi Hafash Radio Program, with President Isaias Afwerki, the president expressed uncertainty in finalizing the peace agreement processes. He said the condition in Badme has been heightened in the past months. Therefore, according to the Eritrean president, the situation in Badme has aggravated and might lead to additional future conflicts.
On 19 June the BBC published a time line which they update periodically of the conflict and reported that the "Border dispute rumbles on":. In August , Eritrea and Ethiopia were ordered to pay each other compensation for the war. In March , Ethiopia accused Eritrea of sending bombers across the border. In April, Ethiopia acknowledged that it was supporting rebel groups inside Eritrea. Eritrea stated the accusation was a total fabrication. In January , five European tourists were killed and another two were kidnapped close to the border with Eritrea in the remote Afar Region in Ethiopia.
In early March the kidnappers announced that they had released the two kidnapped Germans. On 15 March, Ethiopian ground forces attacked Eritrean military posts that they stated were bases in which Ethiopian rebels, including those involved in the January kidnappings, were trained by the Eritreans. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Eritrean War of Independence.
Isaias Afewerki  Sebhat Ephrem. Eritrea—Ethiopia Boundary Commission  The International Bureau serves as Registry for this Commission established pursuant to the Agreement of 12 December between the Government of the State of Eritrea and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with a mandate "to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties , and and applicable international law".
Main article: Eritrea—Ethiopia summit. See also: Djiboutian—Eritrean border conflict and Eritrea—Ethiopia border skirmish. Retrieved 15 November Voice of America. Rassegna di Studi Etiopici. JSTOR Review of African Political Economy. S2CID United Nations. Retrieved 30 December
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