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East African development body 'happy' with Eritrea return
1 August 2011 - The East African bloc Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) welcomed Eritrea's decision to return to the body four years after it suspended its membership. 'On behalf of the staff of the IGAD secretariat and on my own behalf, I wish to express my happiness with the bold decision by Eritrea to rejoin the IGAD family,' said executive secretary Mahboub Maalim in a letter to Osman Saleh, Eritrea's foreign minister. IGAD is made up of Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and now Eritrea. (more)

Eritrea ready for a constructive role in Sudan peace process
4 April 2006 - The ruling political party of Eritrea, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), has offered its co-operation to the Sudanese peace process. The offer is the latest of several moves to improve relations between the two countries since they resumed communications in October 2005. (more)

Disputed Ethiopian-Eritrean border to be marked by diplomatic US initiative
10 January 2006 - The United States, which has solid relations with both Ethiopia and Eritrea, has launched a diplomatic initiative to try to mark the contested border between the two countries. The UN Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping called the US initative not only important but 'essential'. (more)

Eritrea working hard for Sudanese peace
25 February 2004 - The peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) resumed recently in Naivasha, Kenya. The peace negotiations conducted so far have shown a big advance (more)


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Undeterred by perils, migrants flee hardship in Eritrea
26 November 2013 - Each year thousands of Eritreans attempt a perilous journey to Europe, fleeing one of Africa's poorest and most isolated nations, a place where army conscription with pitiful pay can last years. Many die on the trek. Probably all of the more than 360 migrants who drowned in a shipwreck near Italy's coast in October were Eritrean, though many are still unidentified. Of those who reach their destination, many are caught by European authorities and sent to refugee camps in Ethiopia. Inevitably, they say they will try to get to Europe again. But even those who make it may still face disappointment. Activists there say those who remain in Europe often end up in badly paid and illegal work, scraping by as house helps or hawking on streets. Yet Eritreans feel they have no alternative. Most live in poverty. The country's annual gross national income per capita in 2012 was $450, far below the $1,345 figure for sub-Saharan Africa, World Bank figures show. (more)

10,000 dissidents detained in Eritrea
10 May 2013 - Eritrea's government has jailed about 10,000 dissidents without charge or trial over the years, a rights group said in report Thursday, describing the Horn of Africa nation as one of the world's most repressive states. The new report by Amnesty International said those held in detention include suspected critics of the government, politicians, journalists, and 'anyone who refuses to comply with the repressive system.' Among those behind bars are 187 people detained since January, when a group of more than 100 soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information and demanded the release of all political prisoners. According to Amnesty International, Eritrea has become 'one of the most repressive, secretive and inaccessible countries in the world.' (more)

Dissident Eritrean troops seize ministry
21 January 2013 - Dissident Eritrean soldiers with tanks took over the information ministry on Monday and forced state media to call for political prisoners to be freed, a senior intelligence official said. The renegade soldiers have not gone as far as to demand the overthrow of the government of one of Africa's most secretive states, long at odds with the United States and accused of human rights abuses. Eritrea has been led by Isaias Afewerki, 66, for some two decades since it broke from bigger neighbour Ethiopia. The fledging gold producer on the Red Sea coast has become increasingly isolated, resisting foreign pressure to open up. Eritrean opposition activists exiled in neighbouring Ethiopia said there was growing dissent within the army, Africa's second biggest, especially over economic hardship. Despite expectations for a gold mining boom that helped fuel economic growth of nearly 8 per cent last year, per capita gross domestic product is less than $550 a year. (more)

Ethiopia carries out attacks against Eritrea
15 March 2012 - Ethiopian forces entered archrival Eritrea on Thursday and carried out what a government spokesman described as 'a successful attack' against military posts. Shimeles Kemal said Ethiopia launched the attack because Eritrea was training 'subversive groups' that carried out attacks inside Ethiopia. Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war from 1998 to 2000. Tensions have reignited between the countries in recent months. Rashid Abdi, a regional analyst who formerly worked for the International Crisis Group, called Ethiopia's attack a 'very unwelcome piece of news' that will affect the conflict in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops are fighting the militant group al-Shabab. He said the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict could grow if the US or EU doesn't step in to mediate. (more)

Eritrea says it killed 10 Ethiopian troops
3 January 2010 - Eritrea's government has said its troops killed 10 Ethiopian soldiers after they attacked Eritrean positions on New Year's day, something Addis Ababa has denied. A statement dated 2 January on the www.shabait.com website, run by the Eritrean ministry of information, said: 'In the early morning hours of January 1st 2010, TPLF soldiers launched successive attacks in the Zalam besa front and were swiftly driven back with 10 of their soldiers killed and two captured.' TPLF is a partner in Ethiopia's ruling coalition. Bereket Simon, the Ethiopian government's head of information, accused the Eritrean government of trying to cover up an attack by Eritrean rebels in which 25 Eritrean government soldiers were killed. (more)

Eritrea 'sick' of Somalia arms accusations
4 May 2009 - Eritrea said on Monday it was tired of accusations that it sends weapons to al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants fighting Somalia's government. In an accusation backed by some security experts and diplomats, Somalia's government said again this week that Asmara continues to support al Shabaab rebels through planeloads of AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons. Analysts say a long-running regional power struggle between Eritrea and Ethiopia -- who fought a 1998-2000 border war -- has also complicated peace prospects for Somalia. A UN panel of experts monitoring an arms embargo on Somalia and other regional observers have consistently labelled the Red Sea state as a weapons supplier for insurgents. (more)

Eritrea-Ethiopia border deadline looms amid war fears
28 November 2007 - Eritreans are worried there will be a repeat of the 1998-2000 border war with Ethiopia that killed some 70,000 people. Eritreans and Ethiopians have lived with five years of heightened tensions, harsh rhetoric, and the threat of war after an independent border commission's ruling on their countries' shared frontier failed to resolve the explosive issue. (more)

Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of having 'declared war'
21 November 2007 - Eritrea said on Wednesday arch-foe Ethiopia had 'long since declared war' on Asmara by refusing to implement a five-year-old border ruling marking their shared frontier. Analysts and diplomats fear heightened tensions on the Horn of Africa rivals' frontier could erupt into a new conflict seven years after they fought a war that killed some 70,000 people. Asmara and Addis Ababa have been deadlocked over the 1000-km (620-mile) shared border since an independent boundary commission gave the town of Badme to Eritrea in a 2002 ruling. (more)

Eritrea says UN most to blame for border impasse
10 November 2007 - Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerk laid most of the blame for its five-year border impasse with Ethiopia on the United Nations on Saturday. Both countries have more than 100,000 troops close to the frontier, raising fears of a repeat of their 1998-2000 war. Addis Ababa and Asmara have been locked in a bitter dispute over their shared border after a 2002 decision by an independent boundary commission gave Eritrea the town of Badme. Eritrea has long complained that the international community has done nothing to make Ethiopia accept the ruling. (more)

UN: Ethiopia, Eritrea still a concern
31 July 2007 - The UN Security Council said Monday the lack of progress on resolving the divisive border issue between Ethiopia and Eritrea remained a cause of 'deep concern' and called on both countries to immediately withdraw their troops from the frontier. Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 following a 30-year guerrilla war, but the border between the countries was never officially demarcated. Another war broke out from 1998-2000, killing tens of thousands, and tensions have occasionally flared since then. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told Parliament that he was building up the army's capabilities because he fears an imminent attack by Eritrea. He also accused his neighbour of arming rebel groups inside his country. (more)

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