Why This Time’s Different for the Border Clashes Between Ethiopia and Eritrea

An Ethiopian tank heads for the frontlines during the Ethiopian-Eritrean War, June 25, 1998 (AP photo by Sayyid Azim).
An Ethiopian tank heads for the frontlines during the Ethiopian-Eritrean War, June 25, 1998 (AP photo by Sayyid Azim).
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On June 12, an uneasy peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea that had lasted 16 years came to a dramatic end, as border clashes claimed 200 Ethiopian lives and an unknown number of Eritrean casualties. While both countries blamed each other for escalating hostilities, the causes of current tensions differ markedly from those underpinning past wars between them, with implications for efforts by international partners seeking to mediate between the two sides. Historically, conflicts between Ethiopia and Eritrea have been triggered by territorial disputes and national security concerns. The 30-year war that lasted from 1961 to 1991 was a struggle for […]

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