Eritrea warns of Ethiopia war ‘sabre-rattling’

September 8th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

Nairobi (AFP) – Eritrea has accused arch-rival Ethiopia of “sabre-rattling” and of threatening to invade, with the neighbours still in a tense standoff following a 1998-2000 border war.

Asmara’s Ministry of Information said in a statement that war-like rhetoric from Ethiopia’s main party in the ruling coalition — the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) — had increased.

Eritrea, which broke away from Ethiopia in 1991 after a brutal 30-year independence struggle, remains on an effective war-footing with Addis Ababa after a return to war in 1998.

“The TPLF’s sabre-rattling has been a common staple throughout winter. And this has been ratcheted up in the past few weeks,” said the information ministry statement, released Monday.

“The TPLF regime is resorting to tactics of covert intimidation to dissuade various circles from associating with Eritrea. It has gone beyond these hints to openly assert that, ‘it has secured a green-light from the United States to unleash war against Eritrea.’”

There was no immediate reaction from Ethiopia, but Addis Ababa has previously dismissed such statements as propaganda.

Eritrea is struggling to stem a flood of refugees from its borders to Europe, an exodus attributed to gross human rights violations in the hermit state.

Eritreans make up the third largest number of refugees trying to reach Europe, after Syrians and Afghans.

Asmara however says its controversial policy of decades-long national service — a key reason some 5,000 people flee each month — is due to threats from Ethiopia.

But Asmara said its progress had sparked “frustration bordering on insanity in the camp of the TPLF and its key sponsors.”

  1. Cachi Gurumu
    | #1

    The statement of the Ministry of Information of Eritrea from which the news “Eritrea warns Ethiopia” is made up is available here. The statement is released just three days before a merger of Eritrea-based Ethiopian armed opposition organizations that vow to overthrow the Ethiopian government. Under international law, a state is entitled to self-defense from armed attack including attack that is committed by non-state actor(s) launched from a foreign territory. It appears that Eritrea’s statement emanates from fear of possible attack by Ethiopia since Eritrea backs the now merged organizations and also serve as a launching ground for their attack. Eritrea cannot cry foul by flagrantly violating the rules of the civilized world which it routinely disregards. We feel that Eritrea desist itself from meddling in Ethiopia’s internal affairs and learn to settle her problems with Ethiopia by peaceful means in a manner that does not endanger her security and the security of the sub-region. If Eritrea threatens Ethiopia by backing forces that want to destabilize her, and, even more, by making Eritrean territory available for the attack, it will have to live with the consequences. We hope Ethiopia will show restraint and give Eritrea time to rethink its actions before it acts militarily. Our call for restraint is not to lose vigilance even if some diaspora news outlets suggest that merger of Eritrea-based Ethiopian opposition organizations is not new and could not result in anything.

  2. Damete
    | #2

    @Cachi Gurumu,

    Amen to that!!!!!

  3. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #3

    Well, well, well!!! Did everybody just read the news about the united front concocted by Al-Toweel Isaias? I just read it on one of Diaspora websites. The leader of one of the member organizations, TPDM fled to Ethiopia with several of his fighters. What did I say? This was exactly I predicted. There will be more. Now watch who will be next? Just watch!!! Al-Toweel Isaias is not to be trusted. I really hate to say this and I really do. Nega and his lieutenants are toast. How on this good earth one chooses one ruthless dictator to fight another equally brutal dictator? How? How? How? Isaias knows he is dying whether due to natural causes or in a violent way by his own people. He will do what he considers a home run!!! He has been gathering up gullible individuals who are embittered by an incessant violation of human rights by the Sebhat Negas, Samora Yonus’s and their ANDM’S. OPDO’S, SEPDM cabals who were hand made by Al-Toweel Isaias himself in the 1970′s. He will put all these gullible individuals who barged into his palace to beg for the impossible in one bunch and do the unthinkable to them. You see he is an addict of a different kind. He needs to kill people to quench his daily fix. And he knows that his not-distant cousins are in full control next door. He may even use Nega, Gelchu and others like them as patsy to patch things up with his kin and kits in charge across the Mereb River. Just mark my word for it.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    The statement of the Ministry of Information of Eritrea from which the news “Eritrea warns Ethiopia” is made up is available here. The statement is released just three days before a merger of Eritrea-based Ethiopian armed opposition organizations that vow to overthrow the Ethiopian government. Under international law, a state is entitled to self-defense from armed attack including attack that is committed by non-state actor(s) launched from a foreign territory

  5. Alem
    | #5

    I like listing developments when matters seem to be getting out of hand.
    1/ The problem with Dr. Birhanu Nega is that no matter what he’s got to be in charge. Just check how many alliances he has tried to put together [with himself as the leader] before each one of them fell by the wayside. In other words, his ego is so big that he as an educated man is blinded to Isaias’s record. He will sooner than later fall out with those he works with. Isaias can’t stand being challenged and it may not be a surprise if one morning we saw photos of Dr. Birhanu in Mekelle papers. Dr. Birhanu is useful in as far as he could raise funds and give cover to Isaias grand design. I have said before that ESAT is a virtual department of Isaias’s foreign ministry and that Esat reporters are in for the pay. The recent “breaking” news that Mola of Tpdm fled with 600 to Sudan is a ruse. Remember only few days earlier was Eritrea threatening war. The 600 are on a mission at best and a fabrication at worst.
    2/ Watch ER [Eritrean Review] come with a new “mission statement.” In it the ever creative Elias wants us to believe he opposes both Isaias and Tplf; that Isaias is out to dismember Ethiopia. Funnily, he concludes by declaring One Ethiopia [that is, Ethiopia comprising Eritrea and, laughably, Djibouti!]. In other words, Elias has never veered from promoting Isaias grand ambition. Having failed at sustaining an independent Eritrea Isaias’ latest move is to cry for unity between the two countries. People are smarter than believing that sort of nonesense. Eritrean “scholars” are back again unashamedly flying the banner of love and unity!!
    3/ Tplf is also busy confusing everyone. Deception is staple for Tplf and Shabia. You have heard the [leaked] news that in Gumuz region Amharas were killed and their kidneys eaten? Who do you think comes up with that kind of story, directed to who, and with what goal? How about Sudan’s governor wanting to demarcate borders?

    Well-meaning Ethiopians should come together and restrain their hate for Tplf lest they find themselves in alliance with the greater of two evils! Tplf is in great crisis within its ranks as well as now realizing the full force of public resentment. Tplf simply cannot continue with its policy of economic racism and political favoritism. The general public has had enough of that.

    Here is another fact that no one is talking about. Political groups in our homeland are the only hope [if they could only organize themselves better; world situation is changing in their favor as the quick release of journalists showed]. Opposition politics abroad is at a dead end. The few hardcore are so addicted to “shaming” strategy that they are not worth mentioning or reasoning with. The fact remains that increasing numbers are fed up, with hundreds already investing in meaningful enterprises back home. Remember, just because one is near the speaker system does not tell us one is also formidable. A cricket would make you think the whole world is run over by crickets! If you really want to follow up on emerging stories a place to check is Ethiopian Review, Ethiomedia, and Ethiopian Reporter.

  6. anon
    | #6

    [Cachi Gurumu],

    You scribbled,

    “Under international law, a state is entitled to self-defense from armed attack including attack that is committed by non-state actor(s) launched from a foreign territory.” Now, you want to claim ‘international law’ as a pretext for TPLF provocation. If International law matters, at all, why do you think Weyane refused to abide by it for the last 25 years? The answer is because TPLF is a terrorist organization. Apart from the help of several Arab based nations, EPLF, and Ethiopian based organizations its effort could have not been materialized. Ethiopians will secure our Freedom; We will dearly pay and free ourselves from the TPLF syndicate. For determined people every isims you are leaning and that want to stand on our way we will walk over it. That is just the way it is going to be. If you really care, about the future get busy reforming the TPLF gulag. The only thing that matters now is for TPLF to release all prisoners without any condition. The rest is mere propaganda. The rest of investor cadres on this forum we understand you are paid to make loud noises and you are doing just that.

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    [Alem], you said,

    “I like listing developments when matters seem to be getting out of hand.” No one should have a problem if your list is dealing with your hobby. We are dealing here about our country, and you seem to be loosing it. Where is the evidence for your allegations that every thing you listed is taking place? O
    all the things you listed the only thing that is sound is t

  8. Tesfa
    | #8

    [Alem], you said,

    “I like listing developments when matters seem to be getting out of hand.” No one should have a problem if your list is dealing with your hobby. We are dealing here about our country, and you seem to be loosing it. Where is the evidence for your allegations that every thing you listed is taking place? Your statement about Dr. Brihanu, and ESAT journalists being on pay roll are carless statements.
    The only thing I agree with you is the fact you captured the gist that TPLF is in disarray.

    As it is being pressed from all directions the signs are there for all to see, this unwelcome child TPLF is clinging by the thread before it goes over the cliff. The ongoing hunger, the un controllable loot of the national wealth by TPLF officials, and the determination of Ethiopian people to face off TPLF is a sure sign this fascistic organization is faced with un surmountable problems. Dear one feel free to value your own opinion, but don’t force upon the rest of us. The idea that “Ethiopians may be aligning with greater of the two evils” is unfounded and may be based on skewed analysis.WQhy don’t you leave the political and military developments for the professionals? Give me a break ! ” Do you really believe Mola is on a mission? I lost you! There is no greater evil as that of TPLF. And your advice Ethiopians to restrain what you termed their “hate” is just mind boggling.

  9. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #9

    O Boy! O Boy!!!

    Obbo Elias!!!

    You are doing an extremely valuable service to the dear people we all left behind by doing your journalistic job to its fullest. Keep plugging away our brother, our son!!!!

    I am still grappling with Nega’s decision to leave his comfy home just to fall in the clutches of one of the most blood thirsty thugs the Horn of Africa ever seen. What got hold of him? I have read an article in the past here on the internet that Nega used to be a member of EPRP. Well…as a former member of EPRP he should have known what Al-Toweel did to the clueless EPRP leadership in the 1970′s and 80′s. What is wrong with this guy? What is the matter with him? I kept wandering why did he do that.

    May be his career as a college lecturer was on the balance. May be the long standing USA Neutrality Law finally came to catch up to him. How a well read person like Nega falls for such an easily seen trap laid down by a proven thug disparaged by the entire freedom loving people world wide? But for whatever reason Nega put himself in such a predicament, it is too late for him to get out now. His comrade who just signed to form a united front has embarrassingly deserted him. He did not just deserted him but he went back home to his original masters!!! Does Nega not know the fact that the Ethiopian youth just started to recover from the massacre unleashed by the former slab mouth cannibal Mengistu? Does he not know the fact that the Ethiopian people are tried off devastating violence and will not go with it? What is the matter with this guy? Someone close to him should have accosted before he left for Asmara and have him committed to an asylum meant for people who have gone sane, mentally ill. If he was my brother, relative or friend I could have done just that just to save his life. Now it is too late!!!! I am upset and hopping mad now!!!! Because we are witnessing another life of a well educated man being wasted. At this sunset stage of my life, I am just getting tired of it. The faces of those young and well educated individuals who went to their gallows in the 1970’s are still fresh in my memory. They were Cum Laude’s, Summa Cum Laude’s and Magna Cum Laude’s. They all told me they are going in there to get rid of Mengistu and his henchmen in a very short time. They were all so naive to tell me that their ‘party’ had a well trained army that could come to their defense when needed. But that army turned out to be nothing other than some 10 or 12 ragtag unarmed overstuffed zealots who ended up being prisoners of none other than Al-Toweel’s Isaias himself in Sahel hellhole. He was using them as cooks until their party leaders recognize Eritrea as a colony of not Haile Selassie’s but of the rest of the Ethiopian people. I did not make this up. All you have to do is read some of the books written by the former party officials. But Mengistu was butchering all those honor students who stood up against him bare handed. When I think about them I am always overwhelmed with emotions. They all died standing up and gallant to the end. When their teeth were pulled, they spat in their torturer’s face; when their limbs were sawed off to make them reveal names of their colleague, they spat in their tormentor’s face. They spat in their enemies’ faces when they took their last breaths. What happened there after? Mengistu went on to rule another 17 years. Woe!! Woe!!! Woe!!!! Never again!!! Never again another generation of young life will be wasted!!! Syria on steroids is possible in Ethiopia!!! Somalia of ten fold is not impossible in Ethiopia!!!! The heck with that Marxist jargon those martyr’s used to deafen me with during those turbulent years of the 1960’s and 70’s. The jargon that goes like ‘oppressed people don’t have anything to lose but their chains’ is the motto of those evils inflicted with demonic spirits like Vladimir Lenin, Taliban, Al Qaeda, Isis and other similar religious extremists.

    I am going to say this to Professor Nega if he has access to this website. Using violence to bring about political change in our time has proved to be costly with irreversible consequences. The editors of this website and other like them have much more powerful weapon than the AK47’s you are toying with. Their pens and websites have become the nightmare of the Sebhat Negas in all. Abugida and other dissident websites like it are persona non grata back in Ethiopia by the decision of the leaders of that country. I never met these editors in person and other dissident editors like them. I don’t need their assistance to make a living. After a long illustrious career as an engineer I am well set to live the rest of my life in relative comfort at my modest home with my wife and running around with a never tiring grandchild. But I have been reading the articles on their websites for many years. They have been consistent in exposing the bad behavior of those leaders and the damage their action is inflicting on the fabric of that society. They have chosen the peaceful path and have been doing a heck of job at it. So you better bail out of there if it is all possible. You will do more service to the dear people we all left behind using your well read pen than toting RPG’S. I pray for your safety and I mean that.

  10. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #10

    To my dear editors!!!

    The first paragraph was my mistake. I did not mean disrespect to your esteemed website. To me, you are all very valuable and concerned children of such legendary people called Ethiopians. I think age and anger over the issue I dealt with in my comment caught up with me or got the best of my emotion. I hope you will find a small spot in your heart to see it just as an innocent incidence in the family. Thanks a lot!!!!

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