Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of contemplating full-scale war

June 21st, 2016 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopia is contemplating full-scale war against Eritrea, an Eritrean official told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday, as he defended his country against allegations of crimes against humanity.

Eritrean and Ethiopian troops clashed along their border on June 12. Each has accused the other of starting the hostilities.

Last week, Eritrea’s Foreign Ministry blamed the United States for playing a role, referring to “Washington’s instigation” of the attack by Ethiopian forces. Eritrea also said at least 200 Ethiopian troops were killed.

“As we speak, Ethiopia is making preparations for a bigger military offensive and contemplating a full-scale war,” Yemane Ghebreab, an Eritrean presidential advisor, told the U.N. council on Tuesday.

“Ethiopia reckons that the gross accusations against Eritrea afford it with the perfect pretext, and that it may be now or never. It reckons that those who are only too eager to blame Eritrea will as usual look the other way and fail to act as Ethiopia commits what are truly crimes against humanity against its people and unleashes another war.”

Asked what prompted Eritrea’s warning about Ethiopia’s military preparedness, he told Reuters: “They’ve been saying that for a long time, but we also see the reinforcements they are making on the ground. There are massive reinforcements coming to the border.”

He said it was a large build-up of troops and Eritrea was prepared to defend itself.

Yemane said 18 Eritreans were killed in the recent fighting, and it had lodged a formal complaint with the U.N. Security Council.

Ethiopia has said both sides suffered casualties but would not discuss specifics. It has also said does not expect the situation to escalate.

“We are capable of waging a full-scale war against Eritrea, but simply we don’t choose to. That is why we have withdrawn our forces once our objectives were achieved,” Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda told a news briefing on June 14.

U.N. human rights investigators have accused Eritrea’s leaders of crimes against humanity, including torture, rape and murder, over the past 25 years and called for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

They have also accused Eritrea of enslaving 300,000 to 400,000 of its own people and operating a shoot-to-kill policy on its borders to stop people from fleeing abroad.

Eritrea has rejected all the allegations, and Yemane said 200,000 people had signed a petition supporting the government. Thousands more were protesting on a square outside the U.N.

Representatives of Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya told the Council that they favored setting up a new U.N. mechanism to protect and promote human rights in Eritrea.

“There is an urgent need to ensure accountability,” said Ethiopian Ambassador Negash Kebret Botora, calling the U.N. report conclusive, robust and extensive. He did not respond to Yemane’s comments on Ethiopia’s military posture.

  1. tebbebbe
    | #1

    the diaspora eritrean support for shabia is incredible. 1000s of them flocked to the UN office recently in support of shabia. what is going on. didn’t these people leave eritrea because of persecution? or are they sent out of the country by shabia so that they can send money back home to support shabia. it is a big question. they asked for asylum in the west by claiming that they suffer persecution in eritrea. once they get their asylum claim sorted they forget about the alleged claims of persecution by shabia and instead they become staunch supporters of shabia. that is the reason why shabia will always rule over them.

  2. Dawi
    | #2

    The discussion on ESAT few days ago with captain Teshome & former minister Ermias put forward some compelling reasoning’s why Ethiopians should be on Eritrean side if war is to happen; to defend G7 and other Ethiopian opposition that is!

    Coupled with that Eritrean official Yemane that gave an interview on ESAT with fluent Amharic (more fluent than some Amara who came to the US less than 20 years ago :-), probably for the first time since Eritrean independence, some Ethiopians heart is beginning to soften.

    Having said that, if President Isayas decides to give an interview in Amharic about the coming war etc. just like his adviser Yemane, my scale shall dramatically tip in favor on his side. :-)

  3. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #3

    I want to say something very important about and very useful to those leaders of groups who marched into the goon’s trap in Asmara in general and this Nega thing in particular.

    Does this former professor really believe in what he is doing? He is telling himself and all of us that 1 plus 1 is now 3, wait a minute he says it is 5. Hello!!! If I were his next of kin, I force him to see a renowned shrink now!!! I bet you a quarter that one of these days he will start falling out with that demon Al-Toweel Isaias and you know what will happen. He is going to give him a wink away all the way to Kaliti and this time Egypt or Sudan will be blamed. I just can not get over it. What is wrong with this well educated man? What is the matter with him? I tell this to his relatives. When you see him near you here in the Good Ole USA next time around, tie him up to his chair and call police. Tell the police that he has gone mad that he needs to be committed to a hospital for the mentally disturbed people. He is your loved one, right? You have to do this to save his life. Al-Toweel Isaias is a mentally deranged individual. He is a ruffian and had gone to war with everyone around him. He even squabbles with his own shadow whenever he finds no one to pick a fight with. He will pull one of his renowned Houdini illusions with this man sooner or later. This Nega is mentally sick and he should be committed to a sanatorium. Fast!!!!

  4. Fasildes
    | #4


    In which country will the ICC capture Issias to bring him to ICC court ? ? ?

    Alas! Issias and his cronies will be restricted from their international travel, maybe they may travel within some of African countries just like the Sudanese leader who is implicated in Genocide crime against black Christians, now ICC will do the same to Issias, ICC will capture Issias while travelling in international trip.

    It is the matter of time before he gate captured and brought to ICC COURT to face justice.

  5. ho
    | #5

    Three times the size of supporters went on 23
    In Geneva . 90% of young Eretrians want Isayas gone .Shabia decimated .

    Viva Geneva

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    The UN will always blames Isayas and the Eritreans for any tension along colonial border, never the TPLF government, because they know TPLF is controlled by the Eriteans who fought for freedom of Eritrea and will do nothing to harm their country. They know Isayas will start conflict just to divert attention from the fact that he is criminal.

  7. Asefa
    | #7


    Berhanue Negga is doomed, his master (Issias) is implicated in genocidal crime and crime against humanity and now he wanted by ICC tribunal court.

  8. ho
    | #8

    Eretrian satellite channel run by Tesfaye Gebreab !!

    All busted . Your day and night dar preach is to save shabia .
    Shabia is chronically sick . Shall die by brave Eretrian youth .

  9. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #9

    Obbo Dawi!

    You are kidding, right? Just for the reason that this demon in Asmara spoke in Amharic that will make you a converted supporter of him? You are trying to be funny, right? I tell you what. Hitler is rumored to have Jewish heritage in his blood line. I don’t believe it but let’ say it is true. Does that exonerate him from his crime against humanity and rather blame everything on Joseph Goebbels instead? Does it? Your assertive promise has left me flummoxed now. Before I let you, I have one more questions for you. The late PM Meles was told to be very fluent in Amharic. Does that make him of a less a bigot? I did not take any advanced class in Sociology during my college years. May be there was some theory I missed. Hit me with an educating response, will you? If you are the same person, I remember having a very constructive conversation with you in the past on this or another website.

  10. Dawi
    | #10

    Dear Ittu Aba Farda,

    I wasn’t joking but, just smiling & reading the calls of Dr. Berhanu, Yemane and others and trying to understand what is going on.

    Remember EPLF was once considered as “Angafaw” Ethiopian liberation movement; even though the fallout with TPLF/EPRDF ended that status, they still have their hands deep in each others affairs. EPLF still seem to act as the “Angafaw” towards disgruntled Ethiopian opposition; many say Asmara still don’t have a functioning constitution/government, meaning their liberation status is intact.

    Having said that, letting G7 & others exist in their fold is kind of suicidal for EPLF, only a “parent/child” will take such a risk. Why is it? Therefore, for me when Yemane/ Girma or Isayas calls me in my national language crying for help, I just can’t help it if my heart softens as an Ethiopian.

    I don’t have a complicated theoretical explanation for how I felt.

  11. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #11

    Dear Obo Dawi,

    I respect your rights to your opinion. But I can’t keep my being befuddled by your assertion as to what some groups think of EPLF’s antic democratic policies especially what you wrote in the 2nd phrase after ‘many say’. I never knew that if a liberation front turns despotic, it helps keep its ‘liberating’ status in tact. I am even more inquisitive when I start thinking about the Sandinistas.

  12. Dawi
    | #12

    Dear Ittu Aba Farda,

    I meant by “status intact” still playing in the same mode; very slowly working towards “democracy” if any.

    History tells us that richer, more educated and more equal countries are more likely to be “democratic”. When countries reach a level of development and social maturity a demand to change “dictatorship” to “democracy” becomes the order.

    “Democracy” is only a wishful thinking and not viable today in both Eritrea/Ethiopia by looking at the inter-group inequality, and instability; we need a centralized decision making as any disaster requires to manage the special crises faced. Under these situations economic development is promoted by “authoritarian governments” as in the Asian Tigers.

    That is why Meles’s “developmental state” theory for the African setting is in the right direction however, for the coming transition towards “democracy” after we have relatively developed and become stable, we need movements like G7 & others to take over.

    The balancing act of when “dictatorship” ends and “democracy” begins is not clear. To start with, at least all violence with arms has to end with an abiding agreement

  13. Ittu Abu Farda
    | #13

    Obbo Dawi:

    First of all, I want to assure you that your rights to your opinion and conviction are inviolable in my book. But I would like to caution you in your theory that the richer a country gets a dead giveaway it is that it will become democratic. You have to revisit that. Countries that have gone democratic from despotism are only those that achieved prosperity through extensive industrialization. Taiwan is the prefect example. That is where our tour begins. If you keep rowing in that neck of woods, you will find South Korea and The Philippines. In Singapore and Malaysia, despotism is being given the last rite. If you stay in the same neighborhood then you will find the Sultanate of Brunei very rich where every citizen is roaming around with deep pockets. And you travel a few thousand miles west you will be hit with filthy rich nations without an iota of democratic rights. You have fat cats like the Saudis where women can’t even drive. They said not alone. But they are very rich nations and they have become so not by working in factories but in stead by being very lucky enough to have found the world’s largest oil reserve. You see. Industrialization is a very potent multipurpose medicine. It is the opposite of backwardness. Once the vast majority of the population have become capable of getting answers to what, why and how questions itself, which is the residual benefits of industrialization, it will be impossible to be governed the old fashioned way. Once they broke the barrier there will be no way going back. Try to stand in middle of a busy street in Taiwan and tell the women to go back home and do home-maker duties full time. You better have the protection of the best of the best of the US Marines. You may not come out alive. No more Taiwanese women making brothels their main line of work!!! They are now owners of big businesses and even country leaders. Try Chilean women with the same stunt. And they did that mostly through peaceful struggle and transformation. That is why I am stubbornly against violent form of struggle. It is natural that violence begets violence and with the prevailing factors in place you will have societies like Afghanistan and Somalia in constant violence. And almost all those who took power by violent form of struggle have been very disappointing to me at least.

    That is why it is music to my ears whenever I hear news of new factory being erected back in the old country. I don’t really care who does as long as it is sustainable. Africa has extensive history of building unsustainable factories that went bust in a jiffy. I don’t know how old you are but I want you to delve into history books to find such stories. Mobutu’s behemoth steel factory is a perfect example. More than 2 billion US dollars were spent in building that manufactory. I also remember from my own childhood years of a soda bottling factory that was built by a farsighted business man. It was a locally concocted soda borrowed from his experience during the Italian occupation. That was in the very 1950′s. It was about an hour mule ride from my home village. I still remember that. It did not last too long due to the lack of marketing and manufacturing skills. Its fate was sealed the day it was conceived. Then it was abandoned. Mobutu’s steel factory faced the same fate.

    By the way, I have been watching Nicaragua with great interest for more than a decade now. If you are a historian by training, I would like you to keep an eye on that country. I am just an engineer by training but turned a history buff as a hobby.

    Before I go I want to leave you and those who are reading my comment with a story you will find interesting. I am quite sure you have heard about the late Taiwanese leader Chiang Kai-shek who ruled that island nation with an iron fist until he died in 1975. His fourth wife was the US educated Soong Mei. It is a documented truth that she used to have been getting a massage every night during her entire sleeping hours by a women servant specialized in such profession. And when she left Taiwan to live in New York it was also documented that she had taken what was described to be her personal belonging in more than ten 20ft containers. Africa seems to have its own share of Madame Soong’s. Madame Mugabe can be an excellent incarnation. She also likes doing extravagant shopping on Nathan Road in Hong Kong. That is where I stay whenever I travel there both on leisure and business trips. And if you are there when she is in town, be very careful taking picture around her. If you do, you will be knocked out unconscious by her burly bodyguards. That was what they did to one unfortunate photographer a few years ago. And there are other Soong wannabes made in Africa. I hope and pray that old country of ours will not produce one such sickly individual. The ingredients for such actuality are in place. There is a prevailing personality cult.

  14. Dawi
    | #14

    Ittu Abu Farda said:

    [[..democratic from despotism are only those that achieved prosperity through extensive industrialization. But I would like to caution you in your theory that the richer a country gets a dead giveaway it is that it will become democratic. You have to revisit that. ..]]

    I stand corrected; You are right. I was going with Aristotle’s gemeral thought:

    “Only a wealthy society in which relatively few citizens lived in real poverty could a situation exist in which the mass of the population could intelligently participate in politics and could develop the self-restraint necessary to avoid succumbing to the appeals of irresponsible demagogues”.

  15. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #15

    Obbo Dawi:

    Aristotle was one of the pillars of Greek philosophy. Due to his qualities as someone who was driven by what he was seeing around him, he was dealing with the community where he born and lived. That was a slave society where slavery did not have color boundary. Every captive after a war was deemed a slave. But he was a great philosopher. His statement you quoted deserves many kudos.

    Thank you for being so civil throughout our discussion. I also thank the dear editors of this esteemed website for letting our discussion ride on this respected platform. We need engagement and more engagement like this in total civility. We should never forget that we are all the children of that cultured and glorious people. You name any ethnic group and you will find everyone of them to be having a culture(a very old culture I may add) of being calm and cultivated during a discussion that matter most, matter that affects them. Call me an old stubborn mule Ethio-Centric and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I am an Oromo because before there was Ethiopia I am!! But I am equally proud of maintaining my pride of being of an Ethiopian heritage. You see. That is why that country has not turned into another Somalia, Iraq or Syria. That is not because the regime did this or that but that common man, that upright and honest common man has turned his or her deaf ears to the urging of the demonic Wahabbis. What people!!! What people!!! They may be full throttle broke and poor but they have told every terrorist creature that tried to take roots in their midst resoundingly just like Mel Brooks in the Blazing Saddles – ‘Up Yours!!!’. What People!!! What Glorious People!!! Thank Lord Almighty I Am One of the Products of Such Admiration Worthy People!!!
    Insha Allah!!!

    Keep up the good work young man!!!

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