Military History: The Long Forgotten African Conflicts


Heavy fighting erupted between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces at their disputed border on June 12, with shelling continuing into Monday morning as both sides blamed each other for the return of hostilities.

Casualties are unknown, but given the use of heavy artillery fire from both sides, loss of life was likely unavoidable. Eritrea claims it killed more than 200 Ethiopian troops, but this number is impossible to verify.

The skirmish is only the latest incident between the two countries, which have been locked into a state of neither peace nor war since the end of the 1998-to-2000 border war.

The belligerent relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia date to the end of World War II, when Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassi successfully lobbied the Allies to place the former Italian colony of Eritrea under Ethiopian rule.

Eritrean resistance fighters waged an insurgency from 1962 onward, and later joined forces with Ethiopian rebels opposed to the Marxist Derg regime, which deposed and killed Selassi in 1974.

The insurgency ended in 1991, and after a referendum in 1993, Eritrea became fully independent. Shortly after that, the relationship between the regimes of both countries — which until recently had been brothers in arms — fell apart, with the undemarcated border between them serving as a flashpoint.

 Read the Remainder at War is Boring

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  1. Pingback: Military History: The Long Forgotten African Conflicts — Hammerhead Combat Systems | Rifleman III Journal

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