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Ethiopia/ Eritrea Border Dispute. Presentation: Chief Directorate East Africa. Background to the border dispute. In 1998 war commenced between Ethiopia and Eritrea over the border, the town of Badme was a contentious issue. More than 80 000 people died during the 3 year war.

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Ethiopia/ Eritrea Border Dispute

Presentation: Chief Directorate East Africa

background to the border dispute
Background to the border dispute
  • In 1998 war commenced between Ethiopia and Eritrea over the border, the town of Badme was a contentious issue.
  • More than 80 000 people died during the 3 year war.
  • The war ended in 2000 with the signing of the Algiers Agreement.
  • The Agreement made provision for the Ethiopia - Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC) to be established.
  • Both countries agreed to accept the Boundary Commission’s findings as “final and binding”
  • On 13 April 2002, the EEBC presented their findings and allotted Badme to Eritrea.
  • Ethiopia has called for the negotiations to be reopened whilst Eritrea wants to EEBC decision to be implemented without delay.
ethiopia eritrea border impasse
Ethiopia – Eritrea border impasse
  • The border impasse continues between Ethiopia and Eritrea
  • Situation of “no war, no peace”.
  • On 4 October 2005, Eritrea imposed a ban on UNMEE flights over Eritrean airspace.
  • On 23 November 2005, resolution passed allowing for sanctions to be implemented.
  • On 7 December 2005, Eritrea expelled all UN peacekeepers from the United States, the European Union, Russia and Canada.
  • UNMEE mandate extended to 30 September 2006
  • In May 2006, the UNMEE’s was reduced to 2300 troops
ethiopia eritrea boundary commission
Ethiopia – Eritrea Boundary Commission
  • The third round of talks scheduled for 15 June 2006, postponed till 24 August 2006.
  • Eritrea failed to attend because they believe the Boundary Commission’s decision should be bounding.
  • The 37th meeting of the Military Coordination Commission (MCC) was held on 30 July 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The Officer-in-Charge of the UNMEE expressed hope for the speedy resolve of the impasse.
  • Both Ethiopia and Eritrea raised concern over the cut in UNMEE personnel.
  • Eritrea called for increased international involvement in resolving the impasse.
recent developments
Recent developments
  • On 8 August 2006, Ethiopian Brigadier General Kemal Geltu, defected to Eritrea with 150 troops.
  • Ongoing defections with both Ethiopia and Eritrea sponsoring opposition movements in Asmara and Addis Ababa respectively.
  • Eritrea reintroduced travel restrictions on 1 June 2006, including diplomats.
  • Allegations that Eritrea has been supporting the Supreme Islamic Courts in Somalia
  • Ethiopia supporting the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia
  • Eritrea involves as peace broker between Government of Sudan and the Eastern Front Rebels
brief statistics
Brief Statistics
  • Population: 74,777,981 (2006)
  • GDP: US$ 9 Billion (2005)
  • GDP per Capita: US$116
  • GDP growth rate: 8.9% (2005)
  • Inflation rate: 11.6% (2005)
  • Military expenditure: $295.9 million (2005)
  • Hunan Development Index: Ranked 170th (2003)
  • FDI: US$ 545.1 million (2004)
brief statistics continued
Brief Statistics (continued)
  • External Debt: US$ 5.101 billion (2005)
  • Main export partners: Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Italy, USA
  • Main import partners: Saudi Arabia, USA, UAE, India, Germany
  • Life Expectancy: 49 years (2006)
  • Area: 1,130,000 sq km
  • Borders: Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan
  • Natural resources: Small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
  • Agricultural Products: Coffee, khat, leather, gold, oilseeds and flowers.
  • Industries: food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, chemicals, metals processing, cement
ethiopia introduction
Ethiopia: Introduction
  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Head of State: President Woldergiorgis
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
  • Form of State: Federal State
  • Official languages: Amharic, Oromiya, Tigrinya, Arabic
  • Membership: AU (secretariat in Addis Ababa), IGAD, Comesa
history and background
History and Background
  • Only African nation never colonised
  • Brief Italian occupation from 1936-1941.
  • Emperor Haile Selassie dominated Ethiopian society from 1916-1974.
  • The emperor was overthrown by the “Derg” regime, led by Mengistu Haile Miriam.
  • The “Derg” regime was toppled by Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front in 1991.
  • Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993
recent political development
Recent Political Development
  • Last parliamentary elections held on 15 May 2005
  • The Ogaden National Liberation Front, Oromo Liberation Front and the Sidama Liberation Front continue to seek autonomy from the Federation.
  • Border demarcation with Eritrea still outstanding.
  • Oppression of political parties is rife.
  • Ethiopian invasion of Somalia
economy of ethiopia
Economy of Ethiopia
  • Unemployment rate: 25% to 30%
  • Major industries: chemicals, metal, cement, textiles, food processing.
  • Major Exports: coffee, gold, leather products, oilseeds
  • Major Imports: food, petroleum, machinery, motor vehicles.
social situation
Social Situation
  • HIV/Aids poses major health challenge.
  • The government has developed the National Response Strategic Framework to combat HIV/AIDS.
  • Food security remains a problem.
  • The recent floods during August 2006 resulted in at least 626 deaths across Ethiopia.
bilateral relations with south africa
Bilateral Relations with South Africa
  • General Co-operation Agreement between Ethiopia and South was signed in March 2004.
  • Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) to be established in terms of Co-operation Agreement.
  • JMC senior officials meeting was held in Pretoria in May 2005.
  • Exports from SA to Ethiopia: R149, 797 million (2005)
  • Exports from Ethiopia to SA: R23, 370 million (2005)
  • Ethiopia not being full member of the World Trade Organisation poses a challenge to the finalisation of a trade agreement with South Africa

South African Companies in Ethiopia

  • Africon Ethiopia;
  • Plessey;
  • Bull Information Technology;
  • Global Technology (Pty) Ltd;
  • CSIR (Port Elizabeth);
  • South African Bottling Company (SABCO);
  • Ropack International;
  • Cortec (Pty) Ltd.
way forward
Way Forward
  • South Africa should continue to engage Ethiopia within the framework of the General Co-operation Agreement signed in 2004
  • Launch of Joint Ministerial Commission planned for 2006
  • Seek constructive ways of engaging the political leadership to normalise relations with Eritrea.

State of Eritrea

Presentation: Chief Directorate East Africa

brief statistics1
Brief Statistics
  • Population: 4,786,994 (2006)
  • Gross Domestic Product: US$ 924.6 million (2004)
  • GDP per capita: $900 (2005)
  • GDP growth rate: 2% (2005)
  • Inflation rate: 15% (2005)
  • Military Expenditure: US$ 220.1 million (2005)
  • Human Development Index: Ranked 161th (2003)
  • Foreign Direct Investment: US$ 30.0 million (2004)
brief statistics continued1
Brief Statistics (continued)
  • External Debt: US$ 695 million
  • Main export partners: Sudan, Italy, Djibouti, Germany
  • Main import partners: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany
  • Imports from South Africa: R 25 547 000 (2005)
  • Exports to South Africa: R 485 000 (2005)
  • Area: 124 320 sq km
  • Borders: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan
  • Natural Resources: Oil, gas, fish and base metals
  • Agricultural Products: Wheat, barley, maize, millet, sorghum
  • Industries: Food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles, salt, cement, commercial ship repair
eritrea introduction
Eritrea Introduction
  • Capital: Asmara
  • Head of State: Isaias Afewerki
  • Form of State: Unitary State
  • Currency: Nakfa
  • Member of following organisations: United Nations, African Union, IGAD, Cotonou Convention, COMESA and the League of Arab States.
  • The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice is the only legal political party operating in the country.
history and background1
History and Background
  • 1998 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea commenced.
  • War ended in 2000 in which 70 000 people died.
  • Despite the signing of the Algiers Agreement and the border commission decision reached, the border impasse continues.
economy of eritrea
Economy of Eritrea
  • Exports: 64.5 million (2005)
  • Imports: 662 Million (2005)
  • Agriculture sector employs 80% population
  • Privatization and free market is encouraged
  • Heavily dependent on Foreign Aid.
  • GDP per sector Agriculture: 10.2% Industry: 25.4% Services: 64.3% (2005)
social situation1
Social Situation
  • Eritrea has nine ethnic groups.
  • Tigrinya and Arabic most frequently used languages
  • No tensions between Christians and Muslims.
  • HIV/Aids prevalence is about 2.87%
technological situation
Technological Situation
  • Internet access available in most parts of the country.
  • Railways and highways undergoing reconstruction.
  • Ports of Assab and Massawa operational.
  • Telephone system inadequate
  • Mobile cellular service available.
bilateral relations with south africa1
Bilateral Relations with South Africa
  • Diplomatic relations established in 1995
  • Late Minister Nzo visited Eritrea in 1998
  • South Africa opened an Embassy in Asmara in October 2004
  • 9 SANDF Officers currently deployed in Eritrea/Ethiopia as part of UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).
  • More than 1600 Eritrean students studying at South African universities.
way forward1
Way Forward
  • South Africa should continue to support diplomatic efforts by the UN, AU and EU aimed at to resolving the the border impasse.
  • Continue to explore business opportunities