Ethiopia carries out attacks against Eritrea

March 15, 2012

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war from 1998 to 2000. Tensions have reignited between the countries in recent months.

No details about the military operations or any damage or casualties were immediately released.

The “Eritrea government has continued launching attacks at Ethiopia through its proxy groups. The attacks had continued. And the recent attacks against European tourists is one of the reasons for the retaliation,” Shimeles said.

Militants attacked European tourists from five nations traveling in Ethiopia’s arid north in January. Five tourists were killed and two were kidnapped. The two kidnapped German tourists have since been released.

Ethiopia blamed gunmen from Eritrea for the attack.

The attacks Thursday by Ethiopian forces took place about 10 miles (16 kilometers) inside Eritrea’s territory in areas called Gelakalay and Gimbina, Shimeles said. The Ethiopian forces have returned to Ethiopia, he said.

“Today’s measures do not constitute a direct military confrontation between the two countries. The Ethiopian defense force has entered into Eritrea and launched a successful attack against military posts that have been used to organize, finance and train the subversive groups,” Shimeles said.

Shimeles said it was unlikely that Eritrea would retaliate because it is “not in a position to launch a counter attack.”

Eritrea’s ambassador to the Addis Ababa-based African Union, Girma Asmerom, didn’t immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.

The border war between the two countries killed about 80,000 people. Recent signs have pointed to growing tension in the region.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told the country’s parliament in April that his government would actively support Eritrean opposition groups to help topple that country’s regime. Ethiopia also blamed Eritrea for scheming bomb attacks on several targets in Addis Ababa during an African Union summit in January 2011.

Eritrea doesn’t receive foreign aid and is sanctioned by the U.N. because of human rights violations. U.N. reports have indicated that Eritrea has supported Somalia’s top militant group, the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab. Eritrea has denied those accusations.


6 comments on “Ethiopia carries out attacks against Eritrea

  1. I read the statement from the State department. Ethiopia has the right to defend itself even by taking preemptive strike. Or is it only Israel that has the right to take preemptive strike?

  2. I think the statement is in line with U.S policy towards the Iran – Israel issue i.e, let us give priority tp peaceful resolution.

  3. There has been a rumor circulating that the conflict has been going on for the last few weeks, started by militants from the Eritrea side. If it is true then this attack by Ethiopia most probably relates to those incedents. What is odd is why Ethiopia failed to make those incedents public.

  4. Did Ethiopia really attack Eritrea? Ato Meles is always soft when it comes to Eritrea so what if this press release is just a propaganda stunt to relieve the feeling of resentment from some quarters who would like to see Meles to take action against Eritrea. I for one can trust Meles only if he started doing something about the illegal occupation of Assab and the surrounding areas by the so called Eritrea.

  5. If this action is based on with clear aims and goals, then it is long overdue. Apart from the question of Asseb, we must, ask how long should Ethiopia and Ethiopians tolerate a fundamentally anti-Ethiopian entity called Eritrea. Eritrea has shown itself to be using every opportunity to undermine Ethiopia, and the people of Ethiopia.No country on earth will tolerate what we Ethiopians have to put up with from the poison “state of Eritrea”. Eritrea is and has always been about hatred for Ethiopia the sooner EPRDF realizes this, the better.

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