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Eritrea: The 2000 Border War Is Not Over Yet

[The video clip is embedded below]

In an interview with Russia Today (RT) in London, Yemane Gebreab, the political adviser to the president of Eritrea said that the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea that ended in the year 2000 has not stopped yet.

The border war that was waged between Ethiopia and Eritrea started in 1998 and ended in 2000. The Eritrea Ethiopian Border Commission in the Hague has given its ruling over a decade ago

Yemane said that the government of Eritrea faces “difficult situations and big challenges and aggression on Eritrea, particularly from big powers like The USA.”

Asked if his government has opposition, Yemane dismissed the presence of any opposition stating, “there are those who call themselves opposition but they are basically mercenaries, and are part of the external aggression on Eritrea.”

The interview was conducted in the London studios of RT and was conducted by Hassen Zeytuni. will publish the full translation of the interview that was conducted in Arabic.

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  • Ali

    I am Saho and this war had affected the Saho villages the worst.

    The truth is this border propaganda nonsense meant nothing to us at all and this deceptive war was orchestrated by Meles and Isaias who were blood cousins and play feudal games in order to divert attention what is happening in reality. There were little to no Eritrean troops at all. Eritrea has no army to begin with but run by Shabia cadits.

    When the Tigray army (under the name of Ethiopian army) invaded Sanafi, Adi Keyih and other villages, it resulted into 500,000 displacement whom most were from Saho.

    As soon as this war finished, Isaias the dictator has arrested hundreds of Saho villagers who were accused of working for Meles because they weren’t fighting. If they were accused then why did he barre the remaining huge numbers of displaced villagers from coming back to their villages?! At the same time he resettled his own ethnic peasants from the Tigray region afterward?

    The Shabia cadits admited they removed them out from their villages (under the name of accusing them of spies) because they fear rebellion since Saho is famous for their bravery and long war history (against Abyssinians, Egyptians, Ottomans etc)

    Not only he accused them but continiously displaced them to other regions and the same goes to other ethnic who suffered from this while populating peasants which result nothing but others ending up as refugees.

    If they keep doing this tigrinization policy, they won’t have a good future with other ethnics because they are loyal to their own group only and is not happy about the resettlements, this is a clear agenda he and TPLF bandits is trying eliminate everyone in the Kebessa/Red Sea areas and in North East Ethiopia (Afar etc).

    It is also not coincidence that his cousin Meles was doing the same to Afar, Oromo, Gambellans, Harari, Ogaden etc in the so called country called Ethiopia which is only recognized by the Amhara who only belong to Gondar.

  • Bayan Nagash

    Selam to All,

    There is an ominous news coming from BBC – see the link below. “The Border War” may not be over in the stultified heads of these stupefied gangsters who are holding Eritrea hostage. They may as well be right, our young Eritreans are perishing in the high seas in a “war” and in a bid to run-away from the bottomless pit and an abyss that Eritrea has become. This may as well be worst than Lamedussa from 30 months back in which we lost close to 360 Eritreans. Please read it yourself as I have no energy left to write for now:


    “There are people who think Eritrea or African countries can not be industrial,
    economically modern and developed countries in decades. But when it comes to
    the political system, they think it is possible to build a developed, modern
    political system in a year or two. This is incomprehensible!” – Yemane Gebreab.

    Yemane Gebreab is still dreaming or is drowsing. How many years have you been in your bed of EPLF’s political power? How many mouths do you people have? How many years did TPLF take to reach to this stage or relatively one of the respected states and governments in Africa?

    Yemane!!!!!! Do you remember what was submitted to you based on your demand to be officially on February 19/2004? Why did you start hiding in the so called “President’s office whenever I arrive at your office based on your own appointments? Who is the cheat? By the way is there A STATE OR A GOVERNMENT in Eriteria/ Whom are you representing? If you claim to forget then I would advise you to contact Haile Tewoldeberhan and/or your secretary if after all she is still there? What are the points that you have against the USA? Do you want the USA and Russia start direct confrontation so that you could get a chance to eliminate some of the remaining people who are denied permit to get out ? Did RT.COM accepted your allegations which are things to laugh at? I have followed RT.COM its anchormen and women are reckless and propagandists than journalists. Sometimes they forget they are the journalists not the interrogators and they also what everyone to say what they wanted said.

    On Wednesday February 25/2004 I was led to meet Haile by your own secretary who used to deny your presence in the office so that you would be saved from embarrassment. Do these people of RT.COM know how you and your boss hoax people and other states and governments? Well! Were you with valid, true and tangible allegations you would present it to the AU and IGAD not the propaganda machine of

    Please go back and check Maria Mariiluf of Lebanon, NewSat TV and her interview with Isaias for 2.30 hrs.
    Ref. to Hadas Eritrea September 16/2003. This also applies to journalists and anchormen of
    The interview after Lisbon Conference, Profile December 19/2007.
    BBC interview 2003, May 24/2003, Higdef’s newspaper.

    Eritrea started life with no debt or 000000000000000000000000 million debt. Now, how come it became in dept of so many millions? What were you doing? Killing people, destroying residences of innocent people, arresting innocents, torturing, constructing prisons, trafficking human beings, summary execution of teenagers,… are these so much expensive to demand millions? How many have left the territory? I think you will face headache for days if I continue listing what you people did?

    Whom are you representing by the way? Who make you a representative of Eriteria and Eriterians? How did these people from Russia and other places accept you as if you were representative of a state and or a government? Is there a state or a government in the world with one man and a few of his lieutenants? This will suffice to make you awake and to make the people who took themselves down to the abyss of entertaining bandits and terrorists!!!

  • erty

    It is not as bad as shoot to kill policy of the Eritrean government, an order given to Eritrean soldiers by Eritrean government to kill any Eritrean trying to escape from Eritrea border to neighboring countries Have a perspective, man.

  • Erty

    The fear of the Eritrean opposition and the fear of the regime are coming from the same corner, Ethiopia but fear among Eritreans comes from the regime. The Eritrean oppositions are weak and also are not sure to govern Eritrea without Ethiopia’s political influence which Ethiopia might impose its will on the weak opposition. Therefore, the opposition prefers the status in Eritrea to stay the same because of the regime’s military to defend Eritrea. The regime is using unresolved issues with Ethiopia to rule the people of Eritrea with no rights. The general public is paralyzed because of strong military force and police force that control every move of the public. Unless the regime in Eritrea makes a military move against Ethiopia its survival for perceivable future is written on stone,the future of Eritrean people is as bleak as it gets. The Eritrean government has absolute power inside Eritrea. There is no courage and bravery in Eritrean population when it comes to the oppression the Eritrean people are facing, 6.5 million people are afraid of a few tugs with guns.

    • haileTG

      Dear Erty,

      Forto happened on Jan. 21, 2013 and Geneva happened on June 26, 2015. That is exactly 30 months apart. In between these 30 months, the regime has been sustaining crisis after crisis, mass exodus, several high profile desertions, arrests and killings happened, the world is talking louder, the Eritrean opposition has now a firm foothold in the UN offices. That is huge milestone for the nascent build up to mass unrest. Only 30 months! That is hard to call as set in stone stability. Not at all. That is very fragile and wrecked with instability. Ethiopia is an external actor and its initiatives are entirely its own calculation. When the millions of Eritreans rise up, any discussion about external dealings has to pass through them. But rise up, they will sure do. Let’s do our part however big or small and the penny will sure drop.

  • tes

    Dear george,

    My funny friend, are you pro Eritrean or pro-PFDJ. I am sure you can’t differentiate the two. I don’t know what you are saying but one that I am quite confident on my 2 cent contribution is is free of PFDJ gangsters.

    Stay around to be bashed my friend


  • tes

    Dear All,

    Reality Vs Photoshop for the highly propagandated welcoming day for the participants of Tour de France today at Asmara

    Deception through mass media

    • Nitricc

      Hi Tes, you are officially declared mentally insane. you got a problem.

  • saay7

    Hi George

    Here goes what again? This is the direct quote from The Guardian article:

    “Until the early 2000s, Eritrea had the semblance of a judicial system. But for the past decade, multiple reports suggest police are simply locking people up without trial. One refugee, Omar, 27, said he had not even heard of the concept of a lawyer until he reached Italy.”

    This is a shocking statement to me because in the Haile Selasse era, Eritreans who were accused of serious crimes against the government, such as assassination attempts that, if found guilty, would result in the death penalty, were given a lawyer and their day in court. The Isaias Afwerki regime has so degraded the idea of a justice a generation of Eritreans doesn’t even know what a lawyer is.

    So what is it that you find objectionable? That Omar said this? That the Guardian published it? That I commented on it?

    Now, what is your source that “almost 50 percent of them are from Tigray”? Is the “them” the asylum-seekers? After downplaying the magnitude of Eritrean exodus for years (they are going on a picnic, they are a burden to society anyway, they are thieves, they will regret their decision), now the Isaias government is acknowledging it–and failing to take any responsibility for it and inviting the UNSC to look for the culpable parties. This reminds me of OJ Simpson asking that people look for the criminals who murdered his wife when all the evidence pointed to him.


    • tes

      Dear saay7,

      27 years old Eritrean will not know at all as he has probably spent 7-9 yrs of his time either in military, prison centers or trying to search for an escape gate.

      But there are people aged between 35-50 who know the court system (hold on your breath please…). And the only reason they know because they went there for a divorce case. Today Eritrea has community court that facilitate divorce and assigning fatherhood to a newly born child. That is it.

      Other court houses has stopped working eons ago.


  • betri_weyn

    Dear Dehai don’t forget who ignited the war your hamasenai leader. So your tear is crocodile tear. Don’t barking just on the results of the Hague… You ignited the war and you talk about sovereignty already you have lost your sovereignty 15 years ago.

  • tes

    Dear Awatawyan;

    May be a new topic for many and just an old history for some close observers

    Have you ever observe how PFDJ members wear during official meetings? The same like Derge, PFDJ members have Uniforms though reluctant on color choice.

    Here I al sharing some of PFDJ members with unforms and hope you will identify them

  • haileTG

    Hi Haqi,

    I think this is the first 30min part, I am sure the series will continue. Thanks

    • saay7

      Selamat Hailat:

      The power of the Eritrean horror series is that each one corroborates the other. But sometimes one has see/hear/read surprising stories even if one tries to be well-informed. This happened to me in the report by The Telgraph.

      The newspiece asks why is it that up to 3% of Eritrea’s population has left the country. It answers it by quoting Ambassador Andeberhan: because Eritrea has become unlivable. But somewhere in the story, they are interviewing an Eritrean youth and he says he didn’t know what a lawyer was until he arrived in Europe. Not: I could never afford one, I didn’t have a need for one. But, and I think I am reading it correctly (corrections welcome) the idea of an advocate was entirely alien to him. I find that disturbing.


  • haileTG

    Hi All,

    Eritrean situation is more an issue of hearts than minds. Imagine that you look the child in this video in the eye, would any one of us or YG for that matter be able to tell her that such must be her life and her world because of a war that was concluded over a decade before she was even born? Who among us would cold heartedly watch their beloved and innocent child in such a situation. Such a ghastly sight is enough to knock down a whole country let alone to hold a misguided group of individuals at the helm to task. However, when the heart is suppressed and the mind is left to explain and justify the inexplicable and the unjustifiable, abrogation of moral duty sets in. How can one make sense of this tragedy of a once promising and upbeat nation and people???

    • tes

      Dear haile TG,

      I thought since this year to visit Calais and make some documentation. My tile didn’t allow it but I am going to visit that place in September of the beginning of October. I hope I will share an eye witness report from Calais by then.


  • tes

    Dear george,

    Welcome back my friend. Dear george our sense of hearing has been changed by default. Hence if I say this and that you won’t figure it out.


  • Abraham Hanibal

    Hi All;

    Well, there is no active war as such between Eritrea and Ethiopia now. But as everybody knows an unnecessary war was fought between the two countries more than fifteen years ago that took the lives of tens of thousands of people from both sides. That war was fought to ensure which side had the upper hand for the hegemony in the Horn of Africa region and beyond. It developed to such an extent that both regimes were, and still are willing to take the fight to the capitals of the two countries.

    The regime in Addis has been using the unsettled border issue to constantly keep the regime in Asmara in mobilization to stretch and weaken the latter’s cacapilities. Whereas the regime in Asmara has been exploiting the same issue as an opportune moment to keep its population in constant emergency situation and acting as if the issue gives it the right to deny its citizens their basic human rights and democratic governance. And in between these irresponsible regimes we have the poor Eritrean people who’ve to pay the ultimate price.

    • Peace!

      Dear Anraham Hanibal,

      ……and here we have the opposition groups in the middle with no clear stand and remains pretty much irrelevant. It is safe to say every attempt to achieve regime change in Eritrea has miserably failed. The Ethiopian government and Ethiopia based Eritrean opposition groups need to come into their mind and understand that the only capable force for “regime change” is the force of the Eritrean people. Border.


      • Abraham Hanibal

        Selamat Peace;

        Thanks for your reply. I do agree with your understanding that the Eritrean people is the only one that could and should bring the changes that are needed in Eritrea, though this doesn’t mean honest and well-meant support is not needed. Personally I do not believe there has been any serious effort of regime change in Eritrea; what is happening now is the total rejection of the regime by its citizens as indicated by the exodus. As to the diaspora-based opposition, I do agree with you that it has immensely failed to form a formidable coalition to unify Eritreans for the common cause of removing the PFDJ from the helm and end Eritreans’ suffering. Right now, all opposition groups and all juctice-seeking Eritreans, virtually all Eritreans, understand the corrupt rule of Isayas is the root cause of all problems in Eritrea, and if this common undrstanding couldn’t bring us together, then what could?
        In my view the sanctions, and isolations are the direct consequence of the wrong policies of the PFDJ-regime, and not a “conspiracy” to overthrow the Isayas regime. It is only the Asmara regime that has to be blamed for these sanctions, and not the opposition.


        • haileTG

          Dear Abraham,

          That is a fair minded assessment. I would like to add something that occurred to me as I read your comment here. It is true that the regime is the root cause of the misguided policies that has brought the current crisis. It is also true that the opposition’s failure to organize a united platform is the next level after the root cause that is letting the crisis to fester. Now the natural question is what is the next level after the opposition organizations that comes to bear responsibility for allowing all these misery to happen? I.e Regime ====> Opposition organizations ====> X ? Who is X in these chain of causes that are ultimately responsible to what is happening? X is those people who go around stirring problems within and without the organizations. X has no intention of positively contributing to the problems of divisions and multiplicity of opposition organizations. X attacks from within anything and everything that Eritreans do to overcome their distressful condition. X accuses those Eritreans of race, ethnicity, religion, harangues their daily activity, tarnish them, does everything to undermine them and wish them ill and to fail. X never presents evidence, X never presents solutions, X never actively opposes the regime. X is an active disrupt, critic without merit, back stab… X runes website, X takes membership in organizations, X floods social media. It is the x-factor that is the next level in the root cause ladder. Now, every critical view holder is not an X. The traits of X are far too obvious and that is where we also need to focus. I.e. in the end, we all stand to lose or gain together. Those who side with the regime and work for it are entitled to do so if that is the path they so desire. And those who oppose it ought to do so faithfully too. In between the supporting and opposing citizens are those X trait who really are engaged in an outright immoral act. In the end, when the innocent blood spilled complains to God, well GOD sees everything too:-)

        • Peace!

          Hi Abraham Hanibal,

          Actually I was referring to attempts by Ethiopian Government, not by the opposition groups; otherwise, I completely agree with almost everything you said.

          The sticking point is how CHANGE should be defined, and delivered. Perhaps this is the area where the unity falls apart: there are people seeking change from within, there are people seeking change with the help of Ethiopian government or through intervention, there are people seeking justice through implementing constitution, and of course the Ethiopian government also seeking change for its own interests. And non of the groups knows , or at lease make a strong case, as to what change entails.


  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    Here is the full version of the interview with Eritrean artists. A well articulated urgent call, especially to those harming their people by supporting the regime from diaspora.

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    I think it is not the weakness of the personnel on the mission but the message of the mission that is denying any quality to the representative on this video. Isayas’s regime that does respect any law is seen blaming the UN, the US, and the World for violating the international laws. So long Isayas doesn’t clean his backyard; the world will not care to clean his front-yard because the dirt is flowing from his backyard.

    On the part of the opposition, representatives are empowered with all information that help them to easily enumerate the Eritrean opposition’s primary focuses and concerns while exploring ways to convince the world public opinion. What the opposition lacks is ways on how to strengthen its unity.

    Each opposition group is convinced that unity is better served and achieved through engagement and yet each lacks the will to engage others positively.

    In light of the regime’s delegations failure to convince the world public opinion, the opposition has to make political moves to reveal how the tyrant’s use of threats and forces instead of laws contributed to the regime’s incompetence in everything including the refugee problems. So, let all of the opposition synchronize their political moves, focus on intensifying their moves by engaging in joint projects and raising political awareness to convince the world public opinion by jointly airing their moves through all accessible media.

    To air the human violations in Eritrea, all opposition groups and their members should be part of the daily political moves. Problems such as starvation, homelessness, forced labor and many others can be tied to the on-going UN investigation.

    The political moves should also focus on blocking all flows of funds including the 2% collection in the Arab Gulf Countries because such funds help toughen the Isayasists’ policies against our people by strengthening and expanding the regime’s propaganda machine and its security apparatus, internal through the local departments as well as external through the embassies.

    For quick outcomes and political achievements against the regime, the Eritrean opposition should play clean politics in its political moves while each advancing its political program. Such clean playing requires each group to avoid being led by other opposition’s weakness, turning further the opposition against the opposition.

    Indeed, each opposition member should endeavor to minimize finger pointing and blaming. If possible, contributing to fixing the problem will strengthen the unity of the opposition. Otherwise, promoting political stupidity will make the involved group an opposition in name just like Alem Goitem’s Meskerem-net’s claim of “number one opposition” and yet involved, day in and day out, in exploiting the situations of the exploited Eritreans to only advance the Isayasists’ policies of slavery, hostility, and adventurism in the region.

    Let’s all condemn those oppositions who are hostile against the opposition and friendly towards Isayasism and the Isayasists.

  • said

    It’s not at war, but up to 3% of its people have fled. What is going on in Eritrea? Interesting Article by UK Guardian Newspaper link below

  • Mizaan1

    A mercenary is most commonly defined as: “(of a person or their behavior) primarily concerned with making money at the expense of ethics.” How many of the tens or hundreds of thousands of Eritreans abandoning the regime and opposing to it have ever benefited from anybody, be it internally or from a foreign entity? This is how much despiseful IA and PFDJ are (and have always been) to all of us Eritreans collectively. Unfortunately, we brought most of it onto ourselves but trusting these street boys like messengers from God.

    • haileTG

      hey Mizaan1,

      I know the frustrations, but it is really not possible to trust an untrustworthy group. Even the regime supporters don’t trust the regime they support, otherwise they wouldn’t have said “no thank you to living under you, I will just clap for you from diaspora”. Our problem is actually not trusting one another more than anything else. YG tells one person there are no migration crisis, tells another there is, tells one group that there is constitution and tells others that a new one is in the making, tells one person that the US president is human trafficking and then tells his embassy to hire Herman Cohen to convince the US that it is the latter’s sanctions driving people out. It would be the worst level of stupidity to insinuate on some one (even the regime supporter) that to assume they trust the regime. The regime knows no one trusts it and that is why it doesn’t care what it says or does. Those who support it are people with corrupted morals for one reason or another, accomplice of the crime and all they care to trust is their ill gotten benefit is protected in exchange to their immoral support. In essence, trust is based on what is projected from the subject of trust rather than independently formed by the giver. That is why we say trust is earned.

      • Mizaan1

        Dear HTG,

        I think you know full well that the regime got to where it is now because of the unwavering support Eritreans gave it since the days of EPLF. Nobody ever asked any questions. Most Eritreans still believe that the USA and Ethiopia are its principal enemies. In fact, a lot of Eritreans believe that the two countries are their only enemies. You cannot deny this fact. You may say it is different back in Eritrea but I meet people who come from Eritrea quite frequently and it breaks my heart when I hear many of them referring to Tigrayans derogatorily like we were all used to doing. The regime still commands a lot of support amongst ordinary Eritreans, maybe not elites or the intellegencia. If the supporters did not trust the regime, they would not be going year in and year out to Eritrea and pour their hard earned money on its stupid programs. I am disappointed at your comment above, specially your reference to ‘the worst level of stupidity.’ You probably hang out with people like you only but I see just commonplace Eritreans, by the hundreds every month and they trust the regime more than anyone else, be it the UN, the opposition, Ethiopia, the USA, the international community. You have been saying the regime is hanging in ‘fetli’ for so long but not they haven’t fallen off the cliff because they still do a much better job communicating with ‘terra’ Eritreans than we can ever imagine doing. We are here writing to each other as if we are on a writing competition with incredible command of the English language but not many of us can communicate with the average joe Eritreans. The regime does. Look at all the most eloquently written articles on this website and elsewhere. How many Eritreans read those? But much more Eritreans are tuned to TV-Eri like Americans are to football.

        • haileTG

          Dear Mizaan1,

          To your surprise, I do far more conversation with people you might consider “support the regime” than not. I agree with you on the past where we all trusted. But to say there are people with incredible trust of the regime today is really inaccurate. When Eritreans were opposing about 12 – 13 years ago, most of us were supporting. There were a handful of them, harassed, threatened, exposed their families to aggravations of many kinds. Now we stand in a time where those people are fully vindicated, even the opposition is capable of organizing something like Geneva to take the tyrant to ICC. One thing for sure is that leaving under dictatorship is about violating your basic dignity physically and psychologically. Hence, it is very normal for such people to feel lower self esteem, not value their achievements and exaggerate the power and might of their oppressor. In fact one of the best reasoning I ever heard about why the regime should go but we needed to be ready (as a people) to handle the post IA period is from some one you would normally call regime supporter. When people know you in person and trust you, they don’t really hide so much, they would tell you as they see it. And to say at this time there are people who trust truly on the failed regime is hard to accept. ኣላፋቻ ዝበሃል ኣዘራርባ ስለ ዘሎ፡ በቲ ዝበሉና ጥራይ ካብ ምድምዳም፡ ጥልቕ ኢልና ልቢ ንልቢ ክንዘራረብ እንተኪኢልና መን እንታይ ይሓስብ ምርዳእ ዘጸግም ኣይኮነን።

  • tes

    Dear AT,

    haha, this Guru of excuses has now lost his package of lies. He became worthless propagandista.