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Ethiopia Attacks Military Bases Inside Eritrea

On March 16, the Ethiopian government announced that it had carried out raids 18 kilometers into Eritrea and that it had destroyed three Ethiopian “terrorist” bases in Ramida, Gelahbe, and Gimbi in the Afar region of Eritrea. The Ethiopian government also said that “several Shaebian [Eritrean] soldiers and anti-peace forces were wounded and arrested” in the operation.

The Eritrean government responded that there was nothing new to the Ethiopian attack, announced as it may have been with “much bravado” by its media and its “echo chamber” [Western media.] In a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, the Eritrean government said that the attack was a continuation of a 10-year long occupation of Eritrean territories and that the attack of Ethiopia and its “backers” and “protectors” was a way to distract attention from Ethiopia’s internal crisis.

In its press conference, the spokesperson of the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense, Colonel Gebrekidan Gebremariam did not provide details on the nature of the attack.  But according to our source in Eritrea, the reason for the lack of details by Ethiopia, and the reason for Eritrea’s reference to “backers” and “protectors” is because it claims it is a Drone attack.

In October of last year, the Washington Post reported that the United States Air Force upgraded Ethiopia’s Arba-Mich airfield and it has been flying counter-terrorism Drones named Reapers, equipped with “Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs” since 2011. The Reapers have a range of 1,150 miles. The US has drone bases in Ethiopia, Seychelles and Djibouti mostly directed towards Somalia.

Beginning with Eritrea’s alleged attempt bombing of the AU compound in Addis Abeba in mid-2011, and following up with January 2012’s kidnapping of European tourists by Ethiopian opposition group ARDUF, the Ethiopian government has been telling the International community that if they do not act to punish the Eritrean government, it will.

//END

Update: Reuters reports that in a letter it has seen, the Eritrean Foreign Minister has filed a complaint with the UN alleging that “It is patently clear that the Ethiopian regime could not have unleashed such a flagrant act of aggression with such audacity without the protection and succor of the United States in the Security Council.”

Update 2: The Washington Post says that the attack was a ground assault.  However, Israeli media ynet says it was a missile attack.

Update 3:  Reuters reports that on Saturday, the Ethiopian government conducted another raid, this time north of Badme (central zone.) Excerpt from Reuters report:

“We’ve carried out further attacks on targets inside Eritrea. This time it’s in the north section around Badme,” a senior Ethiopian government official told Reuters on Saturday.

“We were once again successful. This strike was part of our plan to take proportional measures that included the (earlier) attacks in Eritrea’s southeast.” He did not specify who had been targeted in the latest attack.

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  • wed. garza

    Please entertain the idea what would happen had Isayas responded with the same to Ethiopia’s punishment? Would it be repeated…zenga … zenga.. his godfather’s last words? or would have picked him by his tail from the bunker inside where he buries himself alive 50 meters under the ground in the basement. Better punches with patience. isn’t it!!!

  • atum sebat!Ageeb!

    Atum sebat* nzy zerebakum hade ageeb zbl tesainu. + belu melktey hasaria+ egzabher selamu yewrdelna!

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  • It unsettles us to see our sisters and brothers fighting with one another physically and in the realm of words.

    True enough by colonial standards Ethiopians crossed over into Eritrean territory – emphasis on colonial standards.

    Long ago, current day Ethiopia and Eritrea shared a great many kingdoms and an even greater past.

    Here are just a few of those kingdoms:

    D’mt had its home in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea, with the capital Yeha being in north ethiopia. (8th Century BC, by european timeline standards)

    We have not the wisdom to speak on the current educational system in either country but we would hope that you the audience reading this will educate us.

    Do history courses speak towards the time before colonialism and european infestation or do they start with colonialism and ruin any chance of instilling pride in Ethiopians and Eritreans towards their greatness?

    What about the great Kingdom of Aksum or Abyssinia; which came in 1st century AD (by european timeline standards) which also had its home in Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia.

    What about Pwenet or Ta netjer, the “land of the god” located in the Horn of Africa?

    We have so much as a people to be proud of that would dissuade present day fighting based on borders not set by our own people.

    Let us revisit the past in scholarly missions and determine just exactly where we want our borders – IF ANY.

    Let us confer amongst ourselves with regard to our natural resources and beliefs and establish a way to unite ourselves and express our culture without foreign interference.

    The same foreign interference that has allowed the attacks on Ertirean soil to have taken place, “It is patently clear that the Ethiopian regime could not have unleashed such a flagrant act of aggression with such audacity without the protection and succor of the United States in the Security Council.” – Awate.com

    Our history unites and strengthens us, just as colonialism separated us. Let us not forget our glorious past.

  • Zaftay

    @me! Wow. I think you totally misunderstood and misread what I was saying. Please read the whole post before replying. I was actually bringing out the senslessnes of war. I was comparing privious reactions by the Eritrean government which was a call to arms to the current measured and subded reaction. This is good for both brotherly and neighborly people. Avoid war at any cost is my mantra. But it is also true how the mighty or once mighty Eritrean army has fallen, unable to retaliate- which is actually good… So please read carefuly before you jump to conclusions. This is exactly what happens when you can’t wait to respond after reading a couple of lines. Other than that you sound resonable.

    • Tekeste gh

      I doubt that it involved a dron atack-If the Ethiopian claim that they have wounded and captured solediers from inside Eritrea then that must have been a ground attack.

  • Selam :- Brothers and sisters of Gedab news. I have to say that when I at first read that the Ethiopian defence forces attacked three camps inside Eritrea, I didn’t take it serious but now, I start to wonder about how it was possible for Ethiopia to attack three camps at the same time. This shows their military power. There are speculations that it was done by missile attacks and maybe the Americans helped with their drones but don’t forget that the Ethiopians have their own drones from Israel for surveillance.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/ethiopian-army-to-get-bluebird-uavs-355404/
    In my opinion, the Ethiopians have intelligence services inside our country Eritrea. Otherwise they wouldn’t strike three camps in the same day. To do so, you don’t need only drones but you need well trained rapid forces. I believe this was exactly what happened. No one has to wonder when our retarded dictator and his mouth piece Ali Abdu were shocked.

    Peace.

  • theresome things that we should know all of you are tring to forget tha ethiopia was our colonizer so they want to repeat their fathers crime again upon our people whe ever such invasion comes it mkes us united and defend our land ,and the party that we have in eritrea is not a divisive it is the the only party that is keeping the unity of the nation it is not like those divided by religion language ethnicity

  • Cherkos

    haben hage,
    weyane has nothing to do with your problems. they are all the makings of your mentally challenged ‘leader’ isaias.

  • Mustafa Khalil

    The fact that the majority of Eritreans hail the latest Ethiopian attacks demonstrate the fall of this corrupt regime. Shabia’s treatment of its people has made them jubilant towards any would-be liberator. I for one hope that they topple him & his gang. They should not be considered a government even.

    If my predictions are right, this pseudo-regime will be fall this summer, inshalla. Pray people, pray so that we can actually go home safely at least for visits. And people of Ethiopia we have nothing against you so long as we have mutual respect and seek development of the Horn of Africa.

    • sara

      how do you know all those who comment (majority) here are ERITREANS ? yes there are Eritreans , but there are also Ethiopians, and ethiophiles and others… !

  • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

    VOA invited both sides to comment on the recent development between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Tsehaye Fassil from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Eritrea and Berekhet Simon from Ethiopia. It is rather interesting to note that, Tsehaye seems to have read from a script where his supposed rebuttal is a replica of what Ali Abdu had to say yesterday right after the first attack on Eritrea.

    Tsehaye is a one liner where he responded to every question from VOA with “Ezi haddish neger aykonen”. Moreover, when he was asked if Eritrea incurred any damage, he went on to say, “Wala hade gud’At z’baHal aybets’Hanan and Weyane kem qedema teHarima eyaa temelisa”. The way he said it was kind of funny. It reminded me back in Asmara when we were kids, our parents would come out to defend any of us where at times a serious brawl would break out with flying insults all over the neighbourhood.

    On the other hand, Berekhet’s response was of course sleek and politically savvy. He went on a diplomatic offensive where he tried to put Ethiopia’s action with in a legal framework where prior to the attack Ethiopia made it clear to the international community that it has a responsibility and an obligation to fend off Eritrea’s “belligerent” (read: by proxy) action where he downplayed the fact that it is absolutely illegal to cross a sovereign boundary and attack albeit a measured attack.

    But of course, even though, the action taken by Ethiopia is flagrant at best, Isaias would lose credibility as he tries to lodge complaints to the international body simply because he doesn’t have much friends who would sympathize with him. He is good at badmouthing anybody and everybody where he is not able to think ahead of making friends for rainy days.

    • Sis Arwe,

      As we know, this is a “new normal” in the region. The military skirmish will continue as far as the two governments are unable to solve the problem in a round table. Since Isaias is using the border issue for holding the Eritrean people as hostage of the crises, the Ethiopian government is outdoing the Isaias regime by challenging it to come to the table. The Ethiopian strategy is the same since 2004, exercising smart diplomacy. Nothing is new, except the counter attack against the proxy organization (ARDUF) of the Eritrean regime located inside Eritrea.

      The Eritrean regime, by its own admission in the VOA interview, confirmed that there wasn’t any damage incurred from the attack to the Eritrean army. This in itself is a justification to what the Ethiopian government has alluded in its report, that the attack was specifically to the four sites of afar movement (ARDUF) in the afar region of Eritrea, a swift retribution to the act of kidnapping of European tourist few months ago. The Ethiopian Government has full right to protect its people and foreigners within its territory. Therefore sis Arwe the move by Ethiopian government was an act of defense, it wasn’t a flagrant act of war.

      • b’Alti W’qatto Arwe (As in a girl with a dragon tattoo).

        Dear Amanuel,

        The sovereignty of any nation is sacrosanct. That is, any violation of the sanctity by an external force is taken for an act of aggression and any violation by an internal force is taken for a treason. Ethiopia could teeter on the grey area of international norms as it has army of nations on her side as she seems to pull it off where Isaias on the other hand is handicapped by self-inflicted arrogance.

        In 2006, when Ethiopia invaded Somalia, the invasion was veiled under the garb of invitation by the Somali government to clean the mess in the country. By the same token, Ethiopia is trying to justify its incursion into Eritrean territories as it paved the way for its action before the facts when Isaias took Ethiopia’s seriousness for a bluff and of course he is paying for it.

        To be more precise, Ethiopia’s action is protected by Eritrea’s nasty reputation as the international community seems to agree on the fact that Eritrea is a pariah state in need of a punishment. More over, one could see that, Isaias’ popularity is hitting rock bottom where under normal circumstances Eritreans in diaspora by now would have hit the streets to show a collective protest against Ethiopia. But of course, that is not happening for his reign is about to come to a complete end.

        • Sis Arwe,

          I absolutely concur with your last paragraph as it capsulized the whole picture of Isaias’s reality and the international community’s implicit node of support to the military attack of Ethiopia. Above all your kin observation about our diaspora right on the mark.

  • Amin

    Ethiopia meets a legal requirement to such attack? and No single Eritrean can have a say about it. If you have something to say, just say it to the PFDJ ruling clique? Stop disturbing the neighbours for no ultimate reason?
    or
    Put Eritrea in a position where Ethiopia is now… please tell us what could you have done, if your neighbour turned to be not only a safe haven, but a base for terrorist that bothers in your every development steps. What would be the solution?
    Beside this, Ethiopia made it clear that it will no more be defensive only, it will be pro active.Moreover it warned the international community to either take an action or they will have to handle the issue with their own hands, be disastrous or catastrophic . The international community didn’t do any appreciable move. Now the time had come for the Ethiopian to make action. We can only watch these events happen, we can’t stop it, we can’t defend the PFDJ…. Ezzi Wedehankum

  • Sa,

    Sorry state of Eritrean Shabeas; they reduced to supporting a terrorist regime! How low can one get??

  • me

    XXX……. Dude @Zaftay? “Oh how the mighty have fallen” really? if Ethiopia wants to do anything, it will not need a free license or a permission in order to accomplish its goals. Talking about the mighty… He needs to feed his people more than anything else….. because currently we have more than 50,000 of sheltering in mother Ethiopia “As recenty as ten years ago, Issaias would have mobolized his army to teach they Woyanes a lesson. I guess there is no one left to fight for Eritrea anymore” i love your comment it is just full of unreasonable hope and false depiction of false propaganda…… word………. . you must be ignorant or most likely uneducated. What i mean is the fact that you was unable to understand the dark sides of war and the prices have to be paid…… ten years ago both sides lost thousands of people (about 80,000) from both sides….. and you think that your ignorant leader was capable of…”Issaias would have mobolized his army to teach they Woyanes a lesson” now that is funny, you should never talk about that. and the current news is about the oppositions that are being baby sited by your so-called “mighty leader” and becoming enemies of the people of Ethiopia. Get it right fool, stop posting some ignorant XXXX….. instead wandering about others for not fighting, why don’t you try it yourself? and better yet, cant you see your own people are not willing to fight anymore.
    I’m Ethiopian and i love Eritreans, but i am not afraid to tell you that you and people like you including your “mighty government” is killing my brothers and sisters in Eritrea.

    @Musie….You just don’t even know wtf your talking about Tell the trues

    [moderator: Please be carefuk with the language you use]

  • Danny Adhanom

    Observer,
    Why didn’t any Eritrean body, and specifically you condemn the Eritrean government for sheltering the group that killed foreign visitors inside Ethiopia? What would you have said if a similar attack took place in Eritrea, would you have said oh we’ll they attacked us and took shelter in Ethiopia so let them be? I doubt you would, and that makes it a double standard

  • Zaftay

    Oh how the mighty have fallen!! Oh the indignity!! Your border is violated, your people are attacked and all you can say is “we will not be dragged into this”? Shame!! This kind of response is a free license for Ethiopia to do it again and again and everywhere. So what will it take to protect the border and the people? An invasion of Asmara? As recenty as ten years ago, Issaias would have mobolized his army to teach they Woyanes a lesson. I guess there is no one left to fight for Eritrea anymore. For the safety of all the good, decent and honorable people of Eritrea, I hope this does not escalate, otherwise it appears the government has told its people you are on your own..

  • Zaftay

    Oh how the might have fallen.

  • awatestaff

    Gedab News updated to include Saturday’s attack north of Badme.

    • Helen

      Awatestaff,

      The Ethiopian government has denied the second attack. Reuters got it wrong. In fact it says, it got the news from an unidentified high government official.

  • Observer

    This latest provocation by TPLF confirms that Eritrea must be militarily prepared despite the enormous sacrifice that this entails.

    The opposition, including Awate should condemn this attack and defend Eritrea’s sovereignity unless it is true that they are just puppets of the Ethiopian government.

    • Hameed

      Dear observer,

      Your boss has called his 1998 – 2000 adventures as an absurd war. It is unbelievable to call for our people to hit drums for another absurd war. Your god provokes neighboring countries and if it happen they come to punish him for that, we will not condemn them. We want Ethiopia to punish him well, not only that but to make a favor and wipe out Isaias and his regime from Eritrea, and the people of Eritrea will thank them very very much for such a courageous act.

      It is a war of Isaias and his supporters, if Nisu case disquiets you, go and defend him, the people of Eritrea will sit and watch you. Man, hurry up to rescue your deity.

      • Kokhob Selam

        This is a challenge……
        All supporters none of them will come and defend PFDJ. And PFDJ knows this. that is the reason PFDJ don’t respect single supporter. in fact PIA don’t trust all who are singing around him.

    • awatestaff

      Observer:

      In case you missed it, Serray had described the division of labor between the pro-Isaias Eritreans and the pro-Eritreans Eritreans. Briefly, it’s this: one side worries about all the dangers that threaten Isaias Afwerki primarily from Weyane The other side worries about all the dangers that threaten Eritreans, primarily from Isaias.

      Just like one side has nothing to say about the hundreds of Eritreans that drowned at the Mediterranean Sea, had their organs ripped in Sinai, are in slavery campaigns for over a decade, are targets of assassination, human trafficking, rape, and wasted lives, and spend decades in prison without a day in a court of law(that would be you), the other side has no sympathy for missiles raining on Isaias or the proxies that he has made Eritrea’s house guests, or miners mining our gold ( that would be us.). So, nice try on the blackmail effort but you can sell crazy elsewhere.

  • Soira

    i could be wrong but i bealive this is a big drama staged by meles and isaias to further tighten their grip on power. meles is giving a life line to isaias afwerki and isaias afwerki gave meles the location of all ethiopian rebels location inside eritrea; its a win win for both. the tigrian dictator is eliminating his armed ethiopian enemies with the assistance of isaias and isaias afwerki willl tell the eritrean people that woyane are coming to eat you alive thus, don’t ever mention democracy during war time. i don’t trust the two tigrian dictators, can come one tell me why i am wrong

  • Samrawi

    Woyane is again miscalculating the situation that Eritreans are at their weakest point in their history. Thanks to HIGDEF Eritreans have never been as hopeless as they are in their history. That being said, that Woyane should understand is that, when it comes to foreighn invasion, it takes Eritreans a second to unite against the invader and defend their motherland. By now woyane should be inteligent enough to understand that following their miscalculation in 1998. Beware woyane! You are touching the nerve of the lion! It is a recent memory (12 years) since your massive millitary armour was quelled by the never-ceasing Eritrean resistance against Ethiopian aggression!

    • T. Kifle

      Were you born in 1998? It was because of sha’ebia’s adventure we fought a senseless war. Where did get from the miscalculation of woyane? Man grow up live with dignity

    • Smarawi,

      please beware that people who know a thing or two about history read your comment..I know that by blaming Isais Afeweqe the “father of Eritrea and Eritreanism ” for damaging your history of stopping foreign aggression you are trying to portray the most recent colonial leftover eritrea as some thing of an ancient kingdom. you bragged ” when it comes to foreign invasion, it takes Eritreans a second to unite against the invader and defend their motherland”. But to start with, you had no sense of nationalism even well beyond the departure of your much cherished colonial masters whom you embraced for over 50 years let alone to unite against them within a second..Ask the British who afterwards didn’t know what to do with you. So how can you blame a man who for better or worse gave you your first taste of nationhood for damaging ‘your history of defending foreign invasion’ which you have never had? If you ever had a history of a conventional war as a nation they all happened under the command of this very man you once worshiped, and non of them can be recorded as successful history of defending your nation cos your country is still officially crying for being occupied..I brought this up because i am convinced that the reason Eritrea keeps getting caught-up in a very fire it starts is because it’s people confuse their 30 years of unconventional hit and run gorilla warfare with having had a history of defeating foreign aggression and that seems to be mislead Eritreans to miscalculate events…Yours and Somalia’s history has always been about hating Ethiopians and being whipped every time you misbehave and that is where things stand as we speak…Both of you are being **S whipped by ‘Woyanee’ and there seems to be nothing you can do other than badmouth and insult Ethiopia, your best refuge in the region….

      • Danny Adhanom

        Samrawi,
        The tens of thousands of fallen Ethiopian soldiers in unmarked graveyard all over Eritrea would disagree with your comment here. Arrogance leads to demise no matter which side of the border you are from.

        • Danny Adhanom

          The above comment was supposed to address a certain Ethiopian not Samrawi

        • Dany Adhanom,
          If it was unmarked, then it is neither Ethiopian grave nor Eritrean..it could be both….but the point here is Danny, no one denied the fact that you as a gorilla fighter with no string attached might have murdered many thousands of Ethiopians and Eritreans alike in the name of freedom fighting, but you have neither brought the freedom nor the pride because as we speak you are being enslaved by the “liberator” and at the same time you are being whipped by your ex-master, so where is the beef for all the murders you committed?

          • Kokhob Selam

            Ethiopian, slow down please. nothing was lost all is temporary confusions. don’t try hard to tell us our struggle was for nothing. After all Eritrea is Eritrea don’t forget that.

  • another habesha

    I happened to be searching for news re the recent corrective measure taken by the Ethiopian army and so I found this article on your website. I love the comment by “ethiopian”. I just want to add this quotation from the Book of Proverbs: እብሪት ውድቀትን ትቀድማለች (Pride goes before a fall)። Someone said, “every nation gets the government it deserves.” Generally, we habeshas are very proud, sometimes in the negative sense of the word, but our Eritrean cousins seem to take the negative aspect to the extreme.

    Now look what you’ve got – a despot sick in the head, a government only by name, a state that doesn’t exist, an economy worth next to nothing, a nation unknown by the rest of the world except for self-pitting, a country distressed by all its neighbours, a people treated less than animals, a barren-land that’s a giant prison, a citizenry that’s on each other’s throats, an opposition camp in disarray, a youth with no hope, generations lost. I pray that God may change your hearts so the land can be healed.

    • danny

      another habesha,

      As an Eritrean, I appreciate your observation about our country’s present situation. There are very few genuine Ethiopians who follow Eritrean people’s dismal situation in every aspect of the human development index the way you have. My hats off for that. The Eritrean people are the sole responsible party for making Isaias to what he has become. The arrogance you have observed about Eritreans has turned into sheer stupidity at this point. The dictator has finally came home to roost to treat us “less than animals” and deliver us “a barren-land that’s a giant prison.” We have no one else to blame but ourselves.

  • Musie

    To ethiopian more to the fact the Tigraian:
    Your worthless bravado about you outsmarting Eritreans is laughable. You know we have problems with the worthless HGDEF leader who may be your cousin or closely DNA related. But don’t ever think you will be in Eritrea or its environment. We know what your ancestors did to Eritrea and in contemporary era during the 1998-2000 war digging graves and stealing pots and cattle. A typical Eritrean is on a watch guard on two enemies: Isaias and his minions and Weyane thieves.

  • sorry correction,
    Shabia’s big mouth may never die, even beyond it’s grave, but one thing every Eritrean should by now know is there will be no future for Eritrea through Shabia and the sooner you know your shoe size the sooner you will be able to walk the walk of a normal life…..at the moment almost every Eritrean seems to live in shabian made over-sized dream…Just to be plain clear, You will never ever be able to out-smart Ethiopians and shine at her expense as planed by Shabian generation Eritreans, FORGET IT! if there was ever that chance , it was only there because of cold war mess and Ethiopia’s unfortunate fall under an illiterate Military junta and that chance has gone out of the window never to come back again…In fact nothing better than that missed opportunity explains why we are not people of the same caliber, we dodged all your sinister plans with patience and humility, you blew it with your greed and urge to shine sooooooo quickly, hence you are a victim of your own nature….But as far as we Ethiopians are concerned, we owe you nothing and we will do ANY THING IN OUR DISPOSAL to protect our interest and I don’t see how that makes us any different from any other country…..my apologies for not being diplomatic enough.

    • WegaHta

      ethiopian

      ‘…..at the moment almost every Eritrean seems to live in shabian made over-sized dream…’ This phrase denotes that you are off track as regards the reality of the Eritrean people on the ground. If you must comment on the Eritrean people, I suggest you do a little homework and arm yourself with indepth knowledge and you will find that your cocksure satements reflect an attitude by a minority ruling clique, a (tiny) section of the society, who is in total and blind submission to one man and not at the service of a people and a country, as it ought to be. To extend the folly to the whole people of Eritrea, now or at any time in the past, is simply erroneous.

      ethiopian: am I wrong or your post is laden with ‘ill-will’ and complete lack of auguring the two brotherly peoples a beter tomorrow? It is sad to note that, I could not detect any thing like peace and reconciliation between the lines of your post!

      • Tembenay

        Ertra kedet ye kemze ena’belet kemze’ie………Issays and Meles’s hidden project is to reunite Tigray and Eritrea to form Abay Tigray.

  • If it wasnt of higdef we should be in full scale agaist us

  • Better to hang my self the dirty minded weyane harrased my forefathers land.shame to higdef for playing a big roll to disunited us by being agains the people.shame

    • wegahta

      say no to shabia enough for the dictator. go and over through him.