7 - Eritrea and Ethiopia: An Interminable Saga of Love and Hate
Corresponding Author(s) : Bahru Zewde
Africa Review of Books,
Vol. 4 No. 2 (2008): Africa Review of Books, Volume 4, n° 2, 2008
The Crown and the Pen The Memoirs of a Lawyer Turned Rebel by Bereket Habte Selassie. The Red Sea Press, Inc., xvi+367pp., ISBN (PB) 1-569092-2763, (HB) 1-56902-2755
Having fought what many people considered a senseless war in 1998-2000, Eritrea and Ethiopia find themselves no nearer to peace some eight years later. With UNMEE, the UN force that has so far set the two forces apart, declared practically dead by both parties, there is nothing to prevent them from entering another round of fighting. The region has thus established a record for one of the longest armed confrontations in the world – a record that is now approaching the half century mark. This goes back to the first shot that was fired in the western hills of Eritrea in 1961 and signalled the birth of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF). Between then and now, the peoples of the region had a merciful respite only in the years between 1991 and 1998, the years, respectively, of the de facto independence of Eritrea and the onset of the new round of hostilities, during which time the ruling parties exhibited an outward camaraderie that concealed underlying tensions...