History, Independent Eritrea
Eritrean army, Ethiopian troops, ceasefire, Eritrean, diplomatic relations
Since independence Eritrea has frequently been at odds with neighboring Sudan. Shortly after independence Eritrea accused Sudan of supporting radical Islamic groups in Eritrea, and Sudan accused Eritrea of harboring Sudanese rebel groups. In late 1994 Eritrea claimed Sudan was training terrorists to overthrow the Eritrean government, while Sudan made the first of a series of accusations that Sudanese rebels, assisted by the Eritrean army, were invading Sudan from Eritrea. The two countries severed diplomatic relations in December 1994.
In December 1995 Eritrea invaded the Yemeni-held island of ?anish al Kabir (Greater Hanish Island), claiming ownership of the strategically located Hanish Islands at the southern mouth of the Red Sea. After a brief skirmish, in 1996 the two countries agreed to submit the question of ownership of the islands to international arbitration. In 1998 the arbitration panel awarded the Hanish Islands to Yemen, and Eritrea withdrew its forces.
In mid-1998 clashes broke out between Eritrea and former ally Ethiopia along the countries’ border, each country accusing the other of seizing territory. Hundreds of thousands of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops were sent to the border, which had not been precisely delineated when Eritrea became independent from Ethiopia in 1993. By early 1999 the dispute had become a bitter war. Tens of thousands of soldiers were killed in the fighting before the countries declared a ceasefire in June 2000. In December Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace agreement that formally ended the war and established a commission to demarcate their border.
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