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Semantic Eritrea Posts

Eritrea’s Unified Flag

This past weekend I was shocked to see the flag representing Eritrea during the Eritrean-Ethiopian Federal period flying. Even more peculiar to me was the fact that it was flying beside the modern Eritrean flag. I had never, in my life seen those two flags flown side-by-side, particularly because they represent mutually exclusive ideals. Of course, a brief introduction is necessary if you aren’t familiar with the 20th century history of Eritrea.

Continuing Questions About Eritrea’s History

Every once in a while I’m sent questions about Eritrean history that  people are curious about. Often they are submitted in genuine curiosity and other times by someone who has believed a “truth” their whole life and is finally starting to realize that they had been misled. Recently I was sent comments from around the web that reflect tremendous confusion on the historical relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia. One point of confusion is described best by this comment:

Dowden Misfires on Eritrea

Mr. Richard Dowden, the author of “Africa: Is the Crimea Referendum a Good Model for Africa?“, is flawed when it states “There have only been two official changes to Africa’s boundaries since independence; the establishment of Eritrea and South Sudan. Both were done with the agreement of the mother country.” To the contrary, Eritrea was liberated in 1991 from Ethiopian occupation. Officially, Ethiopia “illegally” annexed Eritrea in 1962,1 although throughout the period of Federation (1952-1962) Ethiopia breached the Federal arrangement.2 The continual breaches had the effect of nullification of the agreement, which Ethiopia’s annexation confirmed.


  1. The Long Struggle of Eritrea for Independence and Constructive Peace, by: Lionel Cliffe, Basil Davidson 

  2. Nationalism and Secession in the Horn of Africa: A Critique of the Ethnie Interpretation, by: Dominique Jacquin 

What is Ethiopia’s UN Ambassador Scared of?

Ambassador Tekeda Alemu’s comments, arguing that former Ambassador Herman J. Cohen’s piece  is mistaken, aims to diminish the possibility of normalization. Although normalization of relations is in the long-term benefit of both Eritrea and Ethiopia, the short term gain to Ethiopia drives current policy. Amb. Tekeda, in arguing that Eritrea is the intrasigent actor, makes assertions meant to diminsh the credibility of former Amb. Cohen’s piece.

Peace in the African Union Must Start with the Host

Ethiopia is the host nation of the African Union. One of the African Union’s stated goals has been “to promote unity and solidarity among African states.”1 This laudable goal has been opposed not in words, but in action by the host nation, Ethiopia. Ethiopia has embarked on a decades long course of action contrary to not only the principles of the African Union, but to International law.


  1. The African Union in a Nutshell