125,000 BP Scientists in 2000 identified human
stone tools of this time from a fossil reef along the Red Sea coast
of Eritrea. They identified the area as the “world’s first oyster
(SFC, 5/5/00, p.A2)
1679-1719 Degesmati Hab'sulus of Tseazega, ruler
of Midri-Bahri (Eritrea), controlled the Eritrean Highland.
1698 Abraham or Ibrahim (Abram
Petrovich Gannibal) was born about this time in the Eritrean
highland, north of the Mareb River in a town called Logon. Abraham's
father was a local chief or a "prince". Within a few years Turks
invaded the area and abducted Abraham following a battle lost by his
father. Abraham spent a year in Constantinople and was sold with a
bribe for service to Russia’s Peter the Great.
c1891-1941 Eritrea was occupied by the Italians
for almost 50 years.
(WSJ, 5/26/00, p.A22)
1894 Dec, An uprising in
Eritrea was swiftly put down by the Italians. Italian troops under
Gen. Oreste Baratieri then marched south from Eritrea and seized the
northwestern Agame region of Ethiopia.
(ON, 2/11, p.7)
1941 The British seized Eritrea
from the Italians.
(WSJ, 5/26/00, p.A22)
1941 Eritrea was the focal
point of American participation in the early part of the war. The
first American military advisors and contract civilians arrived in
1943 Jan 26, A US War
Department Disposition Form was issued with “Subject: establishment
of a War Department Fixed Radio Station in Africa." It detailed
operational objectives for what was to become the 4th Detachment of
the Second Signal Service Battalion, Asmara, Eritrea. Over time the
US paid Ethiopia more than $360m in military aid as rent for the
eavesdropping installation at Kagnew.
1945 After WW II Ethiopia
annexed Eritrea, a former Italian colony, and ruled it ruthlessly.
(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C16)
1950 Dec 2, The UN voted 46-10
for Eritrea to be federated with Ethiopia under the prompting of the
United States. Union was to be achieved September 15, 1952.
1951 Oct 7, Dr. Eduardo Anze
Matienzo of Bolivia, UN commissioner for Eritrea, announced that
Eritrea had accepted the UN Federation plan.
1952 Jul 10, The new
constitution of Eritrea, adopted and ratified on August 11, provided
that Eritrea should have legislative, executive and judicial powers
in matters not reserved to the federal government.
1952 Sep 11, Eritrean-Ethiopian
federation act was signed and Eritrea became an independent
(federated) nation. Washington, worried an emergent Eritrea would
come under Soviet influence, had arranged for it to be yoked in a
federation to U.S. client Ethiopia.
1952 Sep 16, The last British
troops left Eritrea.
1962 Ethiopia made Eritrea a
separate province. Emperor Haile Selassie unilaterally dissolved the
Eritrean parliament and annexed the country.
1963 A guerrilla war with
Ethiopia began for independence.
(WSJ, 3/4/97, p.A14)
1988 Mar 17, Ethiopia and
Eritrea engaged at the Battle at Afabet. Fighting continued through
March 20. It was a watershed battle in the Eritrean War of
Independence. This was Mengistu Haile Mariam's first humiliating
defeat at the hands of the Eritreans.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Afabet)(SSFC, 4/15/12, p.P3)
1990 Feb, The port of Massawa,
Eritrea, was liberated from Ethiopian forces.
(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C2)(http://tinyurl.com/8byua)
1991 May 24, Eritrean rebels
liberated Asmara from Ethiopian rule. Days later Ethiopian rebels
from Tigray took Addis Ababa with the help of Eritrean counterparts
and ended the 17-year rule of Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A10)
1991 May 27, Ethiopia ordered
its troops to lay down their arms in the face of a rebel advance. An
estimated 60,000 Eritreans died in the rebel war with Ethiopia.
(AP, 5/27/01)(Econ, 2/19/05, p.80)
1991 Pres. Isaias Afeworki took
over the leadership of Eritrea and the People’s Front for Democracy
and Justice (PFDJ).
(SFC, 5/13/98, p.A10)
1992 Apr 6, Eritrea published a
1993 Apr 23-1993 Apr 25,
Eritrea voted to secede from Ethiopia.
1993 Apr 27, Eritrea declared
itself an independent state.
1993 May 24, Eritrea achieved
independence from Ethiopia after a 30-year civil war. Some 65,000
Eritreans lost their lives in the fight for independence. Pres.
Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia allowed Eritrea to secede as a reward for
the support of its rebel forces in 1991.
(WSJ, 3/4/97, p.A14)(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C16)(MC,
1993 May 28, Eritrea became a
member of the United Nations.
1993 Eritrea elected a National
Assembly in a freely contested election and then chose former
liberation movement leader Isaias Afwerki as President.
1993 The Afar Revolutionary
Democratic Unity Front was launched in the land of the Afars, over
territory that straddled Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. The Afars
numbered some 2 million and their territory had previously been
called the French Territory of Afars and Issas.
(Econ, 3/10/07, p.44)
1995 Dec 17, Eritrean and
Yemeni forces clashed over control of the Hanish Islands, located
just north of the Bab el-Mandeb. Eritrea used its warships to try to
seize a disputed island in the mouth of the Red Sea from Yemen.
Yemen sent warplanes to counter the attack.
1995 Eritrea institued a
national service program. It turned into an indefinite conscription
as the border dispute with Ethiopia festered.
1996 Aug, Eritrean and Yemeni
forces again clashed over control of the Hanish Islands, located
just north of the Bab el-Mandeb.
1996 Oct, Eritrean and Yemeni
signed an agreement for arbitration over control of the Hanish
Islands, located just north of the Bab el-Mandeb. [see Oct 1998]
1996 Jun 6, More than 70
Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Sudanese were killed when their ship
caught fire near Dahlak Island off the Red Sea coast trying to slip
into Saudi Arabia from Eritrea. 33 survived and were admitted to
hospitals in Massawa.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A16)
1996 Dec 30, Five Belgians were
killed on an outing near Filfil along with their native driver.
(SFC, 12/31/96, p.A11)
1997 Mar 4, It was announced
that the US was providing as much as $20 million in military
supplies to the country.
(WSJ, 3/4/97, p.A14)
1997 Jun 11, Pres. Isaias
Afwerki led the country with a strong anti-corruption policy.
Self-reliance was a hallmark of the young nation.
(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C16)
1997 Aug, Ethiopia and Eritrea,
joint operators of the Assab refinery, decided to close it due to
high operating and maintenance costs. They then imported refined
petroleum products to meet domestic needs.
1997 Aug, Ethiopian officials
set up an administration in the contested region known as Bada, that
triggered skirmishes with Eritrea.
(SFC, 6/13/98, p.A14)
1997 Eritrea introduced its own
currency, the nakfa, and sought to make it directly exchangeable
with the Ethiopian burr in cross-border transaction. The currency
was named after the site of a major victory over Ethiopian forces in
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.A10)(SSFC, 4/15/12, p.P3)
1998 May 6, There was a border
skirmish between Ethiopia and Eritrea over the 150-square-mile area
called the Badme triangle. Later a settlement of the border war was
contingent on the borders prior to this date.
(SFC, 1/30/99, p.A12)(SFC, 3/10/00, p.A12)
1998 May 12, Eritrea accused
Ethiopian militiamen of invading its territory in a border skirmish.
Ethiopia later said 20 people were killed and 20 wounded by Eritrean
(WSJ, 5/15/98, p.A1)(SFC, 5/18/98, p.A12)
1998 May 28, Veterans were
mobilized to be sent to Ethiopian border where the 160-square-mile
Yigra triangle was under dispute. Eritrea claimed ownership under
the still binding Italian colonial borders.
(SFC, 5/29/98, p.D4)
1998 May, An international
panel in 2005, formed to resolve disputes between Eritrea and
Ethiopia, said Eritrea violated int’l. law when it invaded the north
of Ethiopia in May 1998.
1998 Jun 3, Eritrean and
Ethiopian soldiers clashed in heavy fighting along their disputed
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A11)
1998 Jun 5-6, Eritrea and
Ethiopia sent warplanes on bombing raids against each other. In
Mekele, Ethiopia, at least 40 people were killed and over 100
(SFC, 6/6/98, p.A10)(SFC, 6/8/98, p.A12)
1998 Jun 8, Eritrea appealed
for direct talks with Ethiopia to end the border war.
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A14)
1998 Jun 9, Heavy fighting
erupted on the Ethiopian-Eritrean frontier in the latest stage of
their undeclared war.
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.A8)
1998 Jun 11, Fighting was
reported 50 miles from Eritrea’s Red Sea port of Assab.
(SFC, 6/12/98, p.A12)
1998 Jun 14, Ethiopia and
Eritrea agreed to halt the use of air strikes in their border war.
(SFC, 6/15/98, p.A10)
1998 Jul 17, In Eritrea a
Ukrainian IL-78 transport plane crashed near Asmara and killed 9
(SFC, 7/18/98, p.A14)
1998 Sep 22, In Ethiopia the
government said that 2,000 Eritreans had been expelled over the past
week bringing the total to 6,500. It charged that Eritrea had forced
out 17,000 Ethiopians.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.A12)
1998 Oct, The Permanent Court
of Arbitration ruled that the Hanish Islands are subject to the
territorial sovereignty of Yemen.
1998 Eritrea planned a new
(SFC, 6/11/97, p.C16)
1998 Six private newspapers
began publishing in Eritrea in addition to the government published
(SFC, 5/13/98, p.A10)
1998-2000 An estimated 70,000 people were killed
in the border war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
(Econ, 8/4/07, p.42)
1999 Jan 29, Amnesty Int'l.
reported that Ethiopia had forcefully deported 52,000 Eritreans
since the eruption of war in 1998.
(SFC, 1/30/99, p.A12)
1999 Feb 6, Ethiopia and
Eritrea resumed their clash after an 8-month lull. Heavy casualties
(WSJ, 2/8/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 9, An Ethiopian plane
bombed an Eritrean village and at least 5 civilians were killed.
Eritrea reported that a large number of Ethiopian forces were killed
near Tsorena, but Ethiopia denied the Eritrean version of the
(SFC, 2/10/99, p.C2)
1999 Feb 14, Eritrea shot down
an Mi-24 Ethiopian helicopter gunship at Bure and the crew was
killed. Eritrea said that 16 civilians had been killed by Ethiopian
aircraft since Feb 6.
(SFC, 2/15/99, p.A9)
1999 Feb 15, Eritrea reported
that Ethiopia had begun a new round of shelling southwest of Assab.
(SFC, 2/15/99, p.C2)
1999 Feb 21, Ethiopian planes
struck the airport at Assab but Eritrean officials said the 12 bombs
dropped by 2 planes failed to hit their targets.
(SFC, 2/22/99, p.A14)
1999 Feb 23, Ethiopian troops
attacked Eritrea with tanks and aircraft.
(WSJ, 2/24/99, p.A1)
1999 Feb 24, Eritrea said that
it had destroyed 31 Ethiopian tanks, captured 3 others and shot down
a Mi-24 helicopter gunship.
(SFC, 2/27/99, p.A14)
1999 Feb 26, Ethiopia claimed
to have shot down a 2nd Eritrean MiG-29.
(SFC, 2/27/99, p.A14)
1999 Feb 27, Eritrea agreed to
accept an African sponsored proposal to end its border dispute with
Ethiopia. This followed an Ethiopian breakthrough at Badme.
(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.A23)
1999 Feb 28, Ethiopia claimed
victory over Eritrea and said that it had killed, wounded and
captured tens of thousands of Eritrean soldiers.
(SFC, 3/1/99, p.A12)
1999 Mar 15, Eritrea claimed to
have shot down an Ethiopian MiG-23 and to have destroyed 19 tanks.
Ethiopia denied the claims.
(SFC, 3/16/99, p.A9)
1999 Mar 17, Eritrea said it
repulsed Ethiopian troops after a 3-day battle. 300 Ethiopian
soldiers were reported dead and 57 tanks destroyed. Ethiopia said
the results of the battle were staged.
(SFC, 3/18/99, p.C3)
1999 Mar 28, Ethiopia claimed
to have killed tens of thousands of Eritrean soldiers since Feb 23.
Eritrea made equally high and unconfirmed claims of enemy
(WSJ, 3/29/99, p.A1)
1999 Mar 30, Eritrea appealed
to humanitarian organizations to account for some 1,000 missing
citizens while Ethiopia continued shelling near Badme.
(SFC, 4/2/99, p.D3)
1999 Mar, At the Battle of
Tsorona Ethiopia sent waves of soldiers over minefields along a
3-mile front to clear a path for better trained soldiers. Thousands
died from entrenched Eritrean troops and artillery fire.
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A10)
1999 May 24, Ethiopia said
Eritrea had launched attacks at the western Badme front over the
weekend, but was thwarted by a counterattack that killed 400
(SFC, 5/26/99, p.A12)
1999 May 25, Eritrea said that
it had foiled a series of Ethiopian assaults over 4 days at Badme
and that 380 Ethiopian soldiers were killed.
(SFC, 5/26/99, p.A12)
1999 May 27, Ethiopia said it
had killed 865 Eritrean troops in a 2 day battle near the Mereb
River on the Badme front. Eritrea claimed that 585 Ethiopian troops
were killed over 5 days of fighting.
(SFC, 5/28/99, p.D3)
1999 Jun 11, Eritrea and
Ethiopia clashed in a 2nd day of heavy fighting on the western Badme
(SFC, 6/12/99, p.C1)
1999 Jun 14, Eritrea and
Ethiopia battled for a 5th day. Eritrea claimed to have killed,
wounded or captured over 12,000 soldiers, while Ethiopia claimed the
same for 8,200 soldiers. Over half a million soldiers were stationed
along the 600-mile border.
(SFC, 6/15/99, p.C5)(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A10)
1999 Jun 25, Eritrea and
Ethiopia began new fighting on their western front.
(SFC, 6/26/99, p.A16)
1999 Jul 26, Eritrea and
Ethiopia agreed to send delegates to Algeria to finalize
arrangements to end their 14-month border war.
(SFC, 7/27/99, p.A10)
1999 Aug 7, Pres. Isaias
Afwerki of Eritrea made an unconditional offer for cooperation with
the OAU to end its war with Ethiopia during a meeting with Algerian
Pres. Bouteflika, the OAU chairman.
(SFC, 8/9/99, p.A10)
1999 Aug 12, Ethiopia claimed
to have almost eliminated 3 rebel groups based in Somalia which it
said were supported by Eritrea. Most of the 1,103 killed or captured
rebels were of the Oromo Liberation Front.
(SFC, 8/13/99, p.D2)
1999 Sep 4, Ethiopia claimed
that the proposed outline for the implementation of a peace plan
contradicted an original agreement regarding the withdrawal of
Eritrea's forces. Eritrea the next day took the statement as
"tantamount to a declaration of war."
(SFC, 9/7/99, p.A14)
2000 Mar, A private group of US
Peace Corp volunteers worked to settle the 2-year border war based
on the "status quo ante" border on May 6, 1998.
(SFC, 3/10/00, p.A12)
2000 May 12, War erupted
between Eritrea and Ethiopia after Ethiopian troops left their
trenches and attacked Eritrean defenses. 600,000 troops were dug in
along the 600-mile border.
(SFC, 5/13/00, p.A8)
2000 May 14, Ethiopia claimed a
major victory against Eritrea and claimed that 8 divisions had been
destroyed over the last 2 days. Eritrea said 25,000 Ethiopian
soldiers were killed or wounded.
(SFC, 5/15/00, p.A14)
2000 May 16, Ethiopian troops
penetrated into western Eritrea and attempted to cut off retreating
(WSJ, 5/17/00, p.A1)
2000 May 17, Ethiopian forces
pushed into Eritrean territory and the UN Security council approved
an embargo against both countries.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.A11)
2000 May 18, Ethiopian troops
captured Barentu in Eritrea and some 250-550 thousand refugees were
reported displaced by the fighting.
(SFC, 5/19/00, p.A18)
2000 May 24, Eritrea decided to
withdraw from land it seized in 1998 following a 12-day offensive by
(SFC, 5/25/00, p.A12)
2000 May 26, Eritrea and
Ethiopia agreed to resume peace talks even as Ethiopia continued to
push into Eritrean territory.
(SFC, 5/27/00, p.A12)
2000 May 28, In Eritrea
Ethiopian warplanes bombed a nearly completed power plant in Massawa
as thousands of refugees fled north.
(SFC, 5/29/00, p.A12)
2000 May 29, In Eritrea
Ethiopian planes launched air raids on a military airstrip near
Asmara as their foreign ministers prepared for talks in Algeria.
(SFC, 5/30/00, p.A1)
2000 May 30, Ethiopia and
Eritrea opened peace talks in Algeria.
(SFC, 5/31/00, p.A10)
2000 May 31, Ethiopia declared
victory over Eritrea as peace talks continued in Algeria.
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.A16)
2000 Jun 5, Eritrea claimed
that an Ethiopian attack near Assab was foiled and that 3,755
Ethiopian troops were “killed, wounded, or taken prisoner."
(SFC, 6/6/00, p.A10)
2000 Jun 5, Ethiopia accused
Eritrea of rounding up 7,529 Ethiopian citizens and putting them
under armed guard for deportation.
(SFC, 6/6/00, p.A10)
2000 Jun 9, Eritrea accepted an
Organization of African Unity plan to end the conflict with
(SFC, 6/10/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 10, Ethiopian troops
stormed Eritrean positions on all 3 fronts of the disputed border in
a break of the cease-fire. The Ethiopian government accepted
cease-fire terms brokered in Algeria but asked for a “brief delay."
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A31)
2000 Jun 15, Ethiopia accepted
a preliminary cease-fire plan and together with Eritrea planned to
sign documents in Algeria.
(SFC, 6/16/00, p.A19)
2000 Jun 18, In Algeria the
Foreign Ministers of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed an accord to cease
hostilities immediately in a two-year-old border war. The agreement
called for an int’l. peacekeeping force in a buffer zone reaching 15
miles into Eritrea.
(SFC, 6/19/00, p.A8)(SFC, 6/20/00, p.A12)(AP,
2000 Dec 12, Ethiopia and
Eritrea signed a peace pact in Algiers. A 4,200 UN peacekeeping
force was set to patrol the border. PM Zenawi and Pres. Afwerki
signed the accord, which established a commission to mark the
620-mile border, exchange prisoners, returned displaced people and
hear claims for war damages.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.E2)(WSJ, 12/5/00, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 Feb 6, Ethiopia and
Eritrea agreed to set up a 16-mile wide UN-patrolled security zone
effective Feb 12.
(SFC, 2/7/01, p.A14)
2001 Sep 18, In Eritrea
authorities ordered all independent newspapers closed and arrested 6
former generals and Cabinet ministers in an apparent crackdown on
(SFC, 9/19/01, p.B4)(SSFC, 4/29/12, p.E9)
2001 Sep, In Eritrea mass
arrests took place of hundreds of politicians, journalists and
2002 Apr 13, The Eritrea
Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), established to determine the
new border, released its report. The UN panel ruled in favor of
Ethiopia on all territory contested with Eritrea, but Ethiopia
contested some of the commission's decisions.
2002 Sep 7, The U.N. Security
Council has decided to keep U.N. peacekeepers in Ethiopia and
Eritrea six more months to give the countries time to mark their
2002 Oct 12, It was reported
that 164,000 Eritrean refugees had begun returning home from camps
in Sudan. Some 60,000 had already returned since 2001.
(SFC, 10/12/02, p.A10)
2002 Inflation in Eritrea was
2003 Apr, Sudan accused Eritrea
of supporting Sudanese rebels in the eastern part of Sudan.
2003 Sep 14, A Saudi importer
of some 58,000 Australian sheep was reported to be trying to
give them away for free. The sheep had been stranded for five
weeks on the ship, the Cormo Express, due to a 6% infection rate for
scabby mouth disease. Australia in 2002 had imposed tougher rules on
ships exporting livestock to the Persian Gulf after it was revealed
that 14,500 sheep had died from heat stress in one month. Some 5,700
sheep aboard the Cormo Express died before Eritrea accepted the
(AP, 9/14/03)(Econ, 12/2/06, p.88)
2003 More journalists were
jailed in Eritrea than in an other country in Africa.
(Econ, 11/8/03, p.46)
2003 The population of Eritrea
was about 4.4 million at this time.
(Econ, 11/8/03, p.46)
2004 Aug 27, A group of
Eritreans expelled from Libya hijacked a plane which was flying them
home and forced it to land in Khartoum where they surrendered.
2004 Nov 25, Ethiopia finally
accepted a special commission's ruling designed to resolve a border
dispute with Eritrea that sparked a devastating war between 1998 and
2004 Michela Wrong authored “I
Didn’t Do It For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African
(Econ, 1/22/05, p.80)
2005 May 17, Eritrean President
Issaias Afeworki met with Sudan Pres. Omar al-Beshir in Tripoli,
Libya. Beshir demanded that Eritrea refrain from harboring armed
Sudanese opposition and stops offering assistance to that
2005 Aug 26, The UN food relief
agency said that it's battling to feed 90,000 Eritrean and Ethiopian
refugees displaced in eastern Sudan mainly due to a serious funding
2005 Oct 4, The UN Security
Council warned Ethiopia and Eritrea against reigniting their border
war and urged Eritrea to immediately reverse its ban on all
helicopter flights by UN peacekeepers.
2005 Nov 8, The US State
Department issued its 7th annual report to Congress on religious
freedom. It cited Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi
Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam as restricting religious freedom.
2005 Dec 7, The UN rejected an
Eritrean order to expel Western members of the peacekeeping mission
that monitors its tense border with Ethiopia amid concerns that war
between the two countries could re-ignite.
2005 Dec 14, The UN Security
Council agreed to Eritrea's demand to withdraw Americans, Canadians
and Europeans from the peacekeeping mission that monitors the tense
border with Ethiopia.
2005 Dec 21, An international
panel, formed to resolve disputes between Eritrea and Ethiopia, said
Eritrea violated int’l. law when it invaded the north of Ethiopia in
2005 Michela Wrong authored “I
Didn’t Do It For You," a survey of the recent history and present
state of Eritrea.
(WSJ, 6/17/05, p.W6)
2006 Jan 9, The US launched a
diplomatic initiative to try to mark the contested border between
Ethiopia and Eritrea, a dispute that led to a 2 1/2-year war in an
area where both countries are again massing troops.
2006 Feb 14, The UN said 13
Eritreans employed by the UN peacekeeping mission in Eritrea have
been detained by local authorities and another 30 are in hiding for
fear of being arrested.
2006 Mar 10, Legal experts from
Ethiopia and Eritrea flew to London for talks with international
mediators to discuss demarcating their common border.
2006 May 31, The UN Security
Council cut the number of peacekeepers deployed in Eritrea and
Ethiopia by at least one-third while extending the UN mission's
mandate for another four months.
2006 Jun 19, The Sudanese
government and the Eastern Front under Eritrean mediation signed a
ceasefire agreement and pledged to work for a comprehensive
settlement of their dispute.
2006 Jun 27, Ethiopia claimed
to have killed more than 110 rebels allegedly sent by arch-foe Horn
of Africa neighbor Eritrea to destabilize the country since the
beginning of the month. Eritrea flatly rejected the claim.
2006 Jun 30, Three Darfur rebel
groups, that have refused to sign up to an African Union-mediated
peace deal for the troubled western Sudanese region, formed a new
alliance to fight Khartoum. Officials from the groups created the
National Redemption Front (NRF) after talks in the Eritrean capital
and reaffirmed their opposition to the Abuja peace agreement.
2006 Jul 26, Somalia's
virtually powerless government said a cargo plane landed at the
capital's airport and was carrying weapons for Islamic militants who
have seized control of much of southern Somalia. A spokesman for the
country's official government, based 150 miles northwest of
Mogadishu, said the plane was carrying land mines, bombs and
long-range guns from Eritrea for a militia loyal to the Supreme
Islamic Courts Council.
2006 Aug 11, In north Kenya
authorities said they caught at least 45 sympathizers or members of
the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a small Ethiopian group operating
on the border. Brigadier General Kemal Gelchu, a dissident Ethiopian
general who defected this week to neighboring Eritrea, said that he
would be joining the OLF to fight for his Oromo people's rights.
2006 Sep 2, A small boat of
African migrants from Eritrea was intercepted off the coast of
Sicily. They said eight people died during their grueling trip. They
had left from Libya 10-12 days earlier.
2006 Sep 29, The UN Security
Council extended the mandate of peacekeepers in Eritrea and Ethiopia
by four months, and threatened to overhaul the mission if the two
sides don't make progress toward demarcating their border.
2006 Oct 10, The Sudanese
government and eastern rebels signed a power sharing agreement in
the Eritrean capital Asmara after months of peace talks. Under
Eritrean mediation, Khartoum and the Eastern Front signed a
ceasefire agreement on June 19 and pledged to work for a
comprehensive settlement of their dispute.
2006 Oct 16, The UN accused
Eritrea of moving 1,500 troops and 14 tanks into a buffer zone
established after a 2 1/2-year border war with Ethiopia in "a major
breach" of a cease-fire agreement reached in 2000.
2006 Oct 27, Eritrea rejected a
UN accusation that its recent movement of troops near the border
with Ethiopia represented a "major breach" of a cease-fire agreement
between the two countries.
2006 Nov 7, An independent
commission said it will demarcate the contested Ethiopian-Eritrean
border on maps and leave the rival nations to establish the physical
boundary themselves. It said both Ethiopian and Eritrean officials
were invited to a November 20 meeting in The Hague to discuss the
2006 Nov 15, Eritrean President
Issaias Afeworki said the simmering border row between arch-foes
Eritrea and Ethiopia is a "solved problem."
2006 Nov 17, UN aid bodies said
torrential rains and floods have hit up to 1.8 million people in the
Horn of Africa, driving tens of thousands from their homes and
threatening to trigger epidemics. Torrential rains have pounded the
Horn of Africa this month, bringing misery to large parts of Kenya,
Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea.
2006 Nov 20, Eritrea and
Ethiopia both rejected plans by a UN-appointed border panel to
demarcate their contentious frontier on paper.
2006 Dec 12, Eritrea said it
aims to become the 1st country in the world to turn its entire coast
into an environmentally protected zone to ensure balanced and
2006 Eritrea denied the US
Embassy staff permission to travel outside the capital of Asmara.
Washington imposed similar restrictions on Eritrea’s diplomats in
(SFC, 8/18/07, p.B2)
2007 Mar 3, Britain sent a
crisis team to Ethiopia in an effort to obtain the release of five
British embassy workers or their relatives who were kidnapped along
with a group of French while on a trip to remote northeastern
Ethiopia. An Ethiopian administrator accused Eritrean forces of
kidnapping a group of five Europeans and 13 Ethiopians in a remote
part of Ethiopia, and taking them to a military camp near the
(AP, 3/3/07)(Reuters, 3/3/07)
2007 Mar 13, Five Europeans,
kidnapped in Ethiopia and held captive for 13 days, were released in
good health in Eritrea. 8 Ethiopians kidnapped with the group were
(AP, 3/14/07)(WSJ, 3/14/07, p.A1)
2007 Mar 16, Ethiopia called
for international pressure to be applied on Eritrea, which it
accuses of holding eight Ethiopians still missing after the release
of five European captives.
2007 Mar 31, In Eritrea a ban
on female circumcision went into effect. A health survey by
Eritrea's government in 2002 found 62 percent of circumcised women
in the Red Sea state had the procedure done before their first
birthday. Less than one percent had been performed by trained health
2007 Apr 21, Eritrean President
Issaias Afeworki arrived in Sudan determined to kick-start talks to
end the violence in Darfur.
2007 Apr 22, Government
officials said 8 Ethiopians held hostage for 52 days after they were
kidnapped along with five European tourists have been released
unharmed. The ex-hostages later told Ethiopian television that they
had been mistreated by their captors, who wore Eritrean army
(AP, 4/22/07)(AFP, 4/27/07)
2007 Apr 24, In Ethiopia Ogaden
rebels raided a Chinese-run oil field near the Somali border,
killing 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese workers. An Ethiopian rebel
group claimed responsibility. The next day Ethiopia blamed Eritrea
for the attack. Eritrea issued a swift, angry denial.
(AP, 4/24/07)(AP, 4/25/07)(WSJ, 4/25/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 26, UN arms experts
reported that Eritrea has secretly supplied "huge quantities of
arms" to a Somali insurgent group with alleged ties to al-Qaida in
violation of an international arms embargo and despite the
deployment of African peacekeepers.
2007 Nov 9, Egyptian border
guards opened fire on Hana Mohamed (24) of Eritrea after she failed
to heed their warnings to stop south of the Rafah border crossing.
The young woman bled to death after being shot in the legs.
2007 Dec 1, A deadline for
Ethiopia and Eritrea to agree on the physical demarcation of their
border expired amid escalating tension between the two nations,
leaving the frontier only delineated on maps.
2007 Dec 22, Ethiopia claimed
it was receiving an influx of around 600 Eritreans fleeing political
oppression in their country every month.
2008 Jan 25, Ethiopia's
administration for refugee and returnee affairs said that more
than 450 Eritreans, including 234 soldiers, fled their country into
Ethiopia in January alone.
2008 Jan 30, The UN Security
Council renewed the mandate of the struggling UN peace force on the
Eritrea-Ethiopia border for six months despite a request from
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for just one month.
2008 Feb 4, The UN Security
Council sent a "firm and unwavering demand" that Eritrea immediately
lift fuel restrictions hampering the efforts of peacekeepers
monitoring a tense buffer zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
2008 Feb 8, The UN said it is
being forced to prepare an imminent pullout from Eritrea and plans
to relocate all its peacekeeping troops there across the border in
2008 Feb 16, Egyptian border
guards shot and killed an Eritrean woman and arrested her two young
daughters after they tried to cross illegally into Israel.
2008 Mar 13, In Ethiopia a bus
hit a landmine near the disputed Ethiopian-Eritrean border, killing
at least eight people and wounding 27 others.
2008 May 6, Djibouti, a key US
ally in the Horn of Africa, urged the UN Security Council to take
immediate action to prevent a conflict with its northern neighbor
2008 Jun 10, Fighting between
Djibouti and Eritrea killed nine Djiboutians and wounded 60 others.
The UN Security Council joined the US on June 12 in condemning the
Eritrean military action.
2008 Jun 13, Amnesty
International said Egypt has deported 400 Eritrean asylum seekers
back to Asmara and plans to forcibly return 1,200 more who are being
held in detention in Egypt, putting them at serious risk of torture.
2008 Jul 12, Ethiopia said it
has arrested eight "Eritrean-trained" rebels suspected of carrying
out bombings that rocked the capital Addis Ababa and killed eight
people earlier this year.
2008 Jul 22, Sheik Hassan Dahir
Aweys took over the Islamist opposition Alliance for the
Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), which operates in exile in Eritrea.
2008 Jul 30, The UN Security
Council voted to end an 8-year-long peacekeeping mission between
Eritrea and Ethiopia despite continuing tensions, a move that the
United Nations' chief has warned could lead to a new war.
2008 Aug 26, A Maltese fishing
trawler rescued the migrants. Authorities said the survivors first
told the fishermen that 10 people were missing, but later said as
many as 70 people from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan made the sea
voyage with them.
2008 Dec 22, A Sudanese
official said at least 18,000 Eritrean and Somali refugees have
arrived in Sudan since the start of the year, and the government is
struggling to provide them with aid.
2009 Mar 23, Sudan's president
traveled to Eritrea, choosing one of Africa's most politically
isolated nations for his first trip abroad since an international
court sought his arrest on charges of war crimes in Darfur. Adam
Khater, the Fellowship for African Relief's Darfur director, was
shot to death at his home in the town of Kongo Haraza, near Sudan's
border with Chad.
(AP, 3/23/09)(AP, 3/24/09)
2009 May 22, The African Union
called on the UN Security Council to take "immediate measures" to
impose sanctions on Eritrea over its support for Islamist insurgents
2009 Jun 16, The US added six
African countries to a blacklist of countries trafficking in people,
and put US trading partner Malaysia back on the list. Chad, Eritrea,
Niger, Mauritania, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe were added to the list in
the annual report. Removed from the list were Qatar, Oman, Algeria,
2009 Aug 18, An international
claims commission in The Hague awarded Ethiopia slightly more than
Eritrea as it settled mutual claims worth hundreds of millions of
dollars for death, injury, rape, looting and destruction during
their two-year border conflict. This concluded a complex arbitration
that was part of the 2000 peace agreement closing out a border
conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives.
2009 Aug 20, Italian customs
found a boat with five Eritrean survivors of what it called a
"shocking tragedy. Around 75 African migrants died in the
Mediterranean after their stranded boat ran out of food and water.
2009 Sep 5, In Sweden Tesfaldet
Tesloy (28), an illegal Eritrean immigrant who has lived in Sweden
for six years, appeared on TV to collect a tax-free lottery prize of
1.2 million Swedish crown (101,654 pounds). Sweden's attempts to
deport the man have failed due to his country's refusal to take him
back, highlighting a common problem for immigration officials.
2009 Oct 10, Ethiopian PM Meles
Zenawi accused Eritrea of sowing havoc in the region as Addis Ababa
reiterated calls for sanctions over Asmara's alleged support for
2009 Dec 8, The Committee to
Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York based media rights watchdog,
said that Eritrea tops the list of African countries that jail
journalists for their work.
2009 Dec 12, In Kenya 12
players of the Eritrean national football squad failed to show up at
the airport to return home. They were later reported to have
disappeared in Nairobi with the intention of seeking asylum.
2009 Dec 23, The UN Security
Council imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea and pledged to slap
financial and travel restrictions on its leaders for arming Islamist
militants in Somalia.
(SFC, 12/24/09, p.A2)
2010 May 2, Ethiopia’s
information minister said police have arrested 10 suspected Islamic
militants they believe were sent by Eritrea to carry out attacks to
upset May 23 general elections.
2010 Jul 8, Libya said that it
has granted some 400 Eritreans permission to stay after human rights
group warnings that refugees and asylum seekers among them risked
abuse if forcibly repatriated.
2010 Aug 13, In Egypt a
gunbattle between Eritrean migrants and Bedouin traffickers
demanding more money to take them to Israel left at least four
people in the Sinai Desert. 2 others were shot dead by Egyptian
police barring them from illegally crossing the border. A woman died
of her injuries on Aug 15. Police later said as many as 10 migrants
were killed and that dozens more could be lost in the desert.
(AP, 8/14/10)(Reuters, 8/15/10)(AP, 8/15/10)
2010 Eritrea began supplying
arms and supplies to Al Shabab militants in Somalia.
(SSFC, 4/29/12, p.E9)
2011 Apr 5, Ethiopia’s PM Meles
Zenawi told lawmakers Ethiopia is ready to help the people of
Eritrea topple the regime of Issaias Afeworki, ruling out a military
2011 Apr 20, Hundreds of
Eritrean exiles marched in the capital of neighboring Ethiopia to
protest their country's autocratic leadership.
2011 Sep 19, The UN refugee
agency said nearly 3,000 Eritreans were flooding into Sudan and
Ethiopia every month from Eritrea, a country of some five million
people and about the size of England.
2011 Oct 25, Human Rights Watch
said Sudan has condemned more than 300 Eritreans asylum seekers to
"certain detention and abuse" by deporting them back to Eritrea, one
of the "most brutal" countries in the world. Last week Sudan handed
more than 300 Eritreans to the neighboring country's military
without screening them for refugee status.
2011 Nov 2, Kenyan military
spokesman Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir said that military planes would
target and attack weapons flown into the Somali town of Baidoa so
they cannot be used. A July UN report said illicit flights with
weapons or fighters for Somali militants could be originating from
Eritrea, Yemen or the United Arab Emirates. The report also said
Eritrea gives about $80,000 a month to al-Shabab-linked individuals
2011 Nov 8, Diplomats said
Eritrea's president has asked for a personal hearing before the UN
Security Council in a bid to head off new sanctions over alleged
support for Somalia's Islamist rebels.
2011 Dec 5, The UN Security
Council toughened sanctions against Eritrea which neighboring
governments accuse of plotting terrorist attacks and supporting
Somali Islamist rebels.
2011 The population of Eritrea
was about 5.3 million at this time.
(Econ, 7/23/11, p.44)
2012 Jan 12, The UN High
Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, speaking in Sudan said
Eritrean refugees are being kidnapped and sometimes killed by human
traffickers. He called for global action against the crimes.
2012 Jan 16, The Sudanese Media
Center said intelligence officers have broken up a ring preparing to
smuggle Eritreans to Israel, just days after UN officials voiced
concern over the gangs.
2012 Jan 17, Gunmen in
Ethiopia's arid north attacked a group of European tourists
traveling in one of the world's lowest and hottest regions, killing
five, wounding two and kidnapping two. The attack was blamed on
groups trained and armed by the Eritrean government.
2012 Feb 14, An Eritrean
opposition party official, Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, went missing in
eastern Sudan. His party feared he may have been kidnapped by
Asmara's security agents.
2012 Mar 15, Ethiopian forces
entered archrival Eritrea and carried out what a government
spokesman described as "a successful attack" against military posts.
2012 Mar 16, The Eritrean
government said that an attack on its military outposts by
neighboring Ethiopia was carried out with the help of the US and
meant to divert attention from a decade-old border dispute between
the two countries.
2012 Apr 23, Eritrea said
President Issaias Afeworki is at the "peak of his health" in a
statement aimed to quash rumors the authoritarian leader is sick.
2012 May 2, Eritrea has
surpassed North Korea as the world's top press censor, with Syria
and Iran placing third and fourth in a new list published by the
Committee to Protect Journalists.
2012 Jul 5, The United States
placed sanctions on six alleged backers of Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab
rebels in Somalia, naming them as two Eritrean government officials,
a Sudanese national and three Kenyans.
2012 Jul 7, Egyptian border
guards arrested 68 Eritreans and Ethiopians trying to sneak across
the border into Israel.
2012 Jul 9, Abbes Settou of
Eritrea, who drank sea water to survive, was spotted clinging to a
jerry can and the remains of the stricken boat off the Tunisian
coast by fishermen who alerted the coast guard. 54 migrants trying
to reach Italy died of thirst when their inflatable boat ruptured in
2012 Aug 30, Rights group
Reporters Without Borders said 3 journalists jailed since late 2001
have died in prison in Eritrea, the world's worst country for press
freedom. Dawit Habtemichael, Mattewos Habteab and Wedi Itay were
reported to have died by former prison guards who have since fled
2012 Sep 6, Israel agreed to
allow 3 Eritrean refugees, from a group of over 20 stranded for a
week along at newly built fence along the border with Egypt, to
enter the country for humanitarian reasons. The others were to be
taken to Cairo by Egyptian authorities.
(SFC, 9/7/12, p.A2)
2013 Jan 15, Human Rights Watch
said in a report that workers in Eritrea were forced to construct
the Bisha mine operated by Canadian company Nevsun Resources.
2013 Jan 21, In Eritrea more
than 100 dissident soldiers stormed the Ministry of Information in
Asmara and read a statement on state TV saying the country's 1997
constitution would be put into force. Government soldiers surrounded
the ministry, an indication the action by the dissident soldiers had
2013 Apr, Saudi media said an
Eritrean military pilot sent by Asmara to reclaim a jet stolen by
two fellow officers when sought asylum in the kingdom had herself
2013 May 9, Amnesty Int’l. said
Eritrea's government has jailed about 10,000 dissidents without
charge or trial over the years and described the Horn of Africa
nation as one of the world's most repressive states. Among those
behind bars are 187 people detained since January.
2013 Oct 3, A smuggler's boat,
carrying migrants from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia, capsized off
Italy’s southern island of Lampedusa. 160 bodies were soon recovered
and 155 people rescued. 366 lives were lost. On Nov 8 police said
dozens of the asylum-seekers had been raped and tortured in Libya
before starting their journey. Three traffickers were under arrest.
(AP, 10/3/13)(AP, 10/4/13)(AP, 10/6/13)
2013 Oct 8, Divers in Italy
recovered 18 more bodies, bringing the total to 250, from the Oct 3
shipwreck in which only 155 of the estimated 500 African asylum
seekers, most if not all from Eritrea, survived.
(AFP, 10/7/13)(SFC, 10/8/12, p.A2)
2013 Nov 12, Saudi media said 3
Eritrean military officers have asked for political asylum in Saudi
Arabia after Saudi air force jets forced their aircraft to land in
the southern part of the kingdom.
2014 May 3, In Sudan hundreds
of exhausted illegal migrants reached the safety of a northern town,
after 10 died when human traffickers abandoned them in the desert.
Most appeared to be Ethiopian or Eritrean but there were some
Sudanese as well.
2014 May 5, A yacht and a
dinghy crammed with immigrants trying to enter Greece capsized in
the eastern Aegean Sea, leaving at least 22 dead, including 4
children, and potentially several more missing. 36 survivors were
identified as 23 Somalis, nine Syrians and three Eritreans.
2014 May 27, Sheila B.
Keetharuth, the UN "special rapporteur" on human rights in Eritrea,
reported that torture, sexual violence and extra-judicial killings
"continue unabated" in the Horn of Africa country.
2014 Jun 27, The UN Human
Rights Council agreed to set up a year-long inquiry into human
rights in Eritrea, similar to previous high-level investigations
into Syria, North Korea and Sri Lanka.
2014 Jun 27, In Israel Eritrean
and Sudanese migrants left the open Holot detention center, saying
Israel has not processed their claims for asylum. They camped out by
the border after Israel's army prevented them from crossing into
2014 Oct 27, UN chief Ban
Ki-moon announced at the start of a visit to Ethiopia that the EU
and several regional development banks have pledged $8 billion in
development aid for projects across eight countries in the Horn of
Africa. Countries targeted are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
(AFP, 10/27/14)(AP, 10/27/14)
2014 Dec 19, The pilot of the
Ethiopian attack helicopter forced his co-pilot and technician to
land in Eritrean territory. The helicopter was conducting a routine
training flight when it disappeared.
2015 Apr 21, The New York-based
Committee to Protect Journalists issued its annual list of the
world's top 10 most censored countries: Eritrea tope the list
followed by North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan,
Vietnam, Iran, China, Myanmar and Cuba.
2015 May 12, Eritrean diplomat
Mohammed Idris, from the Red Sea state's mission to the African
Union, sought asylum in Ethiopia, citing rights abuses at home.
2015 Jun 8, A UN investigation
said Eritrea's government is responsible for systematic and
widespread human rights abuses on an almost unprecedented scale,
driving some 5,000 Eritreans to flee every month.
2015 Jun 24, A UN expert called
for a probe into whether the Eritrean government should face justice
for alleged crimes against humanity following a damning report on
sweeping rights violations.
2016 Jun 8, Eritrea's
government rejected accusations of human rights abuses after a UN
commission of inquiry said Eritrea's "systematic, widespread" human
rights abuses should be referred to the International Criminal Court
as crimes against humanity that include enslavement of up to 400,000
(Reuters, 6/8/16)(AP, 6/8/16)
2016 Jun 12, Eritrea's
Information Ministry said Ethiopia has unleashed an attack against
Eritrea in the Tsorona Central Front.
2016 Jun 23, Hundreds of
Eritrean refugees and dissidents in Ethiopia demonstrated against
alleged human rights abuses committed by their government back home,
expressing support for a new UN commission report that accuses the
government of crimes against humanity, including enslavement, rape
and torture, over the past 25 years.
2016 Jul 4, Italian police
arrested 25 Eritreans, 12 Ethiopians and an Italian who they said
belonged to an organization that had smuggled thousands of migrants
into Europe from Africa.
2016 Nov 15, A group of 188
Eritreans headed to Germany from Italy as the first tranche of 500
that Germany pledged to take monthly from Italy.
(SFC, 11/16/16, p.A2)
2017 Jun 14, Qatar said it has
pulled all of its 450 troops from the border of Djibouti and
Eritrea, east African nations that have a long-running territorial
dispute which Doha had helped mediate. Eritrean forces moved in
after the troops departed.
2017 Jun 16, Djibouti said it
has lodged a formal complaint with the African Union after accusing
soldiers from neighboring Eritrea of occupying a contested
mountainous area after Qatari peacekeepers left the region this
2017 Jul 3, Djibouti said it
has asked the African Union to deploy observers along its disputed
border with Eritrea after Qatar withdrew its peace-keeping troops on
2017 Jul 8, Eritrean officials
claimed "victory" after the UN cultural agency unanimously decided
to put the African nation's capital city of Asmara on the UNESCO
World Heritage list — the result of years of lobbying by one of the
world's most reclusive governments.
2017 Aug 17, A Swiss federal
court ruled that Eritrean asylum-seekers who completed military
service in the East African country can legally be sent home if
their asylum cases are rejected. The ruling could have sweeping
implications for thousands of Eritreans who make up Switzerland's
largest pool of asylum-seekers by nationality. In June, a special
investigator for the UN said Eritreans continue to suffer arbitrary
arrest, enforced disappearances and a national system of military
service that amounts to enslavement.