Press Statement

Coordinating Committee

Eritrean National Democratic Forces (ENDF)


Press Statement:

On Ethiopia’s aggression against Eritrea

At its regular meeting held on 18 March 2012 the Coordination Committee of Eritrean National Democratic Forces (CCENDF) discussed the recent Ethiopian press statements in which they claimed to have conducted military raids 18 kilo metres inside sovereign Eritrean territory on 15 March 2012. The CCENDF considers this act a clear violation of international law. It also contravenes the letter and spirit of the Algiers Peace Agreement signed betweenEritreaandEthiopiain December 2000. Furthermore, it sets a dangerous precedence that can potentially lead to regional instability.

As Pro-Democracy Eritreans, we do not condone the arming of opposition groups for proxy wars that both the Eritrean and Ethiopian regimes have been engaged in since the signing of the Algiers Peace Agreement.

The latest Ethiopian aggression againstEritreagoes beyond “retaliating” against a rival opposition group or a regime. It threatens the possibility of a lasting peace betweenEritreaandEthiopia.

It is to be recalled that the 1998-2000 border conflict between the two countries was preceded by a similar incident that involved the Ethiopian army and the same Afar opposition group (ARDUF) in 1997.Ethiopiahad used this pretext to permanently occupy “Ad-Murug” in the “Badda” district inEritrea’sSouthern Red Searegion.  

We believe in addressing the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict by adopting the following steps:-

  1. For the Eritrean and Ethiopian regimes to immediately cease harbouring and arming rival opposition groups.
  2. The two governments aught to address the legitimate grievances of the Afar people in bothEritreaandEthiopia.
  3. We applaud the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson’s – Mr. Jean Ping – statement on Friday 16 March 2012, in which he announced the willingness of the AU to assistEritreaandEthiopia“to embark on talks to normalise diplomatic relations”. Such assistance should enable the two countries to demarcate their common border as this is one of the main “underlying causes” of the ongoing conflict betweenEritreaandEthiopia. We call on the UN Security Council to support this AU effort.
  4. We consider the Ethiopian threat to carry out similar aggression againstEritreain future as unacceptable. We call on the Ethiopian government to refrain from such statements and actions that clearly undermine and harm the fraternal relations between the Eritrean and Ethiopian peoples.



The Coordination Committee,

Eritrean National Democratic Forces (ENDF)

18 March 2012


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