NewsEast & Horn AfricaFears over Ethiopian and Eritrea war escalate


Posted on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:02

Fears over Ethiopian and Eritrea war escalate

By Tinishu Solomon

File Photo©FARAH ABDI WARSAMEH/AP/SIPAEthiopia and Eritrea have locked horns over who is to blame for recent border skirmishes amid fresh fears the two Horn of Africa countries could go into a full scale war.

Troops from the two countries clashed on Sunday. Reports say the clashes that involved heavy artillery began around 5am on Sunday and continued on Monday until at least early afternoon.

Ethiopia's next action will depend on Eritrea's next activities

Residents on the Ethiopian side of the border reported hearing gunfire and seeing a large movement of troops and artillery towards the border.

Ethiopia said its troops have taken proportionate measures against the Eritrean forces in response, after Asmara attempted to attack its troops at Tsorona on Sunday.

"The attack heavily weakened Eritrean military attacking capacity," Ethiopia's communication affairs office said late Monday.

"Ethiopia will continue taking proportionate measures if Eritrea doesn't refrain from escalating the situation." And it added "Ethiopia's next action will depend on Eritrea's next activities".

Eritrea accused Ethiopian forces of carrying out attacks against its troops, after crossing into its territory on Sunday.

Ethiopian forces "unleashed an attack against Eritrea on the Tsorona Central Front. The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear," Asmara said in a statement. "The government of Eritrea will issue further statements on the unfolding situation," the short statement concluded.

Tsorona Central Front was one of the main areas of fighting during the 1998-2000 border war between the two countries. That conflict was one of the bloodiest in recent history, claiming as many as 120,000 lives, according to some estimates.

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