It’s hard to see the looming threat of war with Ethiopia as you walk Eritrea’s tree-lined boulevards or enter its Italian-style cafes. But beneath the Eritrean capital’s tranquil surface, many Eritreans say they are worried about a repeat of the 1998 to 2000 border war that killed about 70 000 people.
Eritrea’s powerful head of internal security, Colonel Simon Ghebredengel, survived an assassination attempt last week in Asmara, a senior government official said on Tuesday. ”There was a failed assassination attempt on Saturday October 13 on the colonel,” Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu said. ”He is in a very stable condition.”
Eritrea maintains its demand that Ethiopia implement a border ruling agreed under a pact to end their 1998 to 2000 war, a minister said on Wednesday after Ethiopia threatened to call off the peace agreement. In a letter to Eritrea’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday, Ethiopia accused Asmara of violating the deal on several fronts including coordinating ”terrorist activity”.
Eritrea said on Tuesday it will take every precaution to avoid war with arch-foe Ethiopia over their disputed border, but demanded Addis Ababa comply with a five-year-old boundary ruling. Ties between the Horn of Africa neighbours are at their lowest since a 1998 to 2000 war that killed 70 000 people, analysts say.