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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Eritrea and Ethiopia border ruling: Your views
Both Eritrea and Ethiopia have said they will accept an international ruling on their long-standing border dispute which caused a two-year war and around 80,000 deaths.

The two governments have both claimed victory - diplomats say neither side can admit to its people that the loss of thousands of men in battle was in vain.

The BBC's Martin Plaut says the 125-page ruling was sufficiently obscure for this to be possible.

The boundary was decided by a five-member panel of judges, treaty experts and international jurists at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Have you been affected by the long-standing border dispute? What are your views on the ruling?

HAVE YOUR SAY

Everybody is happy about the ending of the war. Now it's time to tackle the problems of social issues of the people for both countries to make the living conditions better.
Meron Melles, USA


Colonialism may be over but its legacy is still costing thousands of young lives.

Mai Temenawi, Canada
Tens of thousands of young lives have perished for a senseless border dispute. These borders are neither God given nor the work of nature. They were drawn less than a century ago by colonial powers to fit their strategic interests at the time. Colonialism may be over but its legacy is still costing thousands of young lives. It is high time that the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea find a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute. The lives of our young sons and daughters are too precious to be wasted for the sake of two arrogant leaders, Isaias and Meles. Only the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea can bring an end to this madness. Let's make our respective governments accountable for wasting so many young lives and precious resources on the war effort. Unless we join hands to build and develop our countries we will be doomed for more misery and devastation. Let's not be fooled by the people who first led us into disaster and now try to tell us that our side won. We have both lost and we paid a heavy price.
Mai Temenawi, Canada

This border arbitration is nothing but to open a new chapter for a longer conflict that will be justified by more bloodshed since all Ethiopians feel unrepresented and the national integrity of their country is violated and their lands and people forcefully taken away from them. A government comes and goes but the people who share the same national values are there to spill their blood for the integrity of their country. The Afar people are just like any other Ethiopian ethnic group and they deserve to be back to where they belonged in their motherland. Ertitreans and Ethiopians in and out know very well that the war will continue as soon as the present regime in Ethiopia is removed. The Ethiopian people feel rather betrayed and deceived by their own people now than ever. Why would the world want to blind itself from reality for the fact that when all Ethiopians from all walks of life are protesting in dissatisfaction and saddened for losing their land and the Afar tribe.
Haile, Ethiopian

The Eritreans should lease Assab to Ethiopia. That way both will benefit and also this will appease the landlocked mentality in Ethiopia. For now we all won - not because of the ruling but because the war is over.
Iyassu Demissie, Montreal, Canada

As we know the war is over now, this means we got peace. Both nations can be a sample of peace to the rest of Africa and other nations which have border conflict. It was a great news that both nations has accepted the border decision, and we have to think about our future to accelerate our weak economy after April 13.
Danie, Norway


Death is no longer an option. We choose life.

Yonathan Asfaw, USA
What the people on either side want is not conflict, God knows we have all seen our fair share of death. Let us give each other the cooperation we need on the road to recovery and prosperity. Warring is a poor substitute to economic development and death is no longer an option. We choose life.
Yonathan Asfaw, USA

I don't care who gained or lost in The Border Case Ruling, but this case should act as very good lesson to all warmongers: That you can fight and kill many innocent civilians but peace can only be found by civilized and acceptable means. I hope these two countries will accept this and other countries in the region learn from it.
Ignatius Mugabo, Denmark

The border demarcation was not a victory for either side because it will not bring a lasting peace. The Afar people who are Ethiopians and the port of Assab, which belongs to Ethiopia, will remain a source of conflict. We are all tired of war and poverty but nor will we live in peace when Ethiopia's territorial integrity is violated. It is sad to know the death of all those soldiers on both sides will have resolved nothing in the end. When Meles is replaced, (he will be replaced) and a government that is willing to stand for the interests of Ethiopia is in power, this issue will come up again. Peace would have been achieved by returning the Afar people as they desire and Assab to Ethiopia, their rightful place. The Hague conference was a fraud and is clearly indicated by their mumbo jumbo decision they gave. Peace cannot be achieved by deception or theft. It is distressing to know that there is another war looming over both nations.
D, USA

Last time I checked, there were two ports in Eritrea. One of them should belong to Ethiopia. Eritrea's history is nothing without that of Abyssinia. The truth is that both countries lost a piece of their heritage and history through separation , but this separation should be neater and more fair. By the way, Badme is just a sorry topic that the Ethiopian government chose to give the impression to the people that it cares about them.
Yonas Assefa, Ethiopian


A strong and prosperous Eritrea is in the best interests of Ethiopia.

Sertsai, Canada
The decision by the boundary commission is a good start and beacon of peace for years to come. What our Ethiopian colleagues must realise is that, a strong and prosperous Eritrea is in the best interests of Ethiopia. Economic spin of from Eritrea will have a good social, economical, and security ripple effect in Ethiopia. They could have easy access to the sea. This can only become reality by accepting this ruling as is. This would benefit all of us. I sincerely hope that you are not blinded by emotions and false rhetoric that keeps your country under developed and at war with Eritrea. I wish a lasting peace in our homeland (Eritrea) and neighbouring countries.
Sertsai, Canada

It is unacceptable that the issue is being handled by undemocratic regimes that don't represent their respective peoples. Their background and intentions are obscured. Neither their friendship in the caves nor their disputes involved the masses actively.
Demiss, Ethiopian in USA

I think peace should be given priority above all. If the ruling can give peace to both countries that is a great move forward. Every Ethiopian/ Eritrean should be treated like other foreigners in Eritrea/Ethiopia respectively. Finally, I would say it is better for the citizens of the two countries if Ethiopia and Eritrea continue being two independent countries.
kassa, Ethiopia

When I read some of the comments on these pages by the Ethiopians I had mixed feelings... I felt like laughing and I felt surprised. Why? Some of you say that Ethiopia should demand Assab on the grounds that it is landlocked. As unfortunate that maybe the fact of the matter is it does not belong to them and hence you simply can not demand it. Imagine if a country like Austria (which is land-locked) demands the city of Venice in Italy on the grounds that it is landlocked.
Dawit Hailay, UK

The war was not about border. It was about money. Those involved know about it.
Ewnet


There are no winners in a war

Feden Abeda, Canada
The border war took the lives of many people including the lives of some of my uncles, aunts and cousins, relatives that I never had a chance to meet and know. There are no winners in a war and there are no other viable options but to make peace between the two countries.
Feden Abeda, Canada

I am happy that the war is over. I hope that both Ethiopia and Eritria learn to respect human beings.
S.A, Sweden

It saddens me greatly to see some of the commentary stating outrage on the ruling. As an Ethiopian, I would care less about who owns a narrow strip of land. What we need, in both countries, is economic development. A prerequisite to development is security. If we can learn to live in peaceful coexistence, we can all overcome this perceived nonsense that suggests that Ethiopia cannot prosper without access to the sea.
GM, USA

We won! They Won! We all won peace!
Caru - Asmara (Eritrean), Eritrea


For Afar people it is meaningless - we did not benefit from Ethiopia and Eritrea by claiming the Afar land

Abdu Farisla, Canada
The decision may be appreciated by two people who live in Eritrea and Ethiopia. For Afar people it is meaningless - we did not benefit from Ethiopia and Eritrea by claiming the Afar land.
Abdu Farisla, Canada

The decision is not at all to the interest of Ethiopia. It is absolutely in favour of Eritrea, thanks to Meles and his friends. We are betrayed, our land is taken away. Who on earth sits and watches when unfair things are done to his/her country? Nobody. So one way or the other, when the time comes, we will get back all what we lost now.
MM, Ethiopia

First of all I would like to thank our God. The war is over, Badma belongs to us and Assab is continuning for us as it was. For God's sake those who claim Assab, what was your reason? Don't you know history or geography?
Teddy K, Britain

As people we have learned a hard lesson that has thought us, as President Isaias said in his recent interview, to be "cautious" but also to move on. Though the road to normalizing things is going be a long and agonizing one, let's start this journey by singing the lyrics: "From a distance we are instruments marching in a common band. Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace. They're the songs of every man".
Samuel, Eritrea

If you think this drama is going to bring peace to Ethiopia or the horn of Africa you are dreaming. Just remember that the true sons and daughters of Ethiopia are watching this debate with disgust.
Daniel, Ethiopia


I am not sure if this verdict will ever help us achieve our peace

Aga Chebsa, Kenya
The whole world was baffled when the war erupted in 1998. Why: because there was no strong justification that could lead the two countries of, more or less, identical origin, to go for one another's jugular. I am not sure if this verdict will ever help us achieve our peace. No sooner did the commission release it's verdict than the two countries threw salvos of accusation at each other. If any one thinks peace is here with us atlas, so be it. But for sure he/she is in for a very rude shock, for no body knows what our "leaders" have in store for us. More issues need to be addressed.
Aga Chebsa, Kenya

It is very easy for an Ethiopian or an Eritrean to blame the two governments for the war. But from what I see it is not only the governments but it is also the elites of both nations who live far from home who are/were adding fuel to the problem. Even as we look to day both governments are scrambling to please their respective nationalists on one hand while they show a desire to accept the ruling on the other hand.
Haile A., USA

I am glad to see that both parties accepted the decision and I hope this will give peace a chance. I surely wished there was a mechanism to resolve our differences than resort to violence and spare the lives of our beloved brothers and sisters and destroy the meagre resources that we have that could have been used to address the most basic needs of our people. I ask fellow Ethiopians to organize our resources in building the areas affected by the war and I am sure there are many worthy causes that need our support and dedication.
Noah, Canada

Peace can not prevail until what belongs to Ethiopia is fully recognised and returned peacefully. Badme is a barren land that is no use for no one, and its sad all those Ethiopian children perish for nothing as Badme's final fate still under dispute, sadly all that sacrifice of blood is meant nothing for Meles and his clique as Badme is still contested. Although, the current government is telling the people Ethiopia has no legal backing on claiming Asseb, but the truth is otherwise.
Nega Kebede,, Ethiopia.

I hardly see a positive change to the life of ordinary Ethiopians before the war started or after the delimitation of the border. Instead we found ourselves losing many poor lives and substantial amount of money. Personally I would not praise any one for a war that could have been avoided. Maybe another war is coming. who knows?
Anonymous, Ethiopia


Thanks to God we can see the war is stopped and both countries accept the decision

Tedo (the Kera), Netherlands
Thanks to God we can see the war is stopped and both countries accept the decision. Even though the result is not clear over Badme, we do not want to see any more combat. Enough is enough now we have to start a new chapter.
Tedo (the Kera), Netherlands

Now, it is time to make a "difference". Please let's not only think black and white.
Michael, Ethiopia/England

After all, the root-cause of the war was not the land dispute but the failure of the governments of Meles and Isayas to keep their promise they made to each other when they were in forest. They also used the war to divert public attention from their respective internal problems. Now, after that senseless war and the consequent lose of thousands live, they are telling us they are victorious! What a joke!
IMNETU, UK

I am a Kenyan who has lived in both countries for a long time. They are both good people and hospitable. What I suggest for both people is that unity is strength, so cool down the hatred pace and work together for a long lasting peace and development. Do not count on your governments because neither of them are worth leading a country. May God be with you.
Cathrine Lome, Kenya

The bitter enmity between the two warring nations will not come to end just because a square inch of land was given to Eritrea and a border was well defined. There are more economical issues and political ones too to be solved. The 2 countries needs to improve economically and stop fighting over trivial barren land issues which does not give anything to them anyway.
Dino, UK


I hope that both governments as well as the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia have learned a valuable lesson.

Natnael, USA
To me, who retained what town is not very important anymore. I hope, and we can only hope, that both governments as well as the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia as a whole have learned a valuable lesson: that peaceful negotiations of a dispute is much more profitable, healthy, and wise than going to war to solve a conflict. Tens of thousands of lives have been lost; the war, which was completely unnecessary in my view, devastated the economies of the two countries, because of the narrow-mindedness of these two repressive regimes. And yet, extremist views remain; one needs only to read this "Talking Point". Many Ethiopian political groups and individuals are rejecting the ruling of the Border Commission because the decision, in their view, did not consider Ethiopia's "legitimate" and "natural" access to the sea through the Eritrean port of Assab. This is a dangerous view that would only help bring more conflict, suffering, and misery to the people of both countries. I hope these groups and individuals reconsider, think, and seriously reflect on this dangerous, extremist view and spare the people of the two countries any further bloodshed. The Eritrean ports can serve Ethiopia, as in the past, without Ethiopians resorting to war or threatening to wage war for such "access to the sea." To its credit, the current Ethiopian government is not showing any desire to pursue the conflict in that direction. That, at least, is a good sign. Thank you!
Natnael, USA

A non-issue, so called border dispute, brought so mach devastation on the lives of millions from both countries. The two dictators should be brought to justice for this and many more crimes they committed in the past on innocent people. They have no concept on peaceful resolution.
Yohannes, USA

TO ALL AFRICAN LEADERS: Let's try to solve our difference, dispute, political problems and other issues on the table instead of picking up arms. War is not the answer to every problem. Enough is enough we are loosing thousands a year due to AIDS and other diseases.
Embagaliano, USA

After waiting this long for a verdict, I find the public document very obscure. I was looking for a very detailed map showing us the exact border line between the two nations with all the towns included. But what we got was all the legal "mumbo jumbo" without any detail in the maps. I think the Hague did a poor job or did not make enough information public.
Mik Plus, USA/Ethiopia

There is no explanation of how I have been affected by this senseless war. I have lost two of my brothers and a sister as well as many cousins most of whom we have never heard from since the last war of June 2000. Most of the friends that I grew up with are still missing too. My heart is going to be bleeding for the rest of my life. Thus I will never forgive both leadership for fuelling this war and none of them have done anything to stop it. Since none of the country gained any land with respect to what they were administrating prior to war, both countries are losers as far as the ruling is concerned. At the end I am glad we are this far and I hope it will bear fruit. I hope the world will learn something out of this and avoid such things in time from now on.
Seghen Yonas, Canada


We will see how long their dormancy would last before they act wild once again

Haleta Bekele, USA
Having fought the war for different reasons, the governments of Addis Ababa and Asmara took shelter in the boundary dispute. What the Hague's deliberation has offered is simply an exit strategy for both at least for the time being. As such, the winners were none other than Isayas and Meles-in that order. It is no surprise, therefore, that having failed to solve their boundary disputes in a civilized manner in the first place, they now ululate victory standing on the corpses of tens of thousands of sacrificed soldiers, the agonies of displaced civilians and their economy in shambles. They swear to agree on early 20th century controversial colonial treaties but interpret ICJ's recently released document in diametrically different ways. We will see how long their dormancy would last before they act wild once again. I wish they prove me wrong on that one.
Haleta Bekele, MI, USA

It is indeed a victory to all for ending the unnecessary war in the first place. Ethiopia lost close to 170,000 of it's army and Eritrea 19,000. It was a tragedy should not happen. For the sake of the lost there must be an investigation to know the responsible party and learn from our mistakes. Let's move on !
Awet Andom, USA

Neither Ethiopia or Eritrea can afford to continue to quibble over borders. These extremely poor countries should devote their time to development and education. From the location of the majority of responders, you can see that both countries have many citizens who have chosen to abandon their homeland.
Rosemary Mullally, Ethiopia

I speak on behalf of the ordinary Ethiopians I have spoken to after the ruling. To be honest, the reaction has been very varied. Some people still blame their government for not asking for the Assab port because the country will remain land-locked. The government, however, has repeatedly said that this was out of the question. On the other hand, other Ethiopians have been delighted by the prospect of peace and are calling on the respective governments to end the war and focus on development. I think this is the notion of the majority in the country. But Eritrea's claims that the disputed Bademe region belongs to it might cause some discomfort in the coming days which seems to be looking forward to peace and development.
EN, Ethiopian Journalist


I'm really hoping this decision holds long enough for the egos and testosterone-pumped attitudes of some die-hards to subside

Dave, England
I'm really hoping this decision holds long enough for the egos and testosterone-pumped attitudes of some die-hards to subside and allow an amicable relationship to build up between the two countries which could set a precedent for other nations around the world. The suggestion of another Israeli-Palestine conflict more over pride than actual care about the issues would be so tragic it's unbearable to think about.
Dave, England

Frankly, the diplomacy war both sides have chosen to lead is another headache for the people of the two countries. What the people want around here in peace, not war. I and my fellow Ethiopians sincerely hope that the two sides bury the hatchet and work towards developing their respectable nations. They have already said they will accept the decision. So why all this wrangling? I for one am tired of the war, tired, tired, and very tired!!!
Elshadai Negash , Ethiopia

Humans are the only species to have shed the blood of its own kind for selfish and disgusting reasons. This conflict is an example of this barbaric mentality that has been engrained into us. Today, every corner of the world is in dire strait. We have to stop this madness before we all kill each other to extinction. This border ruling hopefully brings life back to normalcy in Ethiopia and Eritrea. However, what's more important is the rebuilding of the nation and the economy of both sides.
Martin, Citizen of Earth

I am very happy that peace is there. And I hope there will be no more war.
Million Gebremedhin, Eritrean, in Sudan

Why didn't they ask for international solution before the situation escalated into war? It shouldn't have taken thousands of casualties for them to come to their senses.
Johnston, Finland


Meles in collaboration with the Hague court has managed to roll back what my two relatives and tens of thousands of Ethiopian war heroes accomplished

Berhane Negash , Ethiopian/USA
I lost a brother and a brother-in-law defending the "Great Honor" of Ethiopia at Zalambessa. Meles in collaboration with the Hague court has managed to roll back what my two relatives and tens of thousands of Ethiopian war heroes accomplished. What are we Ethiopians supposed to do when a self-proclaimed leader gives away the sacred cemetery grounds of the country where these Ethiopian war heroes are buried? Do we have to dig out the remains of every hero and transfer them to another place?
Berhane Negash , Ethiopian/USA

Why is that so many Ethiopians think that Assab is theirs? Isn't the map clear for them? However, I hope they will try to get over it and to let Eritrea in peace now. We, Eritreans, are really happy about the decision, Badme is ours, our children did not die in vain!
Senait, Germany

It is interesting to note that those of you who seem implacably opposed to this on nationalistic grounds are mostly expats. It's always easy to be brave from the cheap seats, when you no longer need to be afraid that you or your family will die. Might be more use if you stopped grandstanding, and realised that to those who have seen war, peace is always preferable.
RM, UK

Enough is enough! Both peoples have suffered enough. Our leaders cannot realize that we suffer, since they are sitting in first class hotels and enjoying themselves for donated money. Step down!
Hamda Ali, Eritrea

Eritrea had been involved by this useless two years war, and lost more than 50,000 lives. Thanks God for this final decision. I feel ashamed for Eritrean people and Eritrean leaders who lost the war and as well as the land. Beside this, they knew that the places weren't by any means belong to them, they just had a war for no reason.
Nega Desta, Ethiopia

It is so nice to see that there are so many peace loving people in both countries, Eritera and Ethiopia. This gives hope for the people who live in poverty in both countries. I wish there will be no more war. Let's learn from the past! We have gained nothing but poverty and hanger.
Musse, Canada


I wonder why thousands of people from both sides lost their lives without a noble cause

Shiferaw Melis , Ethiopia
I wonder why thousands of people from both sides lost their lives without a noble cause. We should ask them why. Both are claiming victory. Demarcation of border between those countries alone would not bring a sustainable peace in the region. Ethiopia should demand the access to the sea. But the officials are happy to see Ethiopia land-locked. We also observed the prime minister of Ethiopia himself act as a spokesman of Eritrea.
Shiferaw Melis , Ethiopia

I am happy Eritea was vindicated by the Hague decision. TPLF (Ethiopian governing party) has lost the war. As you all know the war started in Badme and the hidden agenda of the TPLF regime was to conquer and occupy Assab. All this is now a dream. I am proud to be Eritrean.
Biniam Abraha, UK/Eritrea

Congratulations to all peace loving Eritreans and Ethiopians. Thank God we have come to this peaceful resolution. Let's all live in reality rather than in illusion world. Both nations lost so many young innocent lives. Their lives were cut short at the age when so many of them could be living with us right now.
Peace to mankind!, Eritean, USA

Yes, the peoples of both nations have been affected by war and its consequences. However, we need peace and love. We are brothers and sisters. We Ethiopians love our Eritriean brothers and sisters. Therefore, I personally, need not to see any bloodshed hereafter. I don't want to hear any drums of war.
Tigist Yirga, Ethiopia

Eritrea fought two wars claiming 'land', and lost both. The story is the same on legal grounds. I hope we will not repeat the same mistake in the future. This isn't the right way for the 'Singapore-style' economic development.
Gebeyehu Gebre-Michael, Ethiopian in Malaysia


Real peace will come to the region when both arrogant leaders are removed and leaders who are dedicated to the lives of the two nations will come to power

Tonga, Saudi Arabia
Real peace will come to the region when both arrogant leaders are removed and leaders who are dedicated to the lives of the two nations will come to power. After all, the war was caused because of the arrogance of these leaders coupled with the intention of diverting the peoples attention from the real issue, that is their undemocratic dictatorial leadership, the unfulfilled promises when they were guerrillas.
Tonga, Saudi Arabia

In all sectors with the blessing of Ethiopian government we lost approximately 6000 sq km of land to Eritrea. Now the next gift package will be to ask without shame the commission to pay compensations to Eritrea.
Aster, Ethiopia

We hope the commission's ruling puts an end to the mindset of death and destruction. This border conflict highlights the fact that it takes very little to incite a war, but it takes visionary and courageous people to make peace. The people of both countries need to get on with their lives and work towards peace and economic opportunities for all. Yes Ethiopia can have a free access to an Eritrean seaport, but we need visionary people on the peace table to work out the details of a win - win arrangement.
Shannon, Canada

I just want to say neither the Ethiopian people nor the Eritreans want to talk about war any more. They both suffered enough, it doesn't matter who won or who lost from the court decision, but just stopping the war, and focusing to restore their social and economy growth is a great victory for both countries. It is a great story not only for Ethiopians and Eritreans, but also it is a great story for the whole Africa.
TG, Canada

This decision is another time bomb. This agreement was made by Melese and Eritrea. The voice of Ethiopians were ignored. When the right time and the right leader comes this decision will be reversed. Ethiopia and Eritrea will be like Israel and Palestine. There will be no peace in the region. The International communities are not the one who tells the Ethiopian people what to get and what not to get. The people of Ethiopia will gain what ever they lost now by any means necessary.
Tshaye, USA

Reading from the BBC Board, it's quite clear most Ethiopians are very unhappy with this historic Hague verdict. This is despite the claim that Ethiopia "got all it wanted." I wonder what else would satisfy the Ethiopians. We Eritreans are at peace with ourselves; we are more interested in charting a democratic and prosperous future than holding grudges with our neighbours.
Halewa Sewra, Eritrean, USA


On Saturday Eritrea was vindicated

Yonas Semere, London
On Saturday Eritrea was vindicated with the treaty maps and international laws clearly showing that Badme is within Eritrean territory. Eritreans knew this all along, and asked for a peaceful resolution of the border issue, before some 2000 Eritreans were rounded up and sent to Ethiopia's concentration camps, and before 19,000 of Eritrea's brightest and best perished defending what was theirs. But Ethiopia's hidden agenda would not permit such civil exercise, thus the tremendous suffering of the Eritrean and Ethiopian people, and the mismanaged international resources, including the stationing of some 4,200 UN troops in the temporary secure zone.
Yonas Semere, London UK

Congratulation! to all peace loving Eritreans and Ethiopians. At last the ray of peace is in Eritrea and Ethiopia, wise people will take hold of it. Those people who beat the war drum from the comfort of their inner cities and western country dwellings are extremely distant from the living condition of their people. Either they are not normal, or never lost a loved one to a war or else not conversant with numbers (hundred thousands have died). It was a war that could be avoided by peaceful means and dialogue. We should be thankful to God about the decision that paved a way for peace. Let us be optimistic, and heal the wounds of our people.
Kleati and Emiy, London, UK


Ethiopians do not accept this decision.

Hagernesh Mulgeta, Ethiopia
To be honest Ethiopians do not accept this decision. This is another time bomb. The right leader who represent Ethiopia in the future will demand ASSAB and all the AFAR territory. And I am 100% sure millions of Ethiopians are willing to die for it. Everyone know the Meles regime is unpopular in Ethiopia. His supporters the Tigray people are no more with him. And he will fall and we will see if Eritrea has some one to save her from the Ethiopians Rage.
Hagernesh Mulgeta, Ethiopian

It is good to hear that both countries have accepted the Hague ruling. I hope there will be no more bloodshed. What remains is the formation of a tribunal to prosecute two of the most senseless war mongers of our time: Meles Zenawi and Isayas Afewerki. This is an utmost interest to the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Eskinder, Ethiopia


Both countries claim the ruling gave them the Badme town.

Tesfay, Ethiopian in USA
The border is now defined on paper. We should wait until it is marked on the ground to see if the two countries would agree.
Both countries claim the ruling gave them the Badme town.
This is going to be a war that will continue through generations, with each side claiming the other one as starting the conflict.
Tesfay, Ethiopian in USA

The verdict delivered by this border commission is indeed good news. But let me remind people that the war that preceded the verdict was initiated and fought by both leaders to divert domestic attention. Both governments came with the promise of "democracy" which they never delivered. The Addis regime rigs votes to remain in power and continue ruling by the barrel of the gun. The Issayas regime has jailed all who opposes it and closed down the free press despite its earlier popularity. It really is a shame that people have fallen into these regimes' trap by being their mouthpiece instead of focusing on the real issues that both people are faced with day in and day out. They have succeeded in delaying the inevitable emergence of this injustice, but like all truths it shall come out and set our people free.
Theodros Belay, Ethiopia

Both nations had been affected by this useless two years war, and they lost more than 80,000 lifes. Thanks God for final decision. I feel bad for Eritrean people who lost the war and as well as the land. Beside this, they knew that the places weren't theirs, they just had to mess around with Ethiopia. Still, one question is in my mind, why Isaias wanted to fight with his neighbourhood's countries? Within 10 years he fought more than 4 countries. So you can tell something is going on behind all those wars.
Makavellii, USA

I am glad that Eritrea won substantial portions of its claim, especially Badme village and most of the Badme plains. I am sorry that Ethiopians did not/could not heed the requests of the Eritrean government and people to solve the issue by peaceful means (Ethiopians have been lied to by their government). I am glad that Eritrea forced Ethiopia to come to the peace table. To Ethiopians, I have this to say: Assab will never be Ethiopian and stay back where you belong. God Bless Eritrea, its president, its armed forces and its people.
Mulugheta Wedi-Ere, Eritrean/American

I am happy the border problem is solved by peace, war never been a solution. Now I hope the two governments focus on other issues - such as hunger and poverty - that affect both people.
kidane, Eritrea


I hope we won't become like India and Pakistan

Dawit Tekue, USA
Basically, both countries more or less end up with what they had before the nonesense war. Thus, my question is; is it worth it loosing 80,000 lives? Is it worth it buying expensive and latest ammunition while our women and children flee on foot to other countries and starve to death in refugee camps? It's just a ridiculous irresponsibility on both governments. Now, the question is; will this be a lasting resolution, and will the two nations forgive and forget? I hope we won't become like India and Pakistan, threatening to blow up each other after 50 years of separation?
Dawit Tekue, USA

It is wonderful to hear that both the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments are happy with the arbitration decision in The Hague. The question of Assab has been the background catalyst of the border conflict. Had Meles purged the extremists in his government at the initial stage of the conflict thousands of lives on both sides could have been spared. It is unfortunate that still the minority Amhara and Tigray elite are determined to destroy this major peace agreement in the name of Assab. They should accept that Ethiopia does not have any legitimacy to the port city Assab. 30 years of the illegal occupation of Assab and the rest of Eritrea has brought only war, suffering and underdevelopment to Ethiopia.
Daniel Berhane, UK / Eritrea

I am truly happy for both countries to accept the UN decisions and abide by the rule. However; there is something that we shouldn't forget. Peace is not like water that everyone can scoop out from an ocean. It requires lots of work. This seems to be ok for now, but in the near future, we might see some other differences between the two countries. As an Ethiopian citizen, I think there shouldn't be peace until we get the two ports - Assab and Massawa - back to our hands. The naked truth is that we need pragmatic and long-lasting solutions.
Ulilka Refanoga, USA


For Eritreans, living in peace is how we measure success or failure, not gaining territory.

Habtom Hadgu, Boston
Like many Eritreans, I have not heard of one of my brothers at the front line. There is no single day that passes by without thinking of him and I am sure All Eritreans feel the same way. Yes, it is true We have paid our loved ones and it is very hard to accept it. However, having the Weyane government to work with for a lasting peace was mission impossible. The Eritrean people had no other choice except to defend their nation. Speaking from personal and Eritreans point of view, we are glad to see the war is over for a simple reason" We care and love about our men and women in uniform" Their safe return means a lot to us. For Eritreans, living in peace is how we measure success or failure, not gaining territory. From the outset of this war, our government have called to solve the border issue by legal means which prove to be true. If any Ethiopian thinks losing over 100,000 soldiers to gain whatever land is awarded to Ethiopia now is a victory, I think you are out of your mind but so be it.
Habtom Hadgu, Boston, Massachusetts

Frankly, I am both relieved and doubtful at the announcement of the border settlement. Being an Ethiopian youth who has been surrounded by the many stories of the long-lasting border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia it has been almost exhausting. There are many other issues that Ethiopia should deal with right now other than who gets the most strip of deserted land. After reading some of the above comments about Eritrea's "great conquests and victories" I wonder what exactly people are referring to. Is sending your only son to a pointless bloodbath worth claiming some silly land as your territory?
Desita Kiss, Canada

As an Eritrean I never accepted the war that has been waged by these two cliques. The bottom line of these verdict is that we Eritreans should start doing things differently. We shouldn't have gone this far to claim what is ours. The psuedo-Eritrean psyches must change for ever. After all, we have learnt our lessons the hard way. Eritrea should be thankful to the border commission.
Abraham, Australia

It is naive to say that the cause of the war is border. It is purely economical. It is a barren land without any significant economic importance - it is simply a pretext. Unless Eritea abandons its parasitic behavior, time will show that they will find another excuse to go to war. It is Eritrea who started the war and after a humiliating defeat she was forced to accept a peace agreement. For a lasting peace in this region there should not be any kind of economic or diplomatic relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Both countries are losers - they lost more than 100,000 lives and got nothing in return.
Kebede Assefa, Ethiopia


The key source of the problem are the two arrogant leaderships

Tameru Taye, Ethiopia
I am happy if this ends the war. As to myself and other Ethiopians the key source of the problem are the two arrogant leaderships. The leadership from the Ethiopian side has no respect to the people at all. We prefer not to hear any interview or any clarification from the leadership. If the two leaderships disappear then no war. We hate war. We hate who creates war.
Tameru Taye, Ethiopia

Ethiopians may think they have gained some Eritrean land. I urge everyone to look at an old Eritrean map and the new map. The two maps are identical. What we claimed in court is an intelligent tactic which the Eritrean government should be credited for.
Yikealo, Eritrean/USA

The key issue now is the welfare of the people living in the disputed areas. Both governments should respect the rights and welfare of these people whatever their origins or affiliations. It is on this issue that everyone concerned should now focus if this tragic conflict is not to continue to bring desolation and ruin to them.
Stephen, UK

What is not fair for me is that the Ethiopian Government doesn't involve its citizens in the whole process. There is no public debate about the matter, People are afraid to argue against or in favour of a claim or a position if it is not that of the government's position. Hence many people in Ethiopia who want to debate about the position of the government are not given a chance to participate in the process.
Zerihun, Ethiopia


Hopefully this will teach the Americans how efficiently the UN can work when America does not interfere

Jean Douet, France
Hopefully this will teach the Americans how efficiently the UN can work when America does not interfere in its usual biased way. This is a lesson from Africa to the First World.
Jean Douet, France

First of all I'm so glad that the senseless war between Eritrean and Ethiopian people is over. But keep in mind : as long as the evil leaders of both countries are still in power. the can start again!
Fesseha Tassew, Ethiopian, in Seattle, USA

This judgment does not in any way respect the Ethiopian interests and our freedom. This must be the work of our government. My question to the present Ethiopian government is: if you give our land to Eritrea, why do you allow our brave soldiers' lives to be sacrificed? Our struggle will continue!
Getachew M., India


People died, cities were destroyed, the wealth of the two countries spent on war - is that a victory?

Wagam Yelew, USA
I am disappointed to hear the governments of the two countries saying it was a victory. What kind of a victory is this? People died, cities were destroyed, the wealth of the two countries spent on war - is that a victory?
Wagam Yelew, USA

How can a government lie to its own people about a victory that is not there? I have seen the decision of the Hague and what we were told by our own officials is a complete lie. I hope they will have to pay for what they have done.
Yichalal, Ethiopia

It is great to hear both countries say they accepted the decision. it feels great now but they were too late. They should have stopped the war at the beginning, before 80 thousand people died over nothing. This should be a lesson to other African countries.
Berhanu, USA

The war is over, but the war criminals are still there. At both sides we pay a heavy prise not to secure our national interest only to secure the power of the two rebels.
Rezeen G., USA

As an Ethiopian, I was affected by the war in various aspects. I don't care about the interpretation of the decision. The only thing I care about is a stable peaceful condition between the peoples of these poor countries. They have lots of problems to fight with together. May God bring a lasting peace to the two nations!
Endbek, Ethiopia

I am very angry and disappointed with the Eritrean government. They should have been smarter after the Yemen-Eritrean disputed territory. Did we solve it by force? They should have taken the case in front of international community before I lost two of my younger brothers who are 19 and 21 years old. Had it been taken to the international community, I would not have lost my two younger brothers. It was totally a wrong calculation. We demand the Eritrean government to allow freedom of speech, release the jailed journalists and allow citizen to establish democratic government from the people to the people. We are tired and sick of war.
Abdi Enderese, Eritrea

If the UK can travel thousands of miles to rescue its nationals in Northern Ireland and the Falklands, why is Ethiopia not given the right to restore its citizenship to Ethiopians in Assab? This border ruling that ignores the Assab issue entirely is already dead in the water as a document that will bring peace. Without Assab there will be no peace. When presented in Ethiopia to Ethiopians this document was/will be seen for what it is; nothing more than an imported hall of mirrors in the house of cards. It was and will be rejected by the Ethiopian people. What matters is the people on the ground and of course no Ethiopian of Tigray or Afar will willingly hand over valuable farmland/grazing land to Eritrean military or civilians without a fight.
Miss Falkland, UK


I am glad the war came to an end. I was hoping for this

Mulugeta, USA
I am glad the war came to an end. I was hoping for this. Still concerns remain, because the core issue was not the border problem. As we all know, both countries are very interdependent. Unless we recognize this problem, we will have a long way to come to peace.
Mulugeta, USA

The problem is not the verdict but it is the behaviour of the two governments. Both of them didn't tell the real truth about the verdict to their people who sacrificed their sons and daughters for a plot of land.
Kibruyisfa A., Ethiopia

I wish peace and prosperity for the people of my ancestors' lands, Eritrea and Ethiopia!
Dereje , USA

Red Sea? Come on Ethiopians! Can't you see enough is enough?. Let alone to have Red Sea as part of Ethiopia, you guys should think twice over whether you will have an access to it. You have a lot of options, you can use Port Sudan, Djibouti (they are getting fed up too) and Mombassa Port. Just leave us alone. As always we will defend the hard won Eritrea, by any means necessary.
Isaias, Isinbadme, Eritrean American, Arlington, USA

In the Horn of Africa, somebody's dream is somebody's nightmare. Peace in the Horn is almost peace in the Middle East, which is impossible unless the messiah comes or aliens invade us. In fact, this is true about many global hot spots. As for, The Hague court decision, what can I say other than it is a document that provides a "justification" for the next bloodshed in the region? With all its shortcomings, I love Ethiopia and I don't hate Eritrea. Let's worry about poverty and let's try to defeat it together until "we see the sign from the sky", then we can talk about nonsense, such as about border.
Dag Thomas, the Ethiopian, USA

War is the only way of sustaining power for un-visionary leaders. Instead of crafting a good policy that can get them to stay on the power by getting out the people from poverty. It is a shame to loose countless lives for no reason.
Yegzeru Belete, Ethiopian, in USA


I lost my brothers in this senseless war

Web Abraham, Ethiopia/Canada
I am very much affected by this war. I lost my brothers in this senseless war. I had the same experience in the past and continue to have the same unfortunate loss of my family members. It is not only my family members, I had lost my own closest friends, the people I grew up with and my fellow Ethiopian children, the people who were determined to defend our motherland and people. However, I do not regret what they have done to defend our motherland and people. We must carry on the duties of defending our nation that were passed over to us by our brothers and sisters. I am not happy with the decision which was made by the ruling party, and neither of my fellow Ethiopian brothers and sisters are.
Web Abraham, Ethiopia/Canada

I hope this will end the war and bring a long lasting peace. But for those people who lost a family member will not give them any victory. It's my hope we will not see any of this ugly war again. It's clear nobody won.
Samuel, T.O. Canada

Now that the war is over and the border issue is put to rest by the decision of World arbitration judges, all of us have to focus on how we bring the leaders, Meles and Isayas, to World court of justice for massacring tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border. It will only be after they are removed that both Eritrea and Ethiopia can enjoy the true peace and stability.
Yacob, Ethiopia

This day is a milestone in the protracted war, haltered and animosity between people who once cohabited peacefully. For those who are willing to learn this is a great lesson. The rest is history
Tadele Degefu, Canada


I hope and pray both countries will respect the human rights of the people near the newly divided border.

Haile, USA
In my view, the war was not necessary to begin with. Now that it looks there is an end to it, I am very happy. I also hope and pray both countries will respect the human rights of the people near the newly divided border. Ethiopians as well as Eritrean should also focus our energy on helping our people especially in the border area rebuild their life. After all, millions of land mines will have to be cleared; schools, clinics, houses, water wells, and roads will have to be rebuilt
Haile, USA

The Most important thing is that those two countries are in peace and focused in rebuilding their economy, whoever what it gets I am very glad that the three years bloody war is stop. and I congratulate to the people of Eritrea.
Gumamma, Eritrea

My family lives in Eritrea, we have long awaited this border decision, I just pray to god that the two countries will rightfully respect the border ruling and will give the future generations of Ethiopia and Eritrea a different future of prosperity and peace instead of that of war. Lets make sure that the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives did not die in vain, by maintaining peace in that beautiful land that I consider home, the Horn of Africa.
Carlo, Italy/England


I think it is time we work in unison for lasting peace.

Selamawi, Canada
As most Eritreans who live in Diaspora, I am more than relieved that this war is over. I am not sure if the loss of my brother, (we have not heard from him for over two years and is assumed to be dead, he was 21) could be justified by any measure. But I am glad the bloodshed has stopped for many. It saddens me to see some of the comments on this board that still want more bloodshed. They want to send young men to their deaths so that they can brag about their mighty army. I think it is time we bridge the gap that was created among us because of the war and work in unison for lasting peace.
Selamawi, Canada

Now that our boundaries as nations have been identified, we would like move to the second step on identifying our boundaries as citizens of both nations, i.e. our human rights as citizens and close neighbours.
Selamwit Asgedom, Toronto, Canada

Unless there is some kind of compromises to enable Ethiopia to have her own access to the sea, an ever-lasting peace may not be eminent. The majority of Ethiopian believes in their undeniable right of ownership to the sea. The current demarcation may appease western government and the current government of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Though I strongly believe that both countries some times in the future may be one, the current Ethiopian government through a peaceful means must find a way to have its own access to the sea. It doesn┐t have to be Assab. Even if a canal has to be dug from the Red Sea to the Ethiopian boarder, so be it. Though digging canal requires huge investment and a blessing from Eritrea.
Haile Britu, Canada


Some mindless thugs are still drumming up for war

Samson, UK
I am sure the same settlement could have been reached without having to go through the destructive war, at the cost of so many lives and precious limited resources. The sad thing is, some mindless thugs are still drumming up for war from their hideout in places like USA or Europe. Enough is enough - no more lives, be it Eritrean or Ethiopian.
Samson, UK

This whole debacle was not about land. It is about two guerrilla leaderships who could only settle their differences by brute force. In the end, they could not inspire a soul, have no vision, and could not deliver democracy, the rule of law and prosperity. Consequently, they wreaked havoc by relegating their own peoples to a meaningless war, and a subsequent hidden war of fratricide among their respective peoples in order to cover up their crime against humanity. What a shame!
Taddesse, USA

I am very disappointed to hear this decision as I was not expecting it. The Badme area was Eritrean and will remain Eritrean territory. Can the leadership tell me why we had to lose 19000 young men in this bloody war?
Mohmed Osman, Eritrea

The verdict of The Hague based "Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission" has slaughtered the interests of Ethiopia and sowed the seed for a perpetual instability in the horn of Africa. I share the belief of millions of Ethiopians that the Commission listened to and based its decisions on the drama of two Eritrean groups assisted by the hidden fist of Uncle Sam. Rest assured that we would never sleep, no matter what it takes to regain our territory and reincarnate the pride of our forefathers brutally murdered by the current government of Ethiopia.
Berhane G., Ethiopia


Trying to create two countries and two people out of one is what resulted in all these problems.

Kebadu, USA
I am very happy to see an end to the meaningless war which claimed the lives of thousands of innocent citizens and millions of dollars of the world's most poorest countries. In my opinion the war over the border was just one of the symptoms of a larger and real problem. Treating the symptoms might bring a temporary healing just for that symptom but will not cure the main disease causing the symptoms. Trying to create two countries and two people out of one is what resulted in all these problems. Families had to be split, people had to be deported abandoning their properties.

The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea are naturally tied together by strong economic, social, geographic, religious, and historical factors. Together they stand a better chance of survival, development, and lasting peace. Otherwise there will always be conflict over resources. Maybe the next generation will not have as much hatred as the current and previous generations have gone through and they will value unity more than we can. But for that to happen we have to plant the seed now.
Kebadu, USA

There is no winner in a war. But this is definitely a victory for the people of both nations. All we have been praying for is a peaceful resolution to the issue, and now that it has come it is time for us to celebrate. Both governments have accepted the ruling and that is one thing we should rejoice in because the alternative would have been another war leading to the deaths of our brothers and sisters. My only frustration with both governments in the past has been their egocentric views and their unwillingness to compromise for peace. The battle victories claimed by both countries during the war were nothing but false victories. Having a clearly demarcated, internationally recognized border is the real victory for both nations. Now there is no reason for anyone to invade the other on the basis of border. I know this might be hard for Ethiopians to celebrate because of the false hope they had in getting Assab. As for the Eritreans it is a clear victory in a sense that we can now move on in the development of our country without having to worry about defending what is rightfully ours.
Mekonnen, USA

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See also:

14 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea accepts border ruling
13 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea-Ethiopia border defined
07 Mar 02 | Africa
Horn border ruling delayed again
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