Kjetil Tronvoll

Kjetil Tronvoll is Research Fellow and Horn of Africa Programme Director at the Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, University of Oslo.

Listed in: African Studies · African History

Brothers at War · Making Sense of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War
By Tekaste Negash and Kjetil Tronvoll

The war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, which began in May 1998, took the world by surprise. During the war, both sides mobilized huge forces along their common borders and spent several hundred million dollars on military equipment. Outside observers found it difficult to evaluate the highly polarized official statements and proclamations issued by the two governments in conflict.

“The Ethiopian-Eritrean war came largely as a surprise to most outsiders. There had been a general consensus that Ethiopia's acceptance of Eritrean independence, de facto in 1991 and de jure in 1993, had resolved one of the major causes of regional instability and conflict in the Horn of Africa. The bloody fighting has demonstrated just how wrong this was.

This book sets out to explain just why this happened and to demonstrate that the conflict had a much wider genesis than the flare up of fighting at Badme in May 1998. It succeeds admirably. Indeed a major strength of this book is the account of the historical context, and the slow build-up to the fighting.”

Patrick Gilkes