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2010 Eritrean–Ethiopian border skirmish

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The 2010 Eritrean–Ethiopian border skirmish was an armed skirmish between soldiers of the Eritrean and the Ethiopian armies fought at the border town of Zalambesa after Eritea claimed that Ethiopian forces crossed the border. The Ethiopian Government claimed Eritrea was trying to cover up an internal crisis by implicating Ethiopia.[2]

2010 Eritrean–Ethiopian border skirmish
Part of Second Afar insurgency, Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict
Eritrea Ethiopia locator.svg
Eritrea (green) and Ethiopia (orange)
DateJanuary 1, 2010
Tsorona-Zalambessa, Eritrea-Ethiopian border

Coordinates: 15°N 39°E / 15°N 39°E / 15; 39
No territorial changes
 Eritrea  Ethiopia
Commanders and leaders
Eritrea Isaias Afewerki
Eritrea Sebhat Ephrem
Ethiopia Meles Zenawi
Ethiopia Girma Wolde-Giorgis
Ethiopia Siraj Fergessa
Ethiopia Samora Yunis
Casualties and losses
25 killed (Ethiopian Claim) 10 killed (Eritrean Claim)
2 captured



Relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia have been brittle and tensions between the two countries have remained high after both countries fought each other in the Eritrean–Ethiopian War which lasted from 1998 to 2000, and since the end of the war there have been a number of small border skirmishes between the two countries.

Eritrea had also recently been slapped with sanctions by the United Nations, after it was accused of supplying arms and weapons to militants and the opposition to the Somalia Government. The sanctions also came after Eritrea refused to deal with a border dispute with neighbouring Djibouti.[3]


Eritrean claimsEdit

According to the Eritrean Information Ministry, Ethiopian forces crossed the border early on New Year's Day and engaged in a fierce battle with Eritrean troops using small arms, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Ethiopian forces quickly withdrew back over the border, with Ethiopia having 10 killed, with 2 Ethiopian soldiers being taken prisoner. Several AK-47 assault rifles, a machine gun, and some radio equipment were left behind by the Ethiopian forces.[citation needed]

Ethiopian claimsEdit

Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon denied that any armed incursion had taken place, and claimed that the Eritreans were trying to cover up an attack by Eritrean rebels in which 25 Eritrean government soldiers were killed.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Eritrea says 10 Ethiopian troop killed". Television New Zealand. 4 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Eritrea says it killed 10 Ethiopian troops". Reuters. 3 January 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  3. ^ Associated Press (23 December 2009). "UN approves tough sanctions on Eritrea". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 21 September 2011.