ADDIS ABABA (AA) — Guns have fallen silent after two days of clashes between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces, the Ethiopia government's communication affairs minister Getachew Reda said Tuesday.
Speaking to foreign media journalists in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa today the Minister said the Ethiopian forces had returned to their barracks.
“They have suffered heavy damage,” he said. “There are casualties on our side as well.” He did not provide figures.
Explaining the cause, Getachew noted that the Eritrean government believed that Ethiopian army was too stretched to respond to its attacks.
“The Eritrean regime is exceptionally good at miscalculation and launched an attack on the Tsorena front .”
“The damage they suffered, we hope, will give them a lesson,” the minister said.
The Eritrean government on Sunday accused Ethiopia of unleashing full-scale war on the Tsorena front.
Getachew denies the accusation. “Ethiopia was forced to return fire as Eritrea fired first,” he added.
Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a devastating war from 1998 to 2000 and remained deadlocked over the implementation of UN-assisted Ethiopian-Eritrean Border Commission, which had awarded the town of Badme to Eritrea in 2003.
Ethiopia proposed a comprehensive peace talks before demarcation while Eritrea opposed to Ethiopia’s proposal and demanded unconditional handing over of the disputed border town of Badme.
Badme, a small northern town with an estimated 5,000 inhabitants, was a flash point of the conflict and it was administered by Ethiopia. Despite the commission’s ruling Ethiopians strongly believe that Badme is an Ethiopian town.
The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since.