Eritrea says Ethiopia must move to deal with its chronic internal security crisis instead of finding scapegoats from outside.
This is the position of Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel in a response to an email query by the Bloomberg magazine. Ethiopian authorities were reported over the weekend to have said neighbouring Eritrea was partly to blame for its internal security headache.
“The regime is desperately trying to deflect attention from its intractable domestic crisis — of its own making — and find external scapegoats,” Yemane said describing the claims as false and one that did not merit a serious response.
The state-owned Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation late last week quoted the federal police chief as saying Eritrea was trying to destabilize the country by sponsoring anti-peace forces.
Ethiopia is currently under a six-month state of emergency imposed on February 16, 2018. It followed the resignation of Prime Minisiter Hailemariam Desalegn, barely 24-hours earlier.
The government said it was necessary in the wake of spreading violence across the country. The measure was controversially ratified by the parliament in early March in a vote fraught with claims of rigging.
It is not the first time that Ethiopia has accused Eritrea of such acts, neither is it the first time Eritrea is rejecting such claims. The two continue to trade blows over a border demarcation process which dates back to 2002.
Eritrea achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after decades of armed struggle. In 1998, the two neighbouring countries fought a two-year long war over their disputed border which claimed the lives of at least 70,000.
The two countries have had tense relations as a peace deal signed in 2000 to end the war has never been fully implemented.