1.The crisis between Eritrea and Ethiopia is rooted in the
      violation by the Government of Ethiopia of Eritrea's colonial
      boundaries, and to willfully claim, as well as physically occupy,
      Large swathes of Eritrean territory in the southwestern,
      southern and southeastern parts of the country. This violation
      is made manifest in the official map issued in 1997 as well as
      the map of Ethiopia embossed in the new currency notes of
      the country that came into circulation in November 1997.
  2.Ethiopia went further than laying claims on paper to create a
      de facto situation on the ground. The first forcible act of
      creating facts on the ground occurred in July 1997 when
      Ethiopia, under the pretext of fighting the Afar opposition,
      brought two battalions to Bada (Adi Murug) in southwestern
      Eritrea to occupy the village and dismantle the Eritrean
      administration there. This unexpected development was a
      cause of much concern to the Government of Eritrea. Eritrea's
      Head of State subsequently sent a letter to the Ethiopian
      Prime Minister on August 16, 1997, reminding him that "the
      forcible occupation of Adi Murug" was "truly saddening." He
      further urged him to "personally take the necessary prudent
      action so that the measure that has been taken will not trigger
      unnecessary conflict." A week later, on August 25, 1997, the
      Eritrean Head of State again wrote to the Prime Minister
      stressing that measures similar to those in Bada were taken in
      the Badme (southwestern Eritrea) area and suggesting that a 
      Joint Commission be set up to help check further deterioration 
      and create a mechanism to resolve the problem.

  3.Unfortunately, Eritrean efforts to solve the problem amicably
      and bilaterally failed as the Government of Ethiopia continued
      to bring under its occupation the Eritrean territories that it had
      incorporated into its map. Our worst fears were to be realized
      when on May 6, 1998, on the eve of the second meeting of
      the Joint Border Commission, the Ethiopian army launched an
      unexpected attack on Eritrean armed patrols in the Badme
      area claiming that they had transgressed on areas that
      Ethiopia had newly brought under its control. This incident led
      to a series of clashes which, coupled with the hostile
      measures that were taken by the Government of Ethiopia,
      resulted in the present state of war between the two countries.

  4.Ethiopia's unilateral re-drawing of the colonial boundary and
      flagrant acts of creating facts on the ground are the essential
      causes of the current crisis. In light of these facts, Ethiopia's
      claims that it is the victim of aggression are obviously false and
      meant to deceive the international community. Indeed, Ethiopia to 
      this day occupied Eritrean territories in the Setit area in the 
      southwestern part of the country.

  5.Ethiopia's blatant act of aggression is clearly in violation of the
      OAU Charter and Resolution AHG/RES 16(1) of the First
      Assembly of the Heads of State and Government held in Cairo
      in 1964. Unless rectified without equivocation, Ethiopia's
      refusal to abide by the OAU Charter and decisions, and its
      continued occupation of undisputed Eritrean territory will open
      a Pandora's box and create a cycle of instability in the region.
      The acceptance of Ethiopia's logic will not only affect all
      African States but will indeed backfire against Ethiopia itself,
      since its sovereignty over much of its territory, including on the
      Ogaden, is based on the same principles of international law.

  6.A simple border dispute has assumed this level of conflict
      because of Ethiopia's continued escalation of its hostile and
      provocative acts.

      Among these are:

       the declaration of war by Ethiopia's Parliament on May 13,1998;

       the launching of an air-strike by Ethiopia on June 5, 1998,on Asmara;

       the imposition of an air blockade and maritime access
       blockade to Eritrean ports through the threat of incessant
       and indiscriminate air bombing;

       the mass expulsion and indiscriminate arrests of thousands
       of Eritreans from Ethiopia.

  7.In spite of all these, Eritrea has been restrained and
      committed to a peaceful solution of the dispute. In this vein, it
      has already presented constructive proposals (attached).The proposals
      center on:
           1.the demarcation of the entire boundary between the two
             countries on the basis of borders established by colonial
           2.the demilitarization of the entire border area pending
             demarcation; and, 
           3.the establishment of appropriate ad hoc arrangements for
             civil administration in populated demilitarized areas in
             the interim period. 

         In addition, considering the state of war that exists between
         the two countries, the Government of Eritrea has been
         calling--and continues to call--for:

            i)  an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities;
            ii) the start of direct talks between the two parties in the
                presence of mediators. 

                 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
                 Asmara, June 19, 1998