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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Conflict in Eritrea Reconsidered
Author:Hussien, Seifudein A.
Periodical:Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Inter-African Relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/13602009808716399
Abstract:This article looks back over the events leading to the referendum of 25 April 1993 in which Eritreans voted to secede from Ethiopia. It was the first and a successful case of secession in postcolonial Africa. The author asks what was the conflict (1961-1991) in Eritrea? Did the precedent have historical and legal backing? He believes that religion provided a strong emphasis for the origin and development of the Eritrean conflict and that the independence of Eritrea and the subsequent political arrangements have failed to answer the main question over which the struggle was launched. This began as a protest by Muslims who anticipated the predominance and pressure of Christians, but superficially the basis of the conflict changed over the years, the elitist groups on both sides colouring the situation with their own ideology, which was easier to embrace than grasping the thorny issue of religion. Yet the animosity has not been dispelled despite surgical removal from Ethiopia. The author claims that it dates back to the time of the introduction of both religions into the region. The deep-rooted nature of the animosity minimizes the possibility of compromise and accommodation. Religious values are not as easily transformed as political ideologies. At the moment there is a problem brewing between the Sudan and Eritrea, the latter accusing the fomer of assisting 'Islamic fundamentalist groups', bent on destabilizing Eritrea. Notes, ref.