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Title:    "The Internal and External Dimensions of the Eritrean Conflict."
          (Volumes I and II) (Ethiopia)
Author:   Kendie, Daniel Dagnew

Date:     1994
School:   Michigan State University  
Advisor:  Harold Marcus
Degree:   Ph.D.  

Abstract: Under the rubric of what is known as 'the Eritrean conflict,' various conflicts have been on-going. The dissertation identifies these conflicts. It begins with the religious and ethnic strifes that have bedeviled Eritrea for many years. It then examines the root causes of the problems that have alienated the Eritrean elite from the Ethiopian state. It investigates the reasons behind the involvement of such countries as Egypt, Israel, and Syria in the conflict, and why the Eritrean conflict should also be studied as an extension of the Arab-Israeli dispute. It examines also the role played by the major western and eastern powers in the fighting. In the process, it uncovers the hidden agendas of those powers which have used the Eritrean conflict as a convenient mask for advancing their national objectives.

Data for this dissertation came from research work conducted in Eritrea, as well as at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, the Ethiopian National Library and at the Ethiopian Provincial Archives in Addis Ababa, at the Dag Hammarskjold United Nations Library in New York, and at the Michigan State University Special Collections on Ethiopia (1950-1969). Extensive interviews of individuals who provide the testimony of participants were also conducted in Asmara, Keren, Addis Ababa, Cairo, New York and Washington, D.C. In addition, numerous newspapers, periodicals and books were consulted.

Conclusion: The dissertation explores various probable scenarios which could be elicited from the current situation. (1) Eritrea could go on limping; (2) Unable to withstand all the internal and external pressures, Eritrea may disintegrate; (3) Eritrea could become expansionist; (4) Neighbouring Sudan may claim the eastern lowlands of Eritrea on ethnic and religious grounds; (5) The entire Red Sea coast of Eritrea could be annexed by the Afar Democratic Union which has declared its intention to unite all the Afar inhabited regions of the area; (6) The possibility of an Ethiopian nationalist government coming to power and claiming Eritrea, once again, cannot be ruled out; (7) Since the Eritrean Government has already proposed a confederation with Ethiopia, both sides may find it convenient to settle for a federation.


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