Review from ROAPE Volume 9 Number 23
Eritrea: Africa's Longest War (Pool)
Profound changes are taking place within the 20 year Eritrea war whose effects are likely to be felt soon in several related arenas. The resolution of long-standing divisions within the nationalist movement is underway after renewed outbreaks of civil war this year left the Marxist-oriented Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) the sole viable military force in the Pennsylvania-size Red Sea territory. New guerrilla initiatives are generating a sweeping redeployment of Ethiopia's Soviet-backed armed forces into over-stretched defensive positions in the occupied towns and along key government-controlled highways. And an Eritrean diplomatic push centring around the EPLF's late 1980 proposal for an internationally supervised cease fire and referendum to end the bitter conflict may wind up at the United Nations during the 1981-82 session. In short, the two year stalemate in Africa's longest war is gradually giving way to a general Eritrean counteroffensive.