The New Humanitarian welcomes new CEO Ebele Okobi.

Find out more.
  1. Home
  2. East Africa
  3. Eritrea

President says 19,000 killed in border war

President Isayas Afewerki has announced that 19,000 Eritrean soldiers were killed during the 1998-2000 border conflict with Ethiopia, before it ended last May. The announcement was made at a ceremony to mark Eritrea’s Martyrs’ Day, which commemorates soldiers lost during the war of independence and the recent border war. A BBC correspondent in Asmara said the impact on Eritrean society of the recent war had been enormous “not least because every Eritrean family has someone in the armed forces”. Although the number of wounded was not announced, it is thought to be very high, the BBC said on Wednesday. The Eritrean population is estimated at about 3 million, compared to more than 60 million in neighbouring Ethiopia. In reaction to the announcement, Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yemane Kidane told the BBC he believed the Eritrean figure to be ridiculously low - but declined to give any official figures for Ethiopian casualties, saying few governments would give out such details.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join