Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1991 and became a sovereign state in 1993. In 1997, relations between the new governments in Addis Ababa and Asmara began to deteriorate. One year later, the Eritreans, led by President Isaias Afewerki, sent their tanks and artillery across the border, claiming that they were attacked first. Ostensibly, the cause of the rift was a territorial dispute involving Badme, situated on the western side of the frontier. The Eritrean-Ethiopian war would last until 2000, yet eight years after a negotiated end of hostilities, peace remains elusive despite the presence of the United Nations Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea in the sixteen-mile corridor inside Eritrea. The Comprehensive Algiers Peace Agreement has also remained largely ineffective.
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