Petition for Peace in the
Eritrean/Ethiopian war

Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 22:06:49 -0400 (EDT)

Dear All,

As you may be aware, earlier this month intense fighting resumed in the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia (the war began in May 1998), as the Ethiopian army penetrated deep into Eritrea, beyond the disputed border region. In a war that had already killed an estimated 50,000 soldiers, thousands more are said to have been killed in fighting this month. Besides the many deaths in a war which is ostensibly over the border between the nations, but which seems to derive much of its fuel from national pride, this month's fighting has caused at least half a million Eritreans -- well over 10 percent of the country's entire population -- to flee their towns and villages.
Within the past day or so, Ethiopia has said that its troops are withdrawing from areas deep within Eritrea (see, but refuses to rule out the possibility of renewed attacks. Thousands of refugees continue to leave Eritrea to avoid the fighting (see
Please add your name to the petition below, which calls for an immediate ceasefire, and forward it to Megan Munzert ( She is collecting names, and will sort them and send them to appropriate representatives for each country, and probably to the United Nations as well. In addition, please forward the petition to other people so that they too can sign it.
There is also an internet petition at, which, when you sign it, is automatically sent to a variety of US officials and a few NGOs. It asks recipients to press for a ceasefire, with a particular emphasis on Ethiopia's ending the fighting and accepting the OAU peace plan. (Both countries have accepted most of the peace plan; Eritrea wants a ceasefire before the finals details are worked out, while Ethiopia insists that the final details be worked out before a ceasefire. See NYT, 5/26/00.)
Finally, you might want to send your own message to the President, Vice President and/or Congressperson. The President's e-mail address is, the Vice President's is, and you can find Congressional contact information at
In your letter/e-mail to these officials, you might express your concern about the war, call on them to do everything within their power to bring about an end to the fighting, and call on them to be generous in providing humanitarian aid for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting in a region already facing a severe drought. US/Western support for humanitarian aid, particularly in Africa, is inexcusably low. (Last year, the West was spending $1.50/Kosovo refugee, but only $0.11/African refugee. See NYT, 7/25/99, Donald G. McNeil, Jr.)
Thank you very much for your time and attention to this issue. (Please see below for the first-mentioned petition.)



"I have only dreams: to build a better world, a world of harmony and understanding, a world in which it is a joy to live. This is not asking for too much." -- Yitzhak Rabin

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Dear friends. Please add your name to this petition and help bring peace to the Horn of Africa. The Ethiopian invasion of Eritrea is now threatening the lives of million. Eritrea has been calling for a ceasefire for almost two years, and has fulfilled all conditions asked of it by the United Nations, the OAU, and the United States. Only a political call can make a difference. Please add your name. Can you send your name to and express your support for am immediate ceasefire?

Thank you for your support, Lea Brilmayer


To Rt Hon Robin Cook MP

A humanitarian disaster of horrendous proportions is about to unfold in Eritrea unless urgent pressure is put on Ethiopia to halt its invasion of Eritrea.

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF stated on Thursday, 18 May that already over 500,000 Eritreans have fled their homes from the advancing Ethiopian army. The BBC has reported that over 150,000 Ethiopian troops are preparing to launch an all out attack on the provincial capital of Mendefera just 50kms from the capital Asmara in the coming days. If this attack is allowed to take place a further 1,000,000 people will be forced to flee their homes. The scale of civilian and military casualties will be horrific.

We urge you to use your undoubted influence urgently to put every possible pressure on the Ethiopian Government to halt this military invasion.

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