The contested legitimacy of Eritrean statehood: the effects of Arab intervention, (1941-1993)

Ghirmai, Habtom Zerai
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This report has embarked on to contribute to the understanding of the diplomatic history of Eritrea’s war of independence. Its primary purpose is to assess critically the genesis and effects of Arab interventionist policies in Eritrea. The underlying arguments are: Arab intervention was base on a flawed perception of Eritrea, as an Arab nation, which could rather be explained in light of their ‘national interests’ across the spectrum of ideological, political and security concerns. Second, that intervention was not critical to the victory of this largely self-reliant struggle. This work has also probed into the core of the matter in an endeavor to piece together a rough balance-sheet of thee interventions to show that they were even detrimental to the struggle. Though it has put much emphasis on the diplomatic circumstance that surround the struggle, as the formative years of the struggle had contributed to that end, as a way of introduction this academic inquiry has started two decades before the start of the armed struggle, stretching the time frame from 1941 to 1993. The year 1941 marks the ending of Italian colonial rule and the start of the British Military Administration, and 1993 signifies the re-birth of the country as a legitimate sovereign by its admission to the United Nations.
M.A. University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Humanities (International Relations), 2012