The Tigrinya of Eritrea and Their Impact on the Horn of Africa

1536 Words4 Pages

The Tigrinya of Eritrea and their impact on the Horn of Africa

This paper focuses on the Eritrean Tigrinya, their past role as a catalyst which started the 30 year Eritrean war for independence from Ethiopia, and their possible future use in stabilizing the Horn of Africa (Almedom, 2006). The Eritrean pan-national government was accused of arming and funding the al-Qaida-linked Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab, as well as other terrorist organizations within Somalia, by the United States, United Nations, and African Union (Abraha, 2009). The world at large appears to take two very distinct and contradictory positions on the political aspirations of the Tigrinya; some people believe that the current terrorist supporting, Islamic Caliphate spreading, totalitarian, minority oppressing Eritrean government is guided by the will of the Tigrinya (Advameg, 2011; Adem, Izaz, Abubaker, 2011). Others maintain that the majority of Tigrinya oppose the current pan-national Eritrean government (Schmitz-Pranghe, 2010). I am inclined to endorse the latter school of thought; quite simply, it is nearly inconceivable that a Christian Orthodox culture would support Islamic extremism or make any attempt to secure an Islamic state within striking distance of its own people.

To completely understand the Tigrinya of Eritrea we must also examine the Tigre of Ethiopia. The Tigrinya and Tigre live respectively in Southern Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia in the highlands (Lundquist and Jenkins, 2011). Culturally the Eritrean Tigrinya and the Ethiopian Tigre are extremely similar, sharing in customs, language, and heritage, but they do not agree politically or consider themselves one united group of people (Jenkins, 2009). The majority of Tigrinya and Tig...

... middle of paper ...

3. WRITENET, Sudan - Eritrea: Early Warning Note, 1 April 1996, available at: [accessed 6 November 2011]

4. Eritrea, Country Specific Information – U.S. Department of State – International Travel -

5. Ethiopia and UN accuse Eritrea of backing Al Shabaab - Thursday, 28 July 2011 17:40 -

8. Orthodox Church

1. A Writenet Report by Assefaw Bariagaber commissioned by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Status Determination and Protection Information Section (DIPS) 1 October 2006 -

More about The Tigrinya of Eritrea and Their Impact on the Horn of Africa

Open Document