chapter  3
23 Pages

Eritrea and Tigray: Changing Organisational Issues in Cross-Border Relief Assistance, 1983-92

During the 1980s, the background to the war in the Hom was complex. It was defined by the opposition of popular liberation struggles in Eritrea and Tigray to an authoritarian military regime (the Dergue) claiming sovereignty in Ethiopia. Before the mid-1980s, the Dergue enjoyed the support of western donors, notably what is now the European Union (EU) and its members. Soviet military assistance to Ethiopia also encouraged the West to compete with developmental aid and, increasingly, humanitarian relief. In contrast, since the Dergue was the recognised government, the peoples of Eritrea and Tigray were isolated. Most international agencies did not provide assistance to these areas outside of government control.