“Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope”

Ch 5. The Struggle for Self-Determination

All peoples have the right of self-determination.
-International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

ኵሎም ህዝብታት መሰል ርእሰ-ውሳኔ ኣለዎም።
– ኣህጕራዊ ውዕል ብዛዕባ ሲቪላውን ፖለቲካውን መሰላት

Chapter 5



The legitimacy in international law of the right of self-determination, in the dual sense of the right of a nation and the right of a people, and the applicability of the principle to the case of Eritrea as such, are outlined in Chapter 5: The Arduous Struggle for Self-Determination. This chapter bares the UN failure to uphold its own Charter and declarations with respect to Eritrea’s legitimate claim to, and active struggle for, the right of self-determination. In addition, it stresses the role of external intervention, in the context of a complex web of geopolitical interests and shifting alliances, as a complicating factor in the evolution of modern Eritrean history.


The chapter sketches the rise of a distinctive shared identity as the driving force of Eritrean nationalism, the resurgence of the Eritrean national movement, the dynamics of the ensuing political and military struggles, the tortuous internal developments and the unfolding of the difficult drive to dislodge foreign domination. Further, it highlights the resistance, sacrifices, and triumph of the Eritrean people that challenged successive superpower intervention and defeated Ethiopian occupation. Finally, it hails the historic exercise of the right to self-determination of Eritrea as a nation availed by military victory while underscoring the inability of independence to allow for the exercise of the right of self-determination of Eritrea as a people.


(PDF: Tigrinya ምዕራፍ 5)

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