Ethiopia blamed the small neighboring country of Eritrea in the killing of five European tourists on Tuesday. Ethiopia said Eritrea backed the gunmen, though Eritrea's ambassador to the African Union called the accusation an absolute lie, according to Bloomberg news.
Of the tourists who were killed, two were German, two were Hungarian and one was Austrian. One Italian and another Hungarian were injured in the attacks, which occurred while the group was exploring a volcano, 15 miles from the Eritrea border.
The terrorist group from Eritrea crossed the border and attacked, killing five, Bereket Simon, Ethiopian Communications Minister , told Bloomberg news. The perpetrators have gone back to Eritrea.
Eritrea is a small country in the horn of Africa, with a population of almost six million. The country fought a war with Ethiopia between 1998 and 2000, which left 70,000 dead. The war was fought over the border, and the dispute has not fully been resolved, leading to heavy troop presence from both countries on the border.
Girma Asmerom, the Eritrean ambassador to the African Union, said that Ethiopia blames his country very quickly. Anything that happens they say it's Eritrea. It is pathetic and disgusting. Eritrea has been under UN sanctions since December 2009 for its alleged support of militants fighting to topple the UN- backed government of Somalia, according to Bloomberg. Eritrea's Foreign Ministry says the sanctions are unjustifiable.
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It also calls on the international community, especially the United Nations, to be more stringent on sanctioning the Eritrean government, Bereket said. The leniency has been the reason why this government is emboldened.
Ethiopia said in April that it would support Eritrean rebels who are trying to overthrow the Etitrean government. Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki then accused Ethiopia of trying to destabilize the region.