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Vol 43 No 7

Published 5th April 2002


Eritrea

Politics before economics

After consolidating his power, President Issayas will turn to the anaemic economy

The six-week delay, until 13 April, in the United Nations' verdict on the border dispute with Ethiopia may have further damaged the economy but by keeping the country on a war-footing, it has given President Issayas Aferworki's regime more time to fend off his critics, block any investigation of the conduct of the war and consolidate his group's hold on power. The culmination of this process should be the elections in August or September, intended to consecrate Issayas's group in power for another five years. Having displaced the remains of the Independence struggle leadership in a repeat of a pattern of purges used in the 1970-80s, the regime would like to draw a line under the war issue and concentrate on the economy.

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