Skip to main content

Djibouti and Eritrea Cross Border Conflict: 2008

The easternmost border between Eritrea and Djibouti occupies an arid, remote, yet strategic position overlooking the straits of Bab-el Mandeb, at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Over ten thousand ships pass through the straits each year, carrying tens of billions of dollars worth of cargo, including four percent of the world’s oil supply. Due to its proximity to one of the most important shipping routes from Europe to Asia, a conflict in the region could have a significant destabilizing effect on the global economy, particularly if it were to result in the deployment of sea mines or naval forces. In order to mitigate the risk of future armed conflict, a thorough understanding of past disputes, such as the 2008 standoff that took place between Eritrea and Djibouti is needed. In order to accomplish this, satellite imagery of the area was acquired on four dates from December 2007 to July 2008. This work formed part of a project on studying border conflict made possible by a grant from the United States Institute of Peace. Read more at

Download the Report