Peace Breaks Out Between Eritrea and Ethiopia


By Souad Sbai

The signing in Asmara of the peace agreement between the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, and the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, last July 8, has put an end to the twenty-year war between the two countries.

The main reason of the conflict lied in the owning of the border territories and, in 1998, 80 thousand people were killed and thousands of families were separated.

The agreement sets the shared demarcation of borders, and restores diplomatic relations as well as the interaction between the two countries: the respective airlines will return to link the two capitals, Ethiopia will be able to use the Eritrean ports again, and the families will be reunited.

A key role in the negotiations that led to peace was played by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. In particular, the two Crown Princes, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, personally encouraged the rapprochement between the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the President of Eritrea, and are also committed in the promotion of development activities in both countries.

The Horn of Africa thus takes an important step forward along the path of stabilization. Looking ahead, Somalia remains the knot still to be untied. In addition to the terrorism of Al Shabaab, Somalia is facing an escalation of the internal conflicts due to the interference of external actors such as Qatar. Through the policies of the Somali central government, Doha is accentuating the fragmentation of the country, preventing dialogue and cooperation between the various parts of the local political process.


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