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Eritrea, Ethiopia Open New Peaceful Chapter

Politics

Eritrea, Ethiopia Open New Peaceful Chapter

President Paul Kagame, who is also the Chairperson for the African Union, has commended the settlement of two-decades of rivalry between Ethi­o­pia and Eritrea.

The Ethio­pian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, traveled on Sunday to meet the Eritrea leader, Isaias Afwerki, and both agreed to normalize ties after an unprecedented summit.

“We salute the leaders, PM of Ethiopia Dr. Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea for their courage and doing the right thing for their people of the two countries! We congratulate you and are with you….!,” Kagame said in a tweet later on Sunday.

When the Ethiopian leader arrived at the airport in Asmara, he was hugged by Afwerki and both smiled and laughed as they strode past the uniformed band and a guard of honor.

According to Eritrean state television, the two countries will reopen embassies, restore flight links and allow direct telephone calls.

Landlocked Ethi­o­pia will look to start using Eritrea’s Red Sea ports.

“Love is greater than modern weapons like tanks and missiles. Love can win hearts, and we have seen a great deal of it today here in Asmara,” Abiy told journalists.

“We have agreed to open up embassies in our respective countries, allow our people to visit each other’s cities, and allow our airlines and ports to operate freely,” Abiy said.

For more than 20 years, Eritrea focused so much on its conflict with Ethiopia, with substantial spending on its military and indefinite mandatory military service that has led hundreds of thousands of Eritreans to try to immigrate to Europe.

Eritrea Information Minister, Yemane Maskel, also said that the summit will set the tone for “mutumu interests”.

According to Hallelujah Lulie, a political analyst specialising in the Horn of Africa, the two countries had come to the realisation that the status quo — no war, no peace — could not continue.

This peacefeul resoultion of conflict between the two countries is expected to re-draw the geopolitical map of the Horn of Africa and East Africa.

“The rivalry between Ethiopia and Eritrea was reflected in conflicts in South Sudan, Somalia, even sometimes up to Chad,” Hallelujah said.

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