Calm & Cooperation in the Horn of Africa

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Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea
By María Vila Rebolo
After decades of military clashes, and the absence of diplomatic relations, Eritrean President Isaias Agwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed a declaration of peace between the two countries in July of 2018. This opens the door to a new era of political, economic, social and cultural cooperation. The Horn of Africa is a key area of international geopolitics, so peace between these countries is essential to stability in the region. For many years Eritrea struggled to become independent from Ethiopia, and finally achieved a peaceful separation in 1993. However, several points of demarcation of the shared border remained unsettled.

In 1998 Eritrean troops occupied and annexed the Badme region and this led to a war which lasted until 2000. Since then relations between the two countries had been hostile until the election of Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed who sought the present agreement to restore peaceful relations and resolve the border disputes. Other advances have been the reopening of flights between the two countries and the joint development of Eritrean ports. On the same day as the signing of the peace treaty, the Government of Ethiopia made a formal request to the United Nations to lift the sanctions imposed on Eritrea in 2009. New hope has been born in these two African countries where 70% of the populations are under thirty years of age... hope that is filled with dreams and visions for the future.


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