Both Ethiopian and Eritrean presidents held peaceful negotiations on 8th to 9th June in Asmara, Eritrea. The two leaders signed a joint declaration, formally ending the border conflict between them, restoring full diplomatic relations, and agreeing to open their borders to each other for persons, goods, and services. The joint statement was to close all chapters regarding the Eritrean–Ethiopian War (1998–2000) and of the following Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict (2000–2018) with sporadic clashes.
Eritrea gained independence in 1993 after struggling for 30 years under colonial rule. The two nations were never at peace due to the never-ending border conflicts. The tensions became extreme in 1998 when Eritreans attacked Ethiopians, leading to the death of 70000 to 100000 people. The clash left about 650000 people homeless.
The two states resolved their disputes after the then Ethiopian Prime Minister was replaced by Abiy. The disagreements resulted from both the countries blamed each other for conducting terrorist attacks.
Peaceful Negotiations and the Impacts
The Ethiopia, Eritrea peace treaty has promoted developments in Ethiopia. To begin with, it has catalyzed a conducive climate for regional cooperation. While the remaining problems will be resolved through a shared vision and prevailing political goodwill.
However, Rashid Abdi, a former political analyst reminded the people that the agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia wasn’t formal. He said rather both Abiy and Isayas were together because of their mutual dislike for TPLF.
What is holding Abiy & Isayas together is their mutual antipathy to TPLF and Tigray. Nothing more,” these were recent views shared by Rashid Abdi, a former Crisis Group researcher who is a keen political watcher for the Horn and East Africa region.
Second Anniversary celebrations of the peace deal
Eritrean government stated that their peace summit was progressing nicely despite critics alleging it would fail. In a tweet Information Minister Yemane Meskel stated they were celebrating the deal’s second anniversary.
Today is the 2nd Anniversary of the historic Eritrea-Ethiopia Peace Agreement that was signed in Asmara bringing to an end the state of intermittent wars that existed between the two countries for almost 80 years and ushered in “a new era of peace and friendship” between them.
The anniversary celebrations came at a time when Prime Minister Abiy was trying to control political tensions in the country. Ethiopians were protesting at the country’s capital and in the Oromia region demanding justice for the unjust killing of an influential Oromia singer.
Opposition Party plots breakup
TPLF is the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, the ruling party in the Tigray region. It tried to destroy the mutual relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The party leaders alleged that the deal was bound to break. Tigray is a region in Ethiopia, which shares a long border with Eritrea. This border facilitates movements for people crossing to and from Eritrea. However, according to reports, Eritrea decided to close it.
Both the opposition party and the ruling Prosperity Party have had differences for quite some time. As such, Prime Minister Abiy seems not to get along with his opposition.