Ethiopia-Eritrea peace deal boost for regional peace – AU, EU

Africa

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
The African Union (AU) says the normalization of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea is a boost for peace and security in the Horn of Africa region and on the continent as a whole. The AU’s view is also shared by the European Union (EU).

Both blocs issued statements on Monday congratulating leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki respectively, for resolving to establish friendly relations after two decades of armed hostilities.

According to an AU statement attributed to the Chairperson of the body, “the ongoing normalization process between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a milestone in Africa’s efforts to silence the guns by 2020.”

Breaking a twenty year old deadlock in bilateral relations, it raises unprecedented prospects for reconciliation and paves the way for enhanced regional cooperation and stability in the Horn of Africa.

“Breaking a twenty year old deadlock in bilateral relations, it raises unprecedented prospects for reconciliation and paves the way for enhanced regional cooperation and stability in the Horn of Africa,” the EU statement issued by foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini read in part.

Prime Minister Abiy returned to Addis Ababa on Monday (July 9) after a two-day official visit to Asmara, where he was warmly received by the government and people of Eritrea.

At the end of the visit, the two leaders signed a five-point agreement ending twenty-year war and restoring relations between them. The summaries read as follows:

State of war has come to an end;

  • The 2 nations will forge close political, economic, social, cultural & security cooperation
    Trade, economic & diplomatic ties will resume
    The boundary decision will be implemented
    Both nations will work on regional peace
  • The “State of war that existed between the two countries has come to an end,” Eritrea’s information minister, Yemane Gebremeskel, wrote on Twitter.

    Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia
    Addis Ababa, 9 July 2018:

    The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomes the Joint Declaration signed by President Isaias Afwerki and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed following the latter’s visit to Asmara on 8 and 9 July 2018. He commends the two leaders for choosing the courageous path of reconciliation, in the interest of their people, the region and Africa as a whole.

    The Chairperson of the Commission stresses that the ongoing normalization process between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a milestone in Africa’s efforts to silence the guns by 2020. This example is worthy of emulation by all parties to conflicts and crises in other parts of the continent. Consequently, the Chairperson looks forward to renewed efforts by all concerned with the view to overcoming protracted conflicts and defusing existing tensions.

    The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the readiness of the African Union to accompany Eritrea and Ethiopia in whatever way they deem appropriate, as they implement the process of normalizing their relations.

    Statement by High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini on the signature of the Joint Declaration between Eritrea and Ethiopia
    The signature of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship represents an historic and courageous move by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    Breaking a twenty year old deadlock in bilateral relations, it raises unprecedented prospects for reconciliation and paves the way for enhanced regional cooperation and stability in the Horn of Africa.

    The European Union stands ready to mobilise the support needed to consolidate the normalisation of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea and to build on new opportunities for regional cooperation.

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