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Ethiopia-Eritrea peace talks marred with complexities

Leaders of both countries to meet soon to end Africa's longest running conflict By Seleshi Tessema ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Sensitivities on both sides may prolong or delay peace talks between Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders, pundits say. The leaders are

Leaders of both countries to meet soon to end Africa’s longest running conflict

By Seleshi Tessema


Sensitivities on both sides may prolong or delay peace talks between Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders, pundits say.

The leaders are poised to meet soon following recent diplomatic rapprochement aimed at ending Africa’s longest running conflict.

The 1998-2000 war fought between the two countries killed an estimated 80,000 and displaced hundreds of thousands of people from both sides. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and militias had been facing each other along the heavily militarized 1,000 kilometers of common border over the last two-decades.

Newly-elected Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced his administration’s unconditional acceptance of the 2000 Algiers peace agreement and the decision of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission (EEBC) which awarded Eritrea a small town Badme, a flashpoint of the conflict.

A few days later Ahmed offered an olive branch to Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, who has been in power since his country gained independence from Ethiopia in 1991.

Afewerki agreed to peace talks and dispatched a delegation led by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Sale who held talks with Ethiopian officials in capital Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that both sides had agreed to continue the peace talks which will begin with a resumption of flights and opening up of borders for business.

‘’The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki will meet soon and the venue will be decided,’’ the statement added.

Underlying causes

Yacob Haile-Mariam, a law professor at Addis Ababa University and a lead UN advisor to the Nigeria-Cameroon border dispute negotiation, told Anadolu Agency that multiple factors made the peace initiative possible.

‘’The diplomatic rapprochement was due to largely the current political orientation in Ethiopia and the bold first initative taken by new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, that triggered a prompt response by President Isaias,’’ he said.

Moreover, he said, the “no war, no peace” situation had exhausted itself and both nations could no longer shoulder the burdens of keeping themselves on war footing.

“Over the past decade there had been an enormous demand by the international community, intellectuals and citizens in both countries to end the stalemate that had separated the culturally, and historically bonded people.’’

Also, Haile-Mariam said, Eritrea which had suffered from UN sanctions for years had realized that the Ethiopian peace offer could help lifting sanctions which had crippled the economy and alienated it from the global community of nations.

Tigstu Awelu, chairperson of the Ethiopian Unity Party, who also specializes in international relations told Anadolu Agency, that even though the peace initiative was offered by Ahmed, the decision was made by the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party.

‘’They wanted to make peace with Eritrea and end attacks from Eritrean-based Ethiopian armed groups,’’ he said.

Also, Awelu said, the coalition government perceives the presence of naval and air forces of UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Eritrean port of Assab as a threat.

‘’It is imperative to fend off the unpredictable consequences of the Gulf nations positioned very close to Ethiopia by making peace with Eritrea,’’ he said.

Mixed reactions

Over the last couple of weeks, millions of Ethiopians who had staged mass rallies in the capital and different parts of the country expressed support for a peace dialogue with Eritrea.

Abiyot Charente, 27, a civil servant, told Anadolu Agency that the peace deal would end years of animosity between the two countries.

“I hope that in the end Eritrea will be reunited with Ethiopia, and [Ethiopian Prime Minister] Abiy will make this happen,’’ he said.

Ashenafi Abrham, 54, said the Eritrean government was the sworn enemy of Ethiopia and their acceptance of peace could not be trusted. “They want to divide the ruling party which has differences on many issues,” he said.

The border communities including the residents of the contested town Badme had also voiced their opposition to the peace plan.


Review overview
  • Anonymous July 4, 2018

    Ethiopian prime minister should never trust the Eritrean dictator. Reasons 1 .He isn’t an elected leader 2 no parliament or constitution 3 his whole aim how divide the Ethiopian people 4 He isn’t a leader that can live in peace time

    • Amanuel July 4, 2018

      Abiy should not trust weyane too.b/s there is no d/c b/n them. But olive branch was given to the people of eritrea who love peace unlike weyane/hgdf criminal gangs. Sadly tigray seems to be the same as weyane gangs though. Amaras and oromos are dealing with tplf and tigray effectively using the only language dishonest tigray and tplf understands.

      • Mesfin July 4, 2018

        Do you flipping eat too much garbage and as a result spew too much garbage?
        The brave Tigrayans/Weyanes must have dumped you into your unknown wildness.
        Stop generalizing and blaming the whole people of Tigray.
        The brave Weyanes/TPLFs will defeat your garbage types and sponsors any time.

        • Ermiyas July 5, 2018

          Indeed brother Mesfin, this garbage amanuel must have the Amaras and the Oromos as his boyfriends and lovers. Let’s hope they burn him alive soon.

          • Amanuel July 5, 2018

            Weyane actually has melted away like a frost in a desert. I do not understand which weyane you are talking about.

          • Ermiyas July 5, 2018

            Amanuel/Abdurahiman garbage, it is your dikala Arabic Jebha shit that has melted away like a frost in your savage Arab desert.

          • Berhane Haile July 8, 2018

            Ermias is the pen name of a PFDJ agent. Ermias never uttered a word that stands for the Eritrean people. He only defends the brutal dictator and insults people instead of presenting concrete and rational argument. Intelligent and patriotic people do not support dictators only bootlickers and sycophants do so. Poor guy, you have been disclosed as an agent of the regime and there is no one that heeds to your garbage texts.

  • lelom July 5, 2018

    @ Amanuel,
    We Ethiopian proud Tigraway is strongly supporting our brave leaders/ TPLP unlike before and we will forward to fighting our enemies like you together and give you another life time listen.
    Get ready to learn!!!
    we will fight and win !!
    Long live to Tigrawaye!!

    • Amanuel July 5, 2018

      Go to your Tigray offline. What are you doing here. This is eritrean forum, not hgdf or weyane criminals.

    • Almaz July 5, 2018

      Do you see any Somalia or kumal in this forum lelom. Go back to TOL and join other komalat.

      • Almaz July 5, 2018


        P/s read Somalia as komalat

      • lelom July 5, 2018

        @ Almaze, You Areb Bitch Try to to use you mind than your fucked up slave thought..
        we will fight and win !!
        Long live to Tigrawaye!!

        • Ermiyas July 5, 2018

          Well said lelom,
          Amanuel/Abdurahiman aka Almaz is the same old savage Arabic garbage.
          His savage dog’s Arabic slave mentality is damaged for life beyond repairs. We shall do him a favor by deporting him back to his savage Arabic slave masters once the brave people of Tigray and Eritrea Christians are united and are back together as one family for once and for ever. Long live to our people.

          • Danilo July 5, 2018

            ሓደሓደ ጊዝየ ምዓል ዱዱዕ ካብ ፋኛቱራ ወጺኦም ክስዕስዑ ግድን እዩ።

          • Sol July 5, 2018

            Tekhlay the Mr. Many names is on his old new mission of polluting assenna. Man whatever you change your name your vulgarity and street words expose you.
            Equality, justice and freedom will prevail in Eritrea.

          • Andom July 6, 2018

            Bhirkam miwlad nriesin melhasin tiena aytihibin eya zibehal haki eya.

  • Dawit July 5, 2018

    It is time to wish long live with best health and happiness to God’s peace messenger Dr Abiy.
    Dr Abiy the great and the brilliant African visionary man of the 21st century, God bless you and protect you.

    • Amanuel July 5, 2018

      Sure, he is the Moses of Ethiopia. Hope we get one like him in eritrea.

    • Danilo July 5, 2018

      ንሕንኩሊቢቶ! ዶክቶር ኣሕመድ ኣሰብን ኣስመልሰዋል።

    • Simon G. July 6, 2018

      I see nothing good for Eritrea so far. Tripple- A is doing excellent job for his country. He scares the hell out of me because he is dealing with the devil that who has no concern for Eritrea.
      To me, these are 2 Ethiopians who are making deal what’s best for Ethiopia.

      • Amanuel July 6, 2018

        Do not be afraid. Giziom ziwedeu expire zigeberu merahti hgdf tifatom nay gidin eyu. Haxir edme eya zelatom. Xinue nek zeybil mergex tirah nihaz.

  • Desta July 6, 2018

    Dictators hate peace,,,kil people kill time so please ahmed remove evil shaebia president or he will remove you,,ask anyone

    • Yohan July 6, 2018

      Janhoy/Haileselassie tried removing shaebia – failed disastrously,
      Mengistu Hailemariam tried removing shaebia – failed disastrously,
      Weyane/Meles Zenawi tried removing shaebia but failed disastrously.
      Dr Abiy Ahmed the smart intelligent guy will at last remove shaebia peacefully & cleanly.

      • Amanuel July 6, 2018

        Yes. But we need to contribute to that and to the end goal. That is to make sure dignity and liberty of all citizens respected who ever comes to power.

  • Wedi Hagher July 6, 2018

    DIA and his regime are illegal and fascist to the core. To expect them to do something good for Eritrea and its people is naïve.
    To escape from puplic pressure, DIA sent two men who work for him to Ethiopia. They had nothing on agenda that can be considered of national interest to Eritrea.
    Why the tyrant is avoiding to start a process that can lead to border demarcation now, after a decade long propaganda campain that said ” till the border is demarcated everything else is on hold” ?
    The border war was not necessary.
    Now there is ample chance to solve it by engaging the Weyane not by sidelining them as DIA is doing.
    Eritreans and their brothers and sisters on the other side of the border are ready for peace.
    People of the two countries need to put this dark chapter behind then and move. Demarcate the border as soon as possible to avoid future problems, and normalize relations following that. We have a common enemy against which we need to mobilize our resources: poverty.

    • Gezae July 7, 2018

      The border war unavoidable and pretty much necessary. The people of Eritrean is blessed to have PFDJ/PIA government.. As scheduled consummated in the definite time..Now THANK GOD the game is not only over for WOYANE X-Ethiopian regime, but also for the sell out puppets so called opposition groups too!

      • Danilo July 7, 2018

        Quite in contrary the game is not over. The game will over only when Eritrea and its people rid of dictatorship, weyanies dream and etiopians sentiments to own access to the sea that your PIA is ready made offer. therfore, the game is over for the above I mentioned. In fact, the eritrean people, is challenging all odds as opposition. The real opposition will only declare ” GAME ” is Over!

      • memhir July 8, 2018


        You used about 40 words to say absolutely nothing! What a shame.

  • Berhane Haile July 8, 2018

    Look guys, today I see many PFDJ people reading Assena. This shows how Assena is read even by PFDJ agents because they are fed up by ERITV and, Hadas Ertra Dmtsi Feshfash. Poor guys, I feel sorry for them.