Viewpoint: Towards a Sustainable Peace in the Horn of Africa

Despite negotiations and agreements imperialist military forces set to remain in region

Another agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea signed in Jedda, Saudi Arabia on September 16 represents a new page in the shifting political alignments in this area of East Africa.

Previously on July 9 a document was signed by the leaders of the Horn of Africa states in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. This most recent agreement is designed to expand the initial understanding between Addis Ababa and Asmara leading to greater cooperation in the efforts to put an end to the state of war which has lasted for twenty years.

Military conflict erupted in 1998 after a dispute over Badme on the border of the two countries resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians in several major battles over a period of two years. In 2000 the Algiers Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities was brokered by the-then Organization of African Unity (OAU, now the AU), the United Nations, European Union (EU) and the Algerian government.

The Algiers Agreement established a Boundaries Commission and a Claims Commission aimed at working out the disagreement over Badme. Although the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundaries Commission (EEBC) issued a ruling in 2003, the decision was rejected by the Ethiopian government. Although there was relative peace over the issue for the last decade-and-a-half, the overall situation remained tense until the diplomatic offensive which has been in the works since July.

This latest accord is framed as a peace and friendship treaty which was brokered by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. As of July it appears as if Ethiopia has relinquished its claim to Badme….

Ethiopia Oromo population greet returning OLF members in Addis Ababa in Sept. 2018

Ethiopia Oromo population greet returning OLF members in Addis Ababa in Sept. 2018

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