Monday, September 10, 2018 – Friday, September 14, 2018
The United Nations has hailed the successful diplomatic efforts of Djibouti and Eritrea this week to end a decade-old border spat between the two countries. The resolution was thanks to the efforts of Ethiopia and Somalia. Foreign Affairs ministers of the two countries met for the first-time last Thursday in Djibouti along with their Ethiopian and Somali counterparts. The UN has expressed its readiness to assist in the ensuing peace process. UN chief Antonio Guterres, through his spokesperson, said in a statement: “The Secretary-General reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to support countries in the Horn of Africa region in consolidating the recent remarkable gains.”
Eritrea is set to re-join the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) soon. Eritrea lost its membership to the regional organisation in 2007 after increased isolation on Eritrea’s part. Eritrea has been at the heart of several diplomatic rapprochements in recent months, including normalisation of relations with Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Following a wave of positive developments and the decreasing isolation of Eritrea, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry was in the capital Asmarra where he met with President Afwerki. Eritrea and Egypt have held talks around the enhancement of bilateral ties. Asmara has in the past few months hosted leaders from across the region following its peace deal with Ethiopia, which ended decades of hostilities between them. The meeting between Egypt and Eritrea is another example of the wave of positive diplomacy that is currently rocking the Horn of Africa and the wider region.
Eritrean President Afwerki has said in an interview with Chinese Global Television Network (CGTN) that Eritrea must recoup and rebuild lost opportunities. Eritrea had suffered a level of economic isolation over the decades that it held a diplomatic spat with Ethiopia over a border ruling the latter had refused to implement. Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ethiopia has accepted to implement the ruling. Asked about the thaw in relations between Asmara and Addis Ababa since July 9, 2018; Afwerki responded: “We have been in an abnormal situation for so long without any rationale without any justification, we are coming back to normalcy, it’s as simple as that.”