ADDIS ABABA – The rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea is a new phase. The Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki will tomorrow bring a return visit to Addis Ababa after the Ethiopian premier Abiy Ahmed last weekend on a visit in Asmara. Now begins the heavy work to the beautiful words and promises of the past weeks and months in action.
Abiy Ahmed cuddled with Isaias Afwerki at the end of his visit to Eritrea last weekend.
That the two countries draw closer to each other, is special, because of the mutual animosity has for decades been great. Eritrea was part of Ethiopia and fought for independence. When, after a long and bloody war of independence was achieved in 1993, followed within five years to re-war. The aim was the status of the town of Badme, formally on Eritrean territory but also claimed by Ethiopia. After two years of struggle was the peace signed, but Badme remained in the years that followed, a bone of contention.
The chilly relationship began to dooien, when premier Abiy Ahmed came to power earlier this year. The reformist prime minister showed himself willing to be the peace treaty from 2000 to fully recognise, including the allocation of Badme to Eritrea. The improvement of the relations since then is so significant, that which in the region is compared with the fall of the berlin Wall in 1989.
In addition to the mutual official visits happens more to the relationship to normalize. So are the phone lines between the two countries in force and Ethiopian Airlines, as of next week, flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara.
Yet, above all, the Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed is still a heavy task to wait. One of the parties from his governing coalition has its power base in and around Badme, so that will be quite a massaged should be to make concessions.
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