ANC: Eritrean–Ethiopian peace is a watershed moment

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The African National Congress (ANC) said the declaration of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia was a major development for the Horn of Africa, which has lived through its fair share of troubles during the past few decades.

The Eritrean–Ethiopian War, one of the many conflicts in the region, was started in May of 1998. Various international groups have claimed that at least 100 000 people have been killed during this 20-year conflict – which just never looked like it would end.

The war itself only actually lasted just over two years, following an Ethiopian military victory. A treaty had actually been drawn up in 2000, but both parties failed to come together on that.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia has finally agreed to get this peace ball rolling. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki has played his part.

Peace was declared by both sides earlier this week. The great tragedy for some, is that so much money was spent by two of the world’s poorest countries – on war.

“The ANC concurs with the Asmara Joint Declaration that over the past twenty years some forces have denied the opportunity to build a bright future based on common heritage for their peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia,” said national spokesperson Pule Mabe on Wednesday.

“We stand ready to assist our sister countries in making up for lost opportunities and creating an even bigger golden opportunities including, where required, to facilitate intimate political, economic, social, cultural and security cooperation that serves and advances the vital interests of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia,” added Mabe.

The ANC has lost a considerable amount of its gloss on the domestic front in recent years, but has always been highly respected for its capacity to foster peace around the world.

The party wants to play a meaningful role in the Horn of Africa’s transition too.

“We are elated that transport, trade and communications links between the two sister countries will resume and that diplomatic ties and activities will restart in earnest. We note with joy, the announcement by Ethiopian Airlines that regular flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara will begin next week and that direct telephone calls between the two capitals are now operational,” added Mabe.

“We note the positive implications of this emerging regional Ethiopian-Eritrea partnership will have, in advancing the challenging road ahead to regional peace, development and cooperation, most notably in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia. The ANC looks forward to successful implementation of the provisions of the 2000 Algiers Agreement and the 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission’s final and binding decision.”

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