Ethiopia and Eritrea reconciliation is not likely any time soon
Tigrai Online, May 5, 2018
It has been twenty years since the formal end of the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, but the two countries are in a perpetual war. The two countries have thousands of soldiers facing each other in their common border and the slightest misunderstanding could trigger the conflict again.
Recently there have been signs that there are some movements in the deadlocked peace talks. One of the signs is U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto visiting the two countries, however there is no any hint that the American top official’s mission has anything to do with Eritrea and Ethiopia peace talks. The other is Ethiopian ruling party elected a new prime minister because the previous prime minister resigned. The new Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed called on the Eritrean government to end “the years of misunderstanding” whatever that means. The new Ethiopian prime minister didn’t take any substantial action towards peace talks other than issuing the same statement his predecessors has given many times before. Let’s make this fact crystal clear for all friends and foe, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed is member of the EPRDF party and he grew up in the new Ethiopia. There should not be unrealistic expectations from the new Ethiopian prime minister concerning the Eritrean and Ethiopian conflict.
Martin Plaut on his latest article titled After 20 years, can Ethiopia and Eritrea ever reconcile? Said “Only a dramatic gesture from Ethiopia, reinforced by a promise that UN sanctions will be lifted and closer economic and possibly even military ties with Washington might end this stalemate.” Both the above statements are wishful thinking because there isn’t an ounce of reason for Ethiopia to show any dramatic gesture. As long as the mafia PFJD group is in power in Asmara, the chance of any negotiations or peace talks is very slim. The sanctions will not be lifted any time soon because there were and still there is a reason why they were put in the first place.
Ethiopia might be struggling with internal unrest which is instigated by Egypt and the rogue Eritrean government, but the Ethiopian system is intact and it will outlast the 73 years old man in Eritrea.
The Americans are nervous about the Russians or any other power establishing military base in Eritrea, but they know there is no single government in the world that would establish a base in the middle of war zone.
The only way for peace is to go back to pre 1998 before the border war erupted. The Algiers Agreement is null and void because the Eritrean government violated the agreement in so many levels. If there is going to be any border demarcation, a real demarcation on the ground not virtual one, it will have to be started from scratch. The people of Tigrai have suffered for over 20 years and the Ethiopian people have paid a heavy price to liberate the occupied Ethiopian territories why would they give up now?
Surrendering any land for any reason would be considered the highest form of treason to the country and to the thousands of people who sacrificed their lives to eject the invaders.