Ethiopia and Eritrea have historical, cultural, religious as well as linguistic similarities. They are the ones who created the ancient Kingdom of Aksum and embraced the religions of Christianity and Islam from the earliest times. Both also contributed a lot for trade modernization in the world during ancient times as they used to sell and buy various commodities across the world since time immemorial.
When comes to contemporary history, Ethiopians and Eritreans played major and irreplaceable roles in putting an end in toppling down the military junta Derg.
During 1990s, the leaders of the two countries were hailed as the new breed of Africa .This is because
they were seen as the torch-bearers of democracy and development in the continent. Plus, these two sisterly countries used to enjoy exemplary diplomatic and economic ties. But, a senseless border war was broken out between Ethiopia and Eritrea on May 5, 1998. The war lasted for two years. It was also described as the most destructive war in history of Africa at that time. The war inflicted great human and property damages on both countries.
Moreover, for almost two decades , it has made the Horn of Africa ,the most turbulent region in the world. The 18 year -standoff .was created between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well.
But now, thanks to both countries' leaders , Ethio-Eritrea landmark peace talks have begun and senior Eritrean delegation paid historic visits to Ethiopia last week. Both countries have already started successful normalization process. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki have also exchanged letters and they as well will meet soon in person.
Yes, the last 18 year of no war and no peace situation was so disastrous particularly for the people who live at both sides of these countries' borders. They have been denied the basic human right to develop one's areas and to live in peace . Besides, they have been deployed larger army to their borders worrying the relaunch of war.
Also, no one denies that the tremendous lost of economic and political opportunities between the two countries during the last two decades. That is why many have saying that if Ethiopia and Eritrea had been at peace during the last two decades ,they would have made the Horn region one of the better places to live in the world.
It is also true that it is not late for both countries to bring sustainable development and peace for their fellow citizens. So long as these countries uphold rule of law and democracy as well as work tirelessly for common interest ,their economic growth will be unstoppable,and,on the top that there will be sustainable peace in the Horn of Africa.
Moreover, they would for sure play a great role in bringing economic integration among east African countries. By doing so, they will pave the way for the realization of Agenda 2063, the Africa Union Vision of " An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena".
Tearing the black curtains down, both countries have won peace and given a flicker of hope in ensuring democracy and development across the Horn. Plus,they have once again showed the world how they are committed to solve differences at negotiating table apart from strengthening Ethio-Eritrea people to people ties.