17 July 2018

East Africa: How Ethiopia, Eritrea Peace Accord Shape the Horn

A number of nations and intern ational institutions have been congr atulating Ethiopia and Eritrea on their courageous move for ending state of war and issuing joint friendship and cooperation deceleration at the State Palace in Asmara. How such historic move shape the geopolitics of the Horn?

Following the Ethio- Eritrea friendship and cooperation announ cement, The U.N. Security Council welcomed the resumption of warming ties between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has invited Eritrea to reactivate its membership activities, not to mention many others that sent congratulatory messages to both countries' leaders and peoples.

Having expressed his heartfelt happiness about the Ethio-Eritrea peace deal ,IGAD Security Sector Program Director Commander Abebe Muluneh reiterates that inviting Eritrea to resume it membership in IGAD has great impact on the region's peace , security and beyond.

The past shuttle diplomacy and the mediator's efforts could not break the deadlock ,but the new Prime Minister and President Isaias Afwerki had taken the initiative which brought to an end the twenty- year long hostilities and standoff between their beloved countries, he says adding that : " In my view, so long as these nations are at peace , their roles in keeping peace and bringing sustainable development in the Horn region are immense."

As to him, these two sisterly countries have become exemplary to the rest of Horn countries resolving their differences by themselves at a negotiating table . " These two counties will also be good model for East African countries in particular and in Africa in general in terms of realizing economic integration and building trust ."

During his recent state visit to Eritrea Prime Minster Dr.Abiy Ahmed said that the peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea will have a positive impact on all spares in the Horn that has been described as the most volatile region in the world.

Speaking of economic benefits, Abebe notes that the port of Assab has high proximity to Debre Berhan in bird eye view than Asmara, so Ethiopia could benefit a lot using this port to import goods for the Northern part of Ethiopia.

Eritrea will also be beneficial of Ethiopia's so far efforts in connecting the region in infrastructure and exporting electric power to neighboring countries , he adds.

As IGAD is committed to facilitate and coordinate the removal of physical and non-physical barriers as well as the development of interstate transport and communications to foster market integration in the region, the recent move by Ethiopia and Eritrea will give impetus for such ambitious goals,he says.

He , moreover, says IGAD is among the few regional economic communities in Africa to have an elaborate framework for tourism development that the two nations could benefit a lot from the sector as they have just embarked on era of peace and cooperation.

Abebe indicates that the great lesson that could be drawn from such peace settlement is that the conflicts that are affecting the Horn of Africa, with a specific focus on Sudan and Somalia, South Sudan, could be well addressed if these countries join hands with spirit of strengthen brotherhood in IGAD.

For MEDREK Political Party Deputy Chairperson Professor Beyene Petros, securing peace is a priceless asset to actualize investment for local and international investors. " We know that there is a growing interest among both African and foreign investors in harnessing investment opportunities in Africa."

As to him, since the continent is often perceived as a risky and uncertain investment destination, the peace initiatives between Ethiopia and Eritrea will totally change such ill deceived image increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in both countries and in the Horn as a whole apart from speeding up intra-African investment.

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