Political Analysis: UN Chief: Ethiopia-Eritrea peace pact a illustrates bright spot on African horizon – 07 February
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the “wind of hope” in the region, according to a statement from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
- “The reconciliation is having a positive effect throughout the Horn of Africa”, Guterres said. “We see negotiations between Djibouti and Eritrea, and we see reconciliation between Eritrea and Somalia that already took place. We see in many other areas movement in the right direction, and we are totally committed to work together – the African Union and the African sub-regional organizations – to support this wind of hope”.
- Guterres is expected to visit Addis Ababa for the annual African Union summit, which began on Thursday 7 February.
Africa News: EU starts formal diplomacy with Eritrea as top official visits – 08 February
- The EU has expressed its support for the “historic peace agreement” between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and launched a €20 million programme to rebuild roads connecting both countries as part of efforts to restart formal diplomacy with Eritrea.
- Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanities Aid Operations (DG ECHO), said that the EU support package, financed through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, would “boost trade, consolidate stability, and have clear benefits for the citizens of both countries through the creation of sustainable growth and jobs.” The project is due to be scaled up later this year.
- Africa News reported that Mimica met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa on 7 February, and he and his delegation are due to meet with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki during his visit to the region.
- The last time EU diplomats met with Eritrean officials was in November 2018, when a delegation led by Koen Vervaeke, Managing Director for Africa at the External Action Service (EEAS), met with presidential adviser Yemane Ghebreab.
Modern Diplomacy: Italy making its way back to Africa – 08 February
- Modern Diplomacy republishes an analysis by Vladislav Gulevich of Italy’s renewed diplomatic and economic interest in the Horn of Africa region.
- “Rome would like to see an end to Ethiopia’s “landlocked imprisonment” on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea and Djibouti, restore Italy’s presence in the region, based on its colonial past, and ensure Italian companies’ participation in the construction of a strategically important transport infrastructure in the region”, writes Gulevich.
- “Italy,” says Gulevich, “is staking on Ethiopia as an economic and political springboard for expanding its foothold in the Horn of Africa and extrapolating this presence into the Arabian Peninsula via the Red Sea and towards the Indian Ocean.”
- As previously covered in these reports, Italy is to finance a feasibility study for a planned rail link between Addis Ababa and the Eritrean port city of Massawa.
Eritrea Hub: Ethiopia announces its border commission members; Eritrea says nothing – 08 February
- Eritrea Hub carries an article originally published on Ezega reporting that Ethiopia has announced the members of two new border commissions, while Eritrea is yet to respond.
- The Boundaries and Identity Issues Commission and the Reconciliation Commission were approved by the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives on 6 February.
- Candidates were selected based on categories including age, experience, gender, religion, educational background, region and for representing three generations, among others.
- Members of the commissions include a former Ethiopian president, university academics, diplomats, activists, politicians, religious leaders and other professionals.
BBC Sport: U20 game in Somalia to be first international for 30 years – 08 February
- The BBC reports that Eritrea’s under-20 men’s football team will play in the first international football match held at any level in Somalia for more than 30 years.
- Security concerns mean Somalia have had to play at neutral venues or away from home. “In the near future we could host a Cecafa (regional) tournament,” said Abdiqani Said Arab, the Somali Football Federation president. “Now that we have peace that has returned to the country we are happy that finally we shall be hosting an international match after 30 years.”
- The U20 match between Somalia and Eritrea will be played at the Benadir Stadium in Mogadishu on Saturday 16 February.