Reuters: Exiled leader of Ethiopian rebel group returns home amid reforms – 15 September

• Reuters reported on the return of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) from its Eritrean base to Ethiopia.
• The OLF had previously been declared a terrorist movement by the Ethiopian government. It is the second such group to return to Ethiopia in a week, with the leadership of ex-outlawed Patriotic Ginbot 7 led by Berhanu Nega returning on 9th September.
• A month ago on 7th August, the OLF signed an agreement with the government to end hostilities and declared a unilateral ceasefire in July after parliament removed it from a list of banned terrorist groups.
• The progress of the situation is seen as part of a drive by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to improve diplomatic relations, reform institutions and open up parts of the state-controlled economy. Ethiopia, Eritrea sign peace deal at Saudi Arabia summit – 16 September

  • • Al Jazeera reports on the signing of a further peace agreement by Ethiopia and Eritrea at a summit held in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
  • • The summit was hosted by Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and was also attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
  • • After the signing, Guterres told journalists: “There is a wind of hope blowing in the Horn of Africa […] It is not only the peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea – it is the fact that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow we will have, here in Saudi Arabia, the president of Djibouti and the president of Eritrea – two countries that have also been at odds with each other.”
  • • Al Jazeera reported that Saudi Arabia was due to host possible talks between the presidents of Djibouti and Eritrea on Monday and Tuesday. The relationship between Djibouti and Eritrea had seen soaring progress on 6th September when both countries agreed to restore ties after their dramatic animosity over a border dispute.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Saudi Brokers Ethiopia, Eritrea Deal – 17 September

  • Bloomberg Businessweek comments on the peace Jeddah agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • Saud al-Sarhan, Secretary-General of the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, said that the agreement comes after “extensive Saudi back-channel diplomacy” to maintain stability and development in one of the world’s most strategic locations.
  • Good relationships between Saudi-Arabia and Eritrea could lead to important financial outcomes and a reconfiguration of the Horn of Africa’s trade map, given the latter’s location near the Bab el-Mandeb, a shipping choke-point on the Red Sea.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek suggests that the agreement may also have strategic implications for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project, which aims to make Saudi Arabia a global logistical and shipping hub.

Egypt Today: Foreign Ministry welcomes peace deal between Ethiopia, Eritrea – 17 September

  • Egypt Today reported that Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Sameh Shoukry, welcomed the peace deal signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia and lauded the efforts of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman who hosted the peace deal in Jeddah on Sunday 16 September.
  • Egypt Today suggested that the outcome of this visit will certainly contribute to starting a new era of effective peace between the two countries.


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