Ethio-Eritrea Rapprochement and Its Implications for the Horn of Africa’s Peace and Security

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Addis Ababa University


Even though the Algiers Agreement dully signed by the belligerent states ended the violent conflict that broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1998-2000, but it could not restore diplomatic relations between the two states. The conflict and the subsequent deadlock that sustained for two decades not only affected the political, economic, social and security of the countries, but exacerbated instabilities of the already conflict-ridden Horn of Africa. The two decades impasse between Ethiopia and Eritrea came to an end in 2018 following the change of leadership in Ethiopia. Thus, this study aimed to explore the positive implications of the new Ethio-Eritrea rapprochement that achieved as a result of political reform in Ethiopia in stabilizing the Horn of African region. In doing so, the study employed a qualitative research design. In the processes of explaining the positive implications of the rapprochement for the peace and security of the Horn of Africa, data from both primary and secondary are employed and analyzed thematically. The primary data were collected through purposive key informant in-depth interviews from the governmental and non-governmental officials, political experts and practioners, and senior researchers who have insights and conducted researches on the relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the rest of the Horn. Accordingly, in sum, 7 key informants are interviewed from the Embassy of the State of Eritrea based in Ethiopia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, political party leaders, research institutions and, Institute of the Ethiopian Foreign Relations and Strategic Studies. According to the finding of the study, the political reform, the change of leadership in particular in Ethiopia led to the end of the two decades hostility between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Ethio-Eritrea rapprochement, given the prevalence of plethora of actors that contribute for the instabilities in the region, has massive peace and security implications for the states by vividly contributing to the stability of the entire Horn. Furthermore, the rapprochement replaced ethos of militarism and proxy war with diplomatic proficiency, which reduced border skirmishes and mutual destabilization that have been raging in the region. The restoration of relations between the two states has also led to the restoration of relations in the region, such as between Eritrea and Djibouti and Eritrea and Somalia. Overall, if it could be institutionalized, overcome internal and external constraints and embraced by all the concerned bodies, the Ethio-Eritrea rapprochement plays a great role to stabilize the war thorn region. Key Words; Ethiopia, Eritrea, Horn of Africa, Rapprochement, Reform, Peace, Security.



Ethiopia, Eritrea, Horn of Africa, Rapprochement, Reform, Peace, Security.