Eritrea, Somalia agree to restore diplomatic ties
Eritrea and Somalia’s leaders have agreed to restore diplomatic relations between the two nations following years of animosity.
Eritrea President Isaias Afwerki and Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed signed the agreement during the Somali leader’s historic three-day visit to Eritrea. The deal means the two countries will restore diplomatic ties for the first time in almost 15 years.
Eritrea, Somalia to restore diplomatic ties
Relations between Eritrea and Somalia have been strained for more than a decade now. Eritrea has been accused of supporting militant group al-Shabaab which remains a prevalent threat in Somalia. Sanctions are still in place against Eritrea over the allegations but Somali president Mohamed has called for the sanctions to be lifted following the agreement signed between the Horn of Africa nations.
“We urge all economic sanctions and embargo imposed on the people of Eritrea must be lifted so that the economic integration of the Horn of Africa region can be realised,” Mohamed said.
The agreement between Eritrea and Somalia comes after peace was declared between Eritrea and Ethiopia, twenty years after a bitter border dispute erupted between the two nations. Eritrea, which has spent two decades isolated from the international community has now restored diplomatic relations with Ethiopia and Somalia, which could change the entire dynamics of the Horn of Africa.
At the very least, Eritrea’s position on the global stage could be set to change with two of its strongest rivals now lining up to support the country. However, new complications could also arise with the relationships between other Horn of Africa nations and external partners such as the UAE and Qatar coming into question.
Featured image: “Drought crisis in the Horn of Africa in July 2011” flickr photo by International Livestock Research Institute https://flickr.com/photos/ilri/5904012074 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license