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 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.