Can Hailemariam Desalegn brings Ethiopia and Eritrea together?

Ethiopia PM

IndepthAfrica – In 1991 the EPLF backed transitional government of Eritrea and the TPLF backed transitional government of Ethiopia, agreed to set up a commission to look into any problems that arose between the two former war time allies over the foreseen independence of Eritrea. This commission was not successful and during the following years relations between the governments of the two sovereign states deteriorated.

The border between the two states became a major irritant, and in November 1997 a border committee was set up to try to resolve that specific dispute. After federation and before independence the line of the border had been of minor importance because it was only a demarcation line between federated provinces and initially the two governments tacitly agreed that the border should remain as it had been immediately before independence.

In August 2009 Eritrea and Ethiopia were ordered to pay each other compensation for the war. During 1990 there were reports of rebel groups operating on both side of the border, and in December the United nations imposed sanctions on Eritrea for its support for insurgents in Somalia.

In March 2011 Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of sending bombers across the border. In April Ethiopia acknowledges that it is supporting rebel groups inside Eritrea. In July a United Nations Monitoring Group accused Eritrea of being behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in January 2011. Eritrea denied it stating it was a total fabrication.

In January 2012, five European tourists killed and a further two kidnapped close to the border with Eritrea in the remote Afar Region in Ethiopia. In early March the kidnappers, announced that they had released the two kidnapped Germans. On 15 of March Ethiopia ground forces attacked Eritrean military posts that they stated were bases in which Ethiopian rebels, including those involved in the January kidnappings, were trained by the Eritreans.

Despite all that, Hailemariam Desalegn, the new Ethiopian prime minister who has been in office for just three months, says he is willing to talk to the Eritrean president.

Can Hailemariam Desalegn brings Ethiopia and Eritrea together? IndepthAfrica

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