Eritrea and Ethiopia: Uneasy Peace

It was an old style conflict of large armies in trench warfare on the African continent. Two nations which had long been friends were pitted against each other. Now peace prevails, but is it peace imposed by western states following their own interests, or a genuine attempt to bring peoples together?

The World Today Published 1 May 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 4 minute READ

Aida Mengistu

Program Officer, International Peace Academy, New York

After two years of fierce fighting and a dramatic change in the military balance in favour of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace agreement last December. It was brokered by Algerian leader and Organization of African Unity (OAU) Chairman, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Analysts consider this a big step towards establishing peaceful co-existence between the two countries in the Horn of Africa.

To the surprise of the international community and the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the leadership of both countries has been very disciplined and cooperative in the initial implementation of the peace deal, although recent developments indicate that things might not go as smoothly as first expected.

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