ChathamHouse10

Original title  “Eritrea and Ethiopia: Beyond the Impasse”

Briefing
Jason Mosley, April 2014

Summary:

  • Opportunities exist for external efforts to foster improved relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia. This will involve questioning some of the underlying assumptions about their conflict and current regional dynamics. A fresh approach should involve engagement with each country individually, rather than immediate attempts to promote dialogue between them.
  • The initial focus should be on promoting the conditions in each country for an eventual confident re-engagement with the other. It is important to avoid a narrow focus on the specifics of the border conflict, and post-conflict boundary demarcation, which has hitherto dominated external engagement.
  • Economic incentives are central to enabling improved relations between the two states. However, the prospective economic benefits of re-opening the border will not be the initial catalyst for improved ties given that economic considerations were insufficient to prevent the war.
  • International engagement on areas of mutual interest, especially on trade and investment, could go some way to fostering a sense in Eritrea of stable economic sovereignty in the face of Ethiopia’s economic and demographic predominance.
  • Waiting for a change of leadership before making significant efforts to engage is untenable. There is no guarantee that subsequent leaders would adopt a significantly different foreign policy.

 

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By Prof. Muse Tegegne

Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change & Liberation in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Americas. He has obtained Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva. A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies. He wrote on the problematic of the Horn of Africa extensively. And Lecture at Mobile University..

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