The first reason that Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 was that he had initiated successful peace talks with the East African country’s existential rival, Eritrea. The benefits of the peace process had been immediately obvious to the region and the international community.
This is part 2 of a 4-part series
Historically, Somalia has viewed Ethiopia with suspicion, but Abiy’s diplomatic charm won over President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’, who at the time was only one year into his presidency.
When the tripartite alliance was created between Abiy, Farmaajo, and Afwerki, analysts believe one of its main, albeit indirect, goals was to oppose federalism. Without that base, Eritrea’s strongman Isaias Afwerki is unlikely to have participated.
For Farmaajo, Ethiopia’s reconciliatory diplomacy provided him with the opportunity to consolidate power in Mogadishu. After its inception, he exploited the alliance to undermine federalism in Somalia and suppress opposition, mainly from the country’s elite.