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Former enemies, Ethiopia and Eritrea are fighting on the same side in Tigray war

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Ethiopia’s Tigray: New frontier for regional interests

By Morris Kiruga
Posted on Thursday, 7 October 2021 18:26, updated on Friday, 8 October 2021 07:46

Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed arrive for an inauguration ceremony marking the reopening of the Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 16 July 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

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 1 of a 4-part series

In addition to thawing relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea – two neighbours with a history of annexation, colonisation and decades of conflict – the rapprochement also had the potential to extensively restructure the regional geopolitical structure.

Also in this in Depth:

What Somalia stands to gain from Ethiopia’s ongoing Tigray war

After assuming office in early 2018, Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed embarked on radical reforms that have since led to political realignment in his country, spilling over into the horn region. The charismatic and energetic Abiy was only 42 when he took over in 2018 and immediately reached out to long-time rivals Somalia and Eritrea, thereby forging a tripartite alliance that seems to be shaping into a new regional order. But has the Tigray war helped or held-back Somalia’s ambitions with Ethiopia? We find out in this second part of our series.