TPLF reportedly seeking new era in terms of relationship with Eritrea
TPLF leadership is considering rapprochement policy towards Eritrea according to sources that cited African Intelligence report.
The paradigm shift in Ethiopia’s foreign policy towards Eritrea is being crafted by a team under foreign affairs minister, Worqneh Gebeyehu.
Takeda Alemu (who is serving as Ethiopia’s representative at the United Nations), Berhane Gebrekristos (who was Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the United States and currently Ambassador to China) and Moges Tesfamihcael ( vice president of Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development) are some of the names in the workgroup mentioned in connection with developing new foreign policy draft towards Eritrea.
Growing diplomatic and military cooperation between Ethiopia and Sudan, Egyptian effort to iron out differences with Sudan, the impact of rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Gulf region are some of the developments that the policy workgroup is considering, according to Eritrean and Ethiopian News sources, in its effort to come up with new foreign policy.
Ethiopia is mired in a diplomatic row with Egypt over the construction of Grand Renaissance Dam which Egypt thinks that it will affect the flow of water. After talks over the technical guidelines to assess the impacts of the dam on lower riparian countries including Egypt, which was to be undertaken by a hired firm from Europe, failed, Egyptian president Abdel- Fatah al-Sisi – is ranting in a televised speech that “water is a matter of life and death.”
It is not clear if the development in relation to Egypt over Nile added impetus on TPLF leaders to pursue rapprochement with Eygpt.
what is the cost of with rapprochement with Eritrea ?
With regards to Eritrea, the TPLF leaders, who have been undertaking an evaluative meeting in Mekelle for months now, seem to be ready to go to the extent of abandoning claim over the territory of Badme and give it away to Eritrea, and quitting proxy war against the administration in Eritrea by not arming Eritrean opposition groups- among other things.
Nearly 100,000 soldiers were killed by both Eritrea and Ethiopia ( of which more than 80,000 from Ethiopia) in the war that broke out between the two countries in 2000. The alleged cause of the war was the village of Badme although analysts tend to see a more fundamental cause for it in the realm of economic relation between the two countries.
Some Ethiopian activists seem to think TPLF “divide and rule” policy locally backfired in a way to cause security concern for TPLF and its ethnic base in Tigray to the extent of the regime is pursuing a new strategy of “people to people forum” with a motive to mend relation with other Ethiopians as the increasing fragility of the previous strategy is unfolding.
Despite the fact that TPLF has developed unprecedented economic power, some observers think that Eritrea might not easily fall prey to TPLF concession.
Eritrea on its part has been arming rebel forces whose expressed motive is to topple TPLF led government in Ethiopia.
A few years ago, Herman Cohen, who was United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs when TPLF and EPLF took power in Ethiopia and Eritrea respectively, was suggesting face-saving agreement for Eritrea and Ethiopia. And there are rumors that the US government is working on mending relation between the two countries.
News of TPLF policy change towards Eritrea is not public yet.
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