Ethiopian PM minister Abiy Ahmed and his entourage arrived in Eritrea this morning and were warmly received by Eritrean president Isayas Afeworki. The occasion ignited celebration which rather seem to be laden with hope for a better and brighter future for Eritrea and Ethiopia.
On June 5, prime minister Abiy Ahmed announced that Ethiopia will accept the Algiers Peace agreement, which ended the two years war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, including the Boundary Commission Decision which awarded the border town of Badme to Eritrea.
Eritrea responded by sending high-level delegation under its Foreign minister Osman Saleh which stayed in Ethiopia for two days. As the delegation concluded its visit and left for Eritrea on June 28, Ethiopia’s ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed that Ethiopian prime minister would travel to Eritrea “soon” to meet with Eritrean president Isayas Afeworki.
As pictures of preparations for the reception of Abiy Ahmed emerge on social media yesterday, there was speculation that the prime minister and his entourage is probably on the way to Eritrea.
Semhar, the founder of DAWN, Inc which focuses on empowering African Diaspora women, said “16 yrs ago, I began working as a lawyer for the #Eritrea-#Ethiopia peace process. Our office was in Asmara, in the 3-story building below. For 3 yrs,we researched, interviewed communities & worked around the clock for a return to peace & coexistence. Today, it is one step closer.”
16 yrs ago, I began working as a lawyer for the #Eritrea–#Ethiopia peace process. Our office was in Asmara, in the 3-story building below. For 3 yrs,we researched, interviewed communities & worked around the clock for a return to peace & coexistence. Today, it is one step closer. pic.twitter.com/paffXNyDfB
— Semhar (@Semhar) July 7, 2018
When the Ethiopian Airlines plane touches down at Asmara International Airport for the first time in twenty years, carrying PM Abiy Ahmed who initiated the peace talks, Eritreans were waiting at the airport the streets of Asmara to offer a warm welcome for the prime minister.
“From The Airport to the State House in #Asmara’s streets, the Ethiopian delegation was greeted & received with overwhelming joy & love by the kind people of Eritrea. The yearning for peace was palpable & we’ll decidedly move forward for the good of our people…” says Fitsum Arega who is chief of staff in the office of the prime minister.
“Today’s Ethiopian PM Abiy landmark visit to Eritrea revealed the connection, the bond and common feeling between the two peoples. The genuine happiness and hugs showed by the two leaders reflect the two peoples desire for a lasting peace…” Wrote Eritrean press in an editorial published today.
The Ethiopian leader is in Asmara for a bilateral summit and hopes are high, if not a certainty, that the summit will bring about lasting peace between the two countries, not to mention tangible economic, political, social and cultural cooperation and a relation between the two countries.
Prime minister Abiy Ahmed was celebrated like no other leader. Ethiopians and Eritreans living abroad took to social media to express their elation.
“WOW!!! An unforgettable moment in history — Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed meets with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara, Eritrea. The welcome celebration was incredible. #Ethiopia #Eritrea ” says Hannah Gebresilassie who is WSIL TV Reporter, an American with Ethiopian and Eritrean origin.
WOW!!! An unforgettable moment in history — Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed meets with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara, Eritrea. The welcome celebration was incredible. #Ethiopia #Eritrea pic.twitter.com/Yh2YZJuDUI
— Hannah Gebresilassie (@hannahjoyTV) July 8, 2018
Eritrea’s minister of information, Yemane G. Meskel, wanted to show it rather than saying the new history of the two nations after twenty years of hostile relations. he tweeted :
#Eritrea, #Ethiopia History in the making: the pictures say it all
#Eritrea, #Ethiopia History in the making: the pictures say it all pic.twitter.com/lMv8RlsYYo
— Yemane G. Meskel (@hawelti) July 8, 2018
Eritrean Ambassador to Kenya and Tanzania tweeted: “This is a result of a diplomacy where two hearts meet and of own initiative.
This is a result of a diplomacy where two hearts meet and of own initiative. 🇪🇹🇪🇷#Ethiopia #Eritrea pic.twitter.com/EkwQPRPFpY
— AMB. Beyene Russom (@BeyeneRussom) July 8, 2018
After nearly two decades, the two countries have also resumed a direct international telephone connection – according to Fitusm Arega.
It seems like more is coming but details will have to wait, apparently, until the end of the bilateral summit. What is clear is that the era of hostility seem to be gone for now. And every one in Ethiopia and Eritrea seem to be happy about it except on the part of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), one of the coalition member in the ruling party in Ethiopia, which issued a statement demanding for “transparency” and “public consultation” before agreement with Eritrea.
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