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AU welcomes positive developments in Horn of Africa

Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat


AU welcomes positive developments in Horn of Africa

By Xinhua

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Saturday welcomed recent positive developments in the Horn of Africa amid improved relations among countries in the region.

The continental body chairperson's positive remarks regarding the Horn of Africa region followed optimistic agreements as well as discussions that involved various countries in the region.

Amid the easing of tensions in the region, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Wednesday signed a trilateral agreement that aimed at strengthening ties among the three countries.

Ethiopia also on Thursday reopened its embassy in the Eritrean capital Asmara as the two long-time rivals embark on strengthening ties.

The reopening of Ethiopia's embassy in Asmara, which followed the reopening of Eritrea's embassy in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on July 16, is the latest of the positive developments as relations between the two African countries deepen over the past few months.

The AU said on Saturday that the chairperson is "encouraged by the recent positive developments in the Horn of Africa, in particular the improvement of relations between countries of the region."

Faki "commends the leaders of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia for their steadfast efforts and commitment to the higher interests of their people and the region as a whole," the pan African bloc said in a statement.

Faki further reiterated that the steps taken are a major milestone in Africa's endeavor to silence the guns by 2020 and promote deeper regional and continental integration, in line with Agenda 2063.

"These regionally-led efforts are also a clear demonstration of the value and effectiveness of the search for African solutions to African problems," the statement quoted Faki as saying.

The chairperson also urged other parts of the continent where active conflict and crisis situations are witnessed to follow the footstep s of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia.

The ongoing positive developments involving the various Horn of African countries started with moves to normalize relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the region's longtime arch rivals.

After 20 years of hostility, Ethiopia and Eritrea resumed diplomatic relations recently. On July 8, Ethiopia's PM Ahmed made a landmark visit to the Red Sea nation and a week after, Eritrea's Afwerki paid a courtesy visit to Ethiopia.

Recent positive developments are considered as a new beginning since the two countries fought a bloody two-year border war in 1998-2000 that killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides. The war was ended by a December 2000 Algiers peace agreement, but it left the two countries in a state of bitter armed standoff.

Amid the easing tensions, telecom services between the two countries have resumed, and agreements were made to strengthen economic ties.

The two countries' flag carriers, Ethiopian Airlines and Eritrean Airlines, have also started flights to Asmara and Addis Ababa respectively.

Leaders of the two countries, in another bid to augment their growing ties, had also agreed to increase the movement and amount of bilateral trade through Eritrea's port city of Assab to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.


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