Honeymoon in Eritrea: Somali President completes historic visit to Eritrea

Somali President Mohamed Farmajo has just spent three days with his Eritrean neighbour, while the two countries have not had diplomatic relations for fifteen years.

Tensions that are due to the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea whose tensions were being exported to Somalia.

However, in the wake of the peace signed between Addis Ababa and Asmara a few weeks ago, Somalia has achieved a spectacular rapprochement with its neighbour.

It is a real honeymoon that the presidents of Somalia and Eritrea have lived through for three days.

Mohamed Farmajo and Issayas Afeworki have decided to restore their diplomatic relations.

Embassies of both countries are expected to reopen soon in Mogadishu and Asmara.

Eritrea has, by the way, officially recognized the Somali government.

Annoying subjects have been carefully avoided. The two heads of state preferred to talk about what brings their two nations together.

Thus, at a banquet in honour of his guest, Issayas Afeworki spoke of the historical ties of the two peoples, their friendship and solidarity.

“Conflict and instability are nearing their end. We are entering a new phase of transition,” said the Eritrean head of state who recognized the Somali government, saying that Asmara “supports Somali political independence and sovereignty.”

These are statements that decide after the fifteen years of quarrel. Ethiopia and Eritrea have for a long time exported their clash to Somalia.

For example, Addis Ababa regularly supported the Somali central state, while Eritrea was accused of supporting Islamist insurgents, including the Shebab terrorists, which Amarsa has always denied.

Nevertheless, the international community has imposed severe sanctions against Eritrea. These could now be lifted.


Rashid Abdi is the director of the International Crisis Group for the Horn of Africa. He said that the warming of relations between Eritrea and its two neighbors could lead to the end of international sanctions against Asmara.

“There is a lot of pressure on the Security Council to lift the sanctions. Ethiopia has sent a signal to indicate that it wishes to withdraw them.”

“Moreover, there is a regional movement that is emerging to say that Eritrea must be rewarded for its efforts. And that’s logical.”

“The reason for these sanctions was that Astara supported Somali Ismalist terrorists shebabs. Eritrea was trying to influence regional politics in a very dangerous way, and was helping rebel armed movements. All this is now over.”

“So there is really no reason to maintain these sanctions. Now there are unresolved human rights issues but I think the Council will be reluctant to punish the Eritrea for his internal problems.”

“Finally, from a European point of view, Eritrea must be rewarded because of the migration crisis. If sanctions are lifted, Eritrea should ease its ruthless military service, which is a major factor of immigration. It could hold back some of the young people trying to flee to Europe.”

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