Note: This op-ed originally appeared in AllAfrica.com and was written by Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast.
This month, Ethiopia reopened its embassy in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, capping a series of historic diplomatic breakthroughs between the neighboring countries, after nearly two decades of hostilities.
This rapid thaw in frozen relations contains enormous potential for peace throughout that long-embattled region. The Horn of Africa has been the site of geopolitical contestation for a century and a half involving European colonial powers, Cold War adversaries, counterterrorism efforts, U.S./China/Russia rivalries, and Gulf state power plays.
The rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, led by Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, opened travel and phone services between the two countries, allowing emotional reunions among families separated for twenty years. It also provides an important reminder of an earlier era, when the United States on occasion would use the full weight of its diplomatic capabilities and global influence to help secure a peace deal in Africa…
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