Sunday August 5, 2018
By Brook Abdu
The Ethiopian government has formally submitted a request to the Government of Djibouti to take the role of a mediator with Eritrea to resolve the border conflict and tension between the two countries concerning the border strip of Ras Dumera.
According to Meles Alem, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ethiopian government has submitted its request to the Djiboutian government expressing an interest to mediate between the two countries for the betterment of the relation between the two Horn of Africa countries on the shores of the Red Sea.
But, many doubt this saying that Djibouti is disappointed by Ethiopia’s move of peaceful engagement with Eritrea while Eritrean government showed no initiative of abiding by international laws which includes stopping claimed support to terrorist organizations. Again, because Ethiopia did not confer with Djibouti while requesting the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council, which Djibouti ardently opposed.
Apart from Ethiopia, the President of Somalia, Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed (Formajo), during his historic visit to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, after 15 years of stalled relations between Somali and Eritrea, stressed that he wants the nine-year-old sanction on Eritrea to be lifted and pledged to be part of the process. The reason for Mohammed to push the agenda of lifting of the sanction is the contribution it would have on the economic integration of the Horn region.
The Djiboutian part stresses that it is not right to raise the agenda of raising the sanction while Eritrea is still occupying the Djiboutian territory and refusing release Djiboutian prisoners.
At the discussion of the agenda at the UNSC during which Tekeda Alemu, Ethiopian Ambassador to the UN, raised the support for the lifting of the sanction, Djibouti said that the reasons of the sanctions were not the Ethiopian-Eritrea border problems, and the sanctions should only be lifted or continued for the reasons they were imposed.
In a statement the Eritrean government issued regarding the sanction, it stressed that it is not about raising the sanction but about why sanction at the first place.
The disputed area between the two countries was occupied by Qatari Military with a peacekeeping mission. But, both sides started to claim control over the mountain and island of Dumera.
Meles, who said that the normalization of the relation with Eritrea was never meant to harm any other party, indicated that Ethiopia wants to support restoration of peace between the two countries.
Tekeda told the UNSC that, “The Djibouti Foreign Minister was in Addis Ababa last week to deliver the message of President Guelleh to my Prime Minister and he was able to conduct very productive and useful discussions, both with Prime Minister [Abiy Ahmed (PhD)] and his counterpart, Foreign Minister [Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD)].
“Ethiopia has expressed its readiness to do whatever is necessary to contribute to the normalization of relations between Eritrea and Djibouti and it is our firm commitment this is critical for peace and security in our region.”
It was immediately after his return from a visit to Asmara that Prime Minister Abiy submitted a request to the visiting Guterres for the lifting of sanction on Eritrea.