On the heels of the landmark rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which ended two decades of hostility, the international community must honour its responsibilities to support historic efforts to build peace in the Horn of Africa, said the Security Council.
The Security Council yesterday received the 120 day’s briefing by the Chair of the Eritrea-Somalia Sanctions Committee, including the outcome of his recent visit to the region which took him to Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia.
Ambassador Kairat Umarov, Chair of the Committee welcomed the 9 July signing of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship by Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea as well as the 28 July visit by Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo to Asmara.
Between 14 March and 30 July, its reporting period, the Committee also attended meetings in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia, he said.
Presenting several observations on regional challenges, he warned against a premature withdrawal of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as Somali forces are not yet ready to take on full security responsibilities.
Following his briefing, Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, hailed the historic move towards peace his country and Eritrea have taken to “turn the page” and end 20 years of conflict.
“What has happened over the last couple of weeks is indeed historic. After twenty years hiatus, Ethiopia and Eritrea have decided to turn the page and open a new chapter of not just in the normalization of relations, but in the expression of commitment to build relations which truly reflect the longstanding ties between their peoples,” he said
“What was once considered impossible has been made possible thanks to the courageous and bold steps taken by the leadership of the two countries. The Ethiopia and Eritrean people who have been longing for peace for two decades have warmly welcomed this breakthrough with a lot of jubilation and optimism. Gone are the days when no one could be sure how long the guns would continue to be silent between the two countries,” he added.
“This, as already indicated, has enormous meaning and significance not only for the peoples of the two countries but also for the region which has been ravaged by conflict and crisis for far too long. It will also have a major and historic contribution to the efforts being made to silencing the guns in Africa setting an example in the resolution of conflicts,” he further noted.
He further said the improved relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea seem to have facilitated the restoration of the friendly relations between Eritrea and Somalia as became evident when the President of Somalia, Mr.Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmajo), paid a state visit to Eritrea a few days ago.
“It is impossible to ignore that this is a major boost for progress in the stabilization of the situation in Somalia. The Council must appreciate the significance of this development for the security of the region.”
Ambassador Tekeda further said that Ethiopia is trying to do its part to contribute toward the restoration of friendly relations between Djibouti and Eritrea.
“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 our Prime Minister and his counterpart, our Foreign Minister,” he said
“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,” he added.