Eritrea has officially responded to Ethiopia’s peace overture after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in his inaugural address on April 2 that he was ready to end years of misunderstandings.
“I call on the Eritrean government to take the same stand,” Abiy said in his address which was largely hailed as reconciliatory and progressive – for Ethiopia’s local and international issues.
Responding to Abiy, Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Genre Meskel told the BBC that relations can be mended but it largely depended on Ethiopia.
Peace will indeed be beneficial to the two peoples but obviously, this must be predicated on respect of international law which Ethiopia continues to flout to date
“The ball has stayed for too long in Ethiopia’s court. There is no dispute as the litigation process ended 16 years ago. Ethiopia needs to honour its treaty obligations and respect Eritrea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by withdrawing from occupied territories – including Badme.
“Peace will indeed be beneficial to the two peoples but obviously, this must be predicated on respect of international law which Ethiopia continues to flout to date,” Meskel stressed.
Relations between the two neighbours remain tense following a disastrous and deadly war that led to the death of nearly 70,000 people on both sides.
Abiy, the first ethnic Oromo to rise to the post of Prime Minister in the ruling EPRDF said he was willing to resolve the current problems between the two nations, which he said share the same interests and the same blood”.
While in power, former Prime Minister Hailemariam severally accused Eritrea of supporting anti-government demonstrations in the country.