The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which recently criticised Ethiopia’s decision to hand over the disputed border town of Badme town to Eritrea, has welcomed the decision by President Isaias Afwerki to send a peace delegation to Addis Ababa.
Local media portal, Addis Standard reported that the TPLF announcement was made by its chairman, Debretsion G. Michael.
TPLF which is the oldest member of the ruling EPRDF coalition, said last week that recent decisions by the new prime minister Abiy Ahmed to reconcile with Eritrea and liberalise the economy, have “fundamental flaws”.
Abiy’s stance on Eritrea is vindicated by Asmara response
The decision to accept the December 2000 Algiers Agreement, was also protested by Ethiopian residents in Badme town and some communities in the Tigray region. Legislators also questioned the prime minister on the lack of consultation before the decision was made.
But Abiy’s insistence that reconciliation with Eritrea was in the interest of development was vindicated on Wednesday when his Eritrean counterpart said he would send a delegation to understand the ‘positive messages’ coming out of Addis Ababa.
Afwerki, in his speech delivered on the country’s martyrs day, also called out the TPLF in particular for having unleashed the senseless border conflict, saying the once powerful party is still capable of sabotaging any steps taken towards peacefully resolving the border dispute.
Ethiopia’s allies welcome move to normalise relations
The positive development has been applauded by several allies of Ethiopia including the African Union, the United Nations and Sweden among others.
Sweden’s foreign affairs minister, Margot Wallstrom said ‘normalisation of relations’ between the two countries is key for regional development and stability.
Welcome statement by Eritrea’s President Isaias to send delegation to Addis Ababa. Normalization of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea key for regional development and stability.— Margot Wallström (@margotwallstrom) June 21, 2018
António Guterres welcomes the positive steps taken by #Ethiopia & #Eritrea to resolve outstanding issues in th normalization of their r/ns, commends the efforts of their leaders to achieve sustainable peace & good neighborly r/ns & expressed #UN’s readiness to provide all support pic.twitter.com/tU700JKknq— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) June 21, 2018
#EAPRI commends the steps taken by Ethiopia & Eritrea to end the tension between the 2 nations. Super exciting news for brothers & sisters across the border longing to reconnect. As a very good step towards peace & security, this needs to be replicated elsewhere in the region. pic.twitter.com/uTXZnqgtCA— EAPRI (@EAPRI2018) June 20, 2018
The African Union Commission issued a statement saying expressing ‘readiness to assist the two member states to achieve full normalisation of their relations’.
The Ethiopian prime minister, who set out to reconcile with the country’s hostile neighbour, from the time he came to office in April, said he is ready to welcome Afwekeri’s delegation.