A senior European Union official has stressed the importance of a tripartite agreement by Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Stefano Manservisi, the European Union Commission’s Director-General for International Cooperation and Development said the pact: “represents an important step to be welcome for peace and development in the Horn and its neighbourood. We stand ready to support and cooperate.”
The pact was signed in Asmara by leaders of the three Horn of Africa nations on Wednesday when Ethiopia Prime Minister arrived in Eritrea for a two-day visit.
Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed joined Abiy and Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki to sign the deal which chiefly is aimed at fostering comprehensive cooperation between them.
The main planks of the agreement as stated by the Eritrean information Minister were:
1. The three countries shall foster comprehensive cooperation that advances the goals of their peoples.
2. The three countries shall build close political, economic, social, cultural and security ties.
3. The three countries shall work in coordination to promote regional peace and security.
4. The three governments hereby establish a Joint High-Level Committee to coordinate their efforts in the framework of this Joint Declaration.
As an immediate offshoot of its dividends, foreign ministers of the three countries on Thursday morning flew to Djibouti to begin talks over Eritrea-Djibouti tensions.
Djibouti in July this year petitioned the United Nation’s security council, asking the body to ‘facilitate an agreement between them upon a mutually acceptable means of peaceful dispute settlement.’
The disputed territories in question is the Dumeira mountain and Dumeira island which Djibouti claims is being illegally occupied by Eritrea.
Somalia and Ethiopia have been actively working to achieve the normalisation of relations between Djibouti and Eritrea.
An U.N. arms embargo imposed on Eritrea since 2009 was largely to do with its alleged support for Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab but also because of its agression against Djibouti and refusal to enter any form of mediation over the disputed regions.
Calls for the sanctions to be lifted has been strong in recent months following the peace deal between the country and Ethiopia.
The Djibouti – Eritrea standoff is seen by most political and security analysts as the final rift needed to be solved to restore durable peace to the Horn of Africa region.