How Eritrea’s president thinks peace with Ethiopia will be sustainable

After being enemies for more than two decades, it is expected that Ethiopia and Eritrea will still thread with caution despite signing a peace deal in July. President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea says although both countries have built trust over the last four months but they need to put in more work to ensure their new found friendship is sustainable.

Isaias told state-run Eri-TV on Saturday that the peace deal has brought about a “transitional stage that will lead to a new era” between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

“The priority now is to create an environment for this new reality to flourish.

“We need to consolidate. One by one, we have to clearly state our issues and solidify them on a concrete basis. The reality is new, but it has to be sustainable,” Afwerki said, although he did not speak on the “issues”.

“The agenda of pitting Eritrea against Ethiopia as antagonists, an agenda that also sought to isolate Eritrea globally, has concluded. It never succeeded.”

The two countries ended a state of war that had existed between them since a 1998-2000 conflict by signing a peace deal in July. Following the deal, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia requested that the United Nations Security council lifted the sanctions on Eritrea. According to the AFP, Britain circulated a draft resolution to the council last Thursday calling for lifting the arms embargo and all travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions on the country. The council is to vote on the proposed resolution on November 14 after which the sanctions are expected to be lifted.