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(Addis Fortune) Eritrea: Ethio-Eritrea Thaw - PM's Greatest Achievement

Posted by: Ghezae Hagos

Date: Wednesday, 01 August 2018

By Hintsa Andebrhan Is Interested in Politics and History. He Can Be Reached At

Four months back, I wrote that the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) deserves credit for understanding the public's sentiment and choosing a leader amongst the reformist Team Lemma. That man, of course, is Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) who was selected to be chairman of the ruling party.

Many of us wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. We believed that many of Ethiopia's problems are too broad to address in months or even years. We also wished him luck after his remark to normalise relations with Eritrea.

Addis Ababa - Now that the rapprochement with Eritrea is fast coming to a full circle, I am as awed as I am proud. Furthermore, it gives me hope that we are seeing the end of a political system of governance that has held democratisation back. Although there remains much work to be done in making the government more transparent, there is hope now in that the current administration appears to be employing policies that it believes to be in the public mind.

Despite the many obstacles that remain, The Prime Minister is proving himself to be a man of his words, which is a winning card for him and his party.

What was interesting to see is how the people of both nations felt about the Ethio-Eritrean thaw. There are still unfortunate conflicts going around the country, and the security apparatus is in disarray, but it is hard not to notice that Abiy's philosophy of reconciliation and positive-sum, Medemer, has received acceptance by many Eritreans and Ethiopians.

Abiy's arrival in Asmara, the culturally significant capital of Eritrea, as witnessed on our Tv screens, was touching. He, and the delegation he led, were greeted by thousands of joyous Eritreans.

On this historic day, protocols were broken. People hugged and kissed the Prime Minister. Some suggest that this could have created unexpected problems, but I believe it showed the kind of nostalgia and love that Eritreans and Ethiopians share despite two decades of political and border disputes that kept them apart for almost two decades.

It was also notable how altruistic Issayas, both in Asmera and Addis Abeba, appeared to be, pointing to Abiy as the engine that brought about the warming up of the relations.

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