Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019
April 25, 2019
Michael Woldemariam, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Political Science at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, published a recent journal article on the regional impact of the evolving relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Woldemariam’s article, entitled “The Eritrea-Ethiopia Thaw and Its Regional Impact,” was published in the May 2019 issue of Current History.
From the text of the article:
In a televised address on June 20, 2018, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki announced his intention to dispatch a delegation to Ethiopia. The mission was the first official high-level diplomatic contact between the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments in over a decade, and marked the beginning of a rapid thaw in relations that effectively ended Africa’s most intractable interstate rivalry. By early July, Isaias was playing host to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali in the Eritrean capital of Asmara, where the two leaders issued a landmark statement declaring: “The state of war between Ethiopia and Eritrea has come to an end.” A week later, Isaias embarked on a reciprocal visit to Addis Ababa. The resumption of people-to-people ties proceeded briskly from that point. Flights and telephone connections between the two countries were reestablished almost immediately. By September, the heavily militarized frontier was no more as border crossings reopened and trade ties were revived. In three short months, the accumulated discord of decades was swept away. The rivalry between Eritrea and Ethiopia is part of a saga nearly 70 years old. After their land was federated with Ethiopia in 1952 and annexed almost a decade later, Eritrean nationalists waged a long struggle for national liberation. Victory came in 1991, when Eritrean rebels allied with insurgents in the neighboring Tigray region to unseat the Marxist regime of Mengistu Hailemariam and formalize Eritrean statehood.
Read the full article here.
Woldemariam’s teaching and research interests focus on African politics, particularly the dynamics of armed conflict, the behavior of rebel organizations and self-determination movements, and post-conflict institution building. He has special expertise in the Horn of Africa, and has conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somaliland, South Africa, and India. His first book, Insurgent Fragmentation in the Horn of Africa: Rebellion and its Discontents, was released by Cambridge University Press in 2018. It examines the causes and dynamics of rebel fragmentation in contemporary civil wars through a close examination of the Ethiopian and Somali conflicts. Research on this topic and others has been published (or is forthcoming) in Terrorism and Political Violence, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Journal of Eastern African Studies, and a number of edited volumes................
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