Thursday, April 18, 2024

Eritrea rejoins the East African regional bloc after 16-year absence

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

After 16 years of absence, Eritrea has rejoined the East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad).

In 2007, Eritrea suspended its membership in protest against Ethiopia’s military intervention in Somalia.

The country was also protesting against alleged manipulation of the organisation by external forces.

Information Minister Yemane Meskel has tweeted that Eritrea has retaken its seat at the ongoing Igad summit.

“Eritrea resumed its activity in IGAD and took its seat” at a summit organized by the seven-nation bloc in Djibouti on Monday, Meskel tweeted.

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The regional grouping’s executive secretary, Workneh Gebeyehu, said he was “delighted to welcome Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh” as he joined the meeting.

Igad is made up of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 and fought a two-year border war with its neighbour.

Following the rapprochement with Addis Ababa, Eritrean troops supported Ethiopian forces during the federal government’s war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and have been accused by the United States and rights groups of some of the conflict’s worst atrocities.

That war ended with a peace deal signed in November last year that called for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Asmara was not a party to the agreement and its troops continue to be present in bordering areas of Tigray, according to residents who have accused the soldiers of murder, rape and looting.

ECOWAS: Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso denied readmission


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