Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 30 Issue 3 July-August 2018
The HAB issue on Ethio-Eritrea rapprochement finally saw the light of day and is a testimony to the profound nature of the changes in Ethiopia unleashed since Prime Minister Abiy ascended to the helm of power, and, the rapidity of the rapprochement process between the two countries. The rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been greeted with euphoria and broad support from wide sectors of the urban public in both countries. Furthermore, the international and regional reaction to the process has been largely positive and supportive. The articles in this issue of the HAB reiterate many of the hopes and expectations associated with peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The article by Jason Mosley, "Eritrea-Ethiopia rapprochement and wider dynamics of regional trade, politics and security", provides a panoramic overview of the potential impact of Ethiopia-Eritrean rapprochement on regional peace and security dynamics. The article "Back to square one between Eritrea and Ethiopia?" by Tanja Muller explains the rapprochement and the Eritrean government’s willingness to engage with the process, as primarily emanating from the geo-political maneuverings and shifts in the Horn and the Gulf region. The article by Olivia Asmara Woldemikael "The Promise and Pitfalls of the New Peace for Eritrea" also focuses on Eritrea and is optimistic about the positive by-products of the rapprochement process in the form of expanded economic ties between the two countries, the lifting of travel restrictions which she describes as ‘low hanging fruit’, which over the long term could lead to changes in Eritrea. Martin’ Plaut's article, "Where now for the Horn?" emphasizes the positive dimensions of the rapprochement, while sounding a cautionary note regarding aspects such as the modalities of the border demarcation and the necessity to institutionalize bilateral relations. The article "Peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia: Voices from the Eritrean Diaspora" by Abdulkader Saleh Mohammed and Nicole Hirt analyses the challenges and problems of the rapprochement from the vantage point of the Eritrean opposition and diaspora civic groups. The article "The impact of the Peace process in the Horn on the European Union’s policy to curb human trafficking and Slavery: The role of the UAE" by van Mirjam Reisen focuses on the migrant crisis and weighs the potential impact of the rapprochement on regional and international efforts to combat human trafficking and smuggling. The article "The Recent Ethiopia-Eritrea Diplomatic Thaw: challenges and prospects" by Belete Belachew Yihun analyzes the rapprochement and its potential challenges from an Ethiopian vantage point.