The leaders of Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed to initiate dialogue as they seek to resolve a border dispute between the latter and Djibouti, according to Abdinur Mohamed, the communications director in the office of the Somali president.
The leaders, who were meeting in the Eritrean capital of Asmara, agreed to resolve the impasse in the interest of peace and development in the Horn of Africa region.
Djibouti in July petitioned the United Nation’s security council, asking the body to ‘facilitate an agreement between them upon a mutually acceptable means of peaceful dispute settlement’.
The disputed land in question is the Dumeira mountain and Dumeira island which Djibouti claims is being illegally occupied by Eritrea.
Both Somalia and Ethiopia have been actively working to achieve the normalisation of relations between Djibouti and Eritrea.
Takeda Alemu, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United Nations told the security council in July, that Addis Ababa had conducted fruitful and useful discussions with the Djibouti foreign minister.
Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, also travelled to Djibouti in August to discuss his own country’s normalisation of relations with Eritrea after he was criticised for calling on the United Nations to lift sanctions on Eritrea.
An arms embargo imposed on Eritrea since 2009 was chiefly to do with its alleged support for Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab but also because of its agression against Djibouti and refusal to enter any form of mediation over the disputed regions.
Calls for the 2009 Eritrean sanctions to be lifted has been strong in recent months following the peace deal between the country and Ethiopia.
The Djibouti – Eritrea standoff is seen by most political and security analysts as the final rift needed to be solved to restore durable peace to the Horn of Africa region.
Antique, quiet, touristic: Ethiopian journalist hails Eritrean capital Asmara.