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Ethiopia, Eritrea Sign Joint Agreement of Peace

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The decades-long diplomatic and arm stand-off between Ethiopia and Eritrea has come to an official as leaders of both countries signed a ”joint declaration of peace and friendship” after summit signalled the start to normalisation of ties between the former archnemeses.

Earlier on Monday, Yemane Gebremeskel, the Information Minister of Eritrea shared a picture on Twitter of the two leaders seated beside a table with theirs national colours draping at the back, saying ”The Agreement, which specifies five pillars, was signed this morning at State House by President Isaias Afwerki and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed”.

Among the five pillars, the first declared the war between the two countries as having ended. While the others ushered a new era of peace and friendship that will permit both countries to cooperate in areas involving politics, economic. cultural, social as well as their share security concerns.

Additionally, activities involving trade, transportation. telecommunications will resume and diplomatic ties which have been shattered since 1998 will be renewed. Border decisions was made between the two countries will be implemented and the two guarantee working together to maintain regional peace, development and cooperation.

The announcement falls in line with part of the policy shift driven by new leadership in Addis Ababa under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who was welcomed to a one-on-one discussions in Asmara by the Eritrean president.

At an official dinner thrown in his honour, Prime Minister Abiy said ”We agree that the airlines will start operating, the ports will be accessible, people can move between the two countries and the embassies will be opened. We will demolish the wall and, with love, build a bridge between the two countries”.

The detente will bring an end to one of Africa’s most protracted conflict that has contributed in hurting both countries. Some 80,000 people were killed between 1998-2000.

Ethiopia has previously rejected a United Nations agreement requested that it cede border land to Eritrea, but the appointment of Abiy has saw all that changed over the last few months.

 

 

 

 

 

Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst

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Foreign

Ethiopia Resumes Flight Route to Eritrea After 20 Years

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The first flight from Ethiopia to Eritrea safely landed in the capital Asmara on Wednesday, the first of its kind in 20 years and disembarked the 315 passengers on board, who were greeted by jubilant dancers dressed in traditional attire, waving flags and flowers, sealing the reconciliatory efforts by both heads of state of the Horn of Africa countries to put their animosity behind them for the sake of regional stability and prosperity.

Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam announced on the intercom as the flight crossed into Eritrean airspace ”This is the first time that this is happening in twenty years,” he said, to the applause of both passengers and crew aboard to plane.

 

 

 

 

 

Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst

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US State Department Faults LRC Military in Viral Video, Calls For Investigations And Sanctions

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Heather Nauert , US STATE DEPARTMENT

 

 

 

 

 

The United States Department has issued a rare public rebuke of La Republique Du Cameroun-LRC military actions regarding the video showing the extrajudicial killings of two women and an infant by the rogue elements of Cameroun army as well as the grave lack of due process by the so-called professional Cameroun armed service personnel. This is coming at a time the US ambassador to Cameroun had accused the Cameroun government for carrying out targeted killings, gross human rights violations in Southern Cameroons as the army is currently engaging with civilian fighters in what Southern Cameroonians preferred to call as Restoration Forces.

In the press release published on July 16, 2018 by the spokesperson of U.S. State Department, Heather Nauert stated that the United States government is ”gravely concerned” by the content of that recent video with men donning military-style uniforms boldly aiming their guns at two women and a child while firing live rounds at them.

The video drew the ire and attention of the international community as well as the media, Amnesty International, human rights organizations who’ve collectively attributed the actions to the military of LRC. La Republique’s Communications Minister, Issa Tchiroma had earlier dismissed all claims in the video as ”fake news” and tried linking the soldiers shown in the video to belong to a corps within the Malian army. Worthy to note is that the Malian government recently rebuked such claims insisting that such a barbaric act was never done in their country(https://www.bareta.news/malian-government-amnesty-intl-isolate-lrc-over-military-extrajudicial-killings/)

The colonial president Paul Biya, whose efforts  and misguided aim to gain favours from Western capitals as he mulls his run for a seventh term in office, has ordered an investigation to be launched but like many other probes in the past, their findings will never be made public and that will be the end of it.

The US State Department went on to urged the government of La Republique Du Cameroun to ”thoroughly and transparently” investigate events depicted in that video, make its findings known to the public and dish out punitive measures to the soldiers involved in the extrajudical killings without any due process. It also requested Yaounde to uphold its international obligations, commitments to protect human rights and promote accountability.

Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst

 

 

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Obama Visits Kenya, Urges Leaders to Reconcile Ethnic Divisions

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Former U.S President Barack Obama visited the village of his father on Monday, where he addressed a delegation attending the opening ceremony of a school in Kogelo, western Kenya. He praised the rapprochement between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga. Emphasizing that much still has to be done to heal the political wounds of the country’s ethnic groups.

The former leader of the free world urged Kenya’s leaders to turn their backs on divisive ethnic politics which has been the cause of violence during every election cycle and encourage the fight against widespread corruption.

The ethnic conflict which recently broke out in the country left some 1,200 people killed from post-election disputes involving Odinga and Kenyatta in 2007.

As America’s first black president, Obama’s eight years in office before Donald Trump, was in Kenya to help launch his half-sister, Auma’s charity center, the Sauti Kuu Foundation, he said ”It means no longer seeing different ethnicities as enemies or rivals but rather as allies; in seeing the diversity of tribes not as weakness but as strength”

His trip to Kenya is his fourth, with the first made in 1987, as narrated in his book ”Dreams From My Father”, then in 2006 while serving as a senator for the U.S. state of Illinois and then in 2015 during his last term as president.

Obama also mentioned the corruption scandals that have dogged Kenyatta’s administration in recent months. He said corruption stifled economic growth and derails the public trust in government.

Since the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta, the media in Kenya have reported about a series of graft scandals which opened an investigation that has seen 54 people, mostly civil servants charged in the theft of nearly $100 million of state funds at the National Youth Service.

His next stop will be South Africa, where he’s expected to deliver a speech at an event marking the 100th birthday of iconic Nelson Mandela.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst

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