Organization: Peacebuilding Centre for the Horn of Africa
Location: Asmara, Eritrea
Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development: Transforming the Conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia
Since the late 1800’s, European countries such as Italy and the British government has intervened in state affairs of Ethiopia, dividing nations along ethnic and religious lines to weaken and control a wider strategical location around the naval lines of northern and north eastern Africa. As a result Eritrea was born as an Italian colony in 1890. On the other hand, post-Cold War, especially post9/11, the United States has been intervening in state and regional affairs of north and north eastern Africa, for its geopolitical and national interest. Some of my interviewees argue that the 2002 Ethio-Eritrean border resolution could not be implemented due to this competing US interest in that promotes competition between Horn of Africa countries in favour US’ support. According to Gilbert Rist, real development equals real cooperation (2014, P. 213). To make real cooperation or real development possible in the HOA, countries in the region need to have mutual trust and respect, as well as minimize external intervention to the level of sharing expertise, to manage cross-border trade and investment, the share of natural resources such as fresh water, and to tackle common threats such as climate change collaboratively. Therefore, sustainable peacebuilding initiatives not only will lead Ethiopia and Eritrea to regional collaboration, but it will also make development and citizen security sustainable in the Horn of Africa region as well.