Eritrea rejoins East African bloc 16 years after walk-out

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“Eritrea resumed its exercise in IGAD and took its seat” at a summit organised by the seven-nation bloc in Djibouti on Monday, Meskel stated on Twitter.

He stated the nation was able to work in the direction of “peace, stability and regional integration.”

The authoritarian state suspended its membership of IGAD in 2007 following a string of disagreements, together with over the bloc’s choice to ask Kenya to supervise the decision of a border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 and fought a two-year border struggle with its neighbour which poisoned relations till a peace settlement in 2018.

Following the rapprochement with Addis Ababa, Eritrean troops supported Ethiopian forces throughout the federal authorities’s struggle towards the Tigray Individuals’s Liberation Entrance (TPLF) and have been accused by the USA and rights teams of a few of the battle’s worst atrocities.

That struggle ended with a peace deal signed in November final yr that referred to as for the withdrawal of overseas forces, however Asmara was not a celebration to the settlement and its troops proceed to be current in bordering areas of Tigray, in keeping with residents who’ve accused the troopers of homicide, rape and looting.

‘North Korea of Africa’

Monday’s announcement comes after Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki informed reporters throughout a go to to Kenya in February that his nation would rejoin IGAD “with the thought of revitalising this regional organisation.”

Isaias, 77, didn’t attend Monday’s summit in Djibouti, sending Overseas Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab to the assembly as a substitute.

Workneh Gebeyehu, government secretary of IGAD, hailed Eritrea’s return to the bloc, saying in an official assertion: “Let me take this chance to welcome again the State of Eritrea to the IGAD household.”

Dubbed the “North Korea” of Africa, Eritrea was sanctioned by the USA in 2021 after sending troops into Tigray.

In a uncommon press convention in Kenya earlier this yr, Isaias dismissed accusations of extreme rights abuses by Eritrean troops in Tigray as “fantasy”.

Human Rights Watch in February referred to as for contemporary sanctions towards Eritrea, accusing it of rounding up 1000’s of individuals, together with minors, for necessary army service, throughout the Tigray struggle.

The nation sits close to the underside of worldwide rankings for press freedom, in addition to human rights, civil liberties and financial improvement.

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