Trump Needs to Close the Deal in the Horn of Africa – Foreign Policy
African U.N. envoys suggested on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump meet with African leaders in Ethiopia this month after he We discussed our long relationship and history of combating HIV, fighting terrorism. The United States has plenty of strategic reasons to immediately invest diplomatic capital in the rapidly thawing relations between Ethiopia and. The U.S.-Ethiopia relationship is changing amid a Horn of Africa . as the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions globally and host to.
Less than a decade later, the United States ended those relations and suspended the sale of weapons to Eritrea when war broke out in The Bush administration had serious concerns in the mids that Eritrea was providing sanctuary to al-Shabab terrorists, which led to the imposition of an arms embargo in The Obama administration signed an executive order in with a series of financial sanctions against Eritrea for its failure to address human trafficking.
I asked senior leaders in Eritrea if they see al-Shabab as a terrorist group, and all of them agreed that it is. It is important to note that Eritrea has been deemed al-Shabab-free for more than six years, according to outside monitors known as the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group.
Given that this is the case, this would be a moment to revisit the sanctions on Eritrea and consider removing them.
Even if Eritrea has rid itself of its ties to the worst terrorist groups, it remains true that Eritrea has a persistently bad record as a human rights violator. It has no legislature, no independent civil society organizations or media outlets, and no independent judiciary. The government restricts religious freedoms, banning all but four groups.
Its worst relations are with Ethiopia, which it has fought two wars against in the last 50 years. The latest Eritrea-Ethiopia war was fought over lingering border disputes and lasted from tocontinuing to cause conflict between the two countries to this day.
This war was notorious for being one of the deadliest wars in Africa, killing some 90, people. At the end of hostilities, a peace agreement was put together in Algeria.
The border dispute was taken to border expertsand the countries agreed to accept the findings of those experts. In other words, Eritrea largely won the diplomatic and political war, but Ethiopia continues to hold the disputed territory, including the small village of Badme. This week, Ethiopia said it will return Badme and help end the war.
The United States and other Western powers have been hampered in solving this dispute because they rely on Ethiopia to help police the larger Horn of Africa against terrorism and do not want to push it too hard on other issues.
Eritrea is heavily militarized, with one of the largest armies in Africa. Seeing no hope for a future dominated by indefinite and mandatory national service, tens of thousands — possibly hundreds of thousands — of Eritreans have fled the country. There remains real hope of an official end to the conflict, restoration of relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and an end to indefinite conscription, with history moving quickly over the past six months. The most senior U. A push for peace now by the United States would be the right step.
With more than miles of Red Sea coast and proximity to the Suez Canal to the north, through which more than 10 percent of global trade passes, Eritrea could provide obvious benefits.
Eritrea is in a dangerous neighborhood. They are about 20 miles from Yemen, where famine is rampant, war rages, and more than 90, people have fled into the Horn of Africa. South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya also face their own conflicts that have collectively destabilized the region, while Ethiopia faces internal displacement and humanitarian challenges.
Vice President Richard Nixon visited Ethiopia and called it "one of the United States' most stalwart and consistent allies". Army provided mapping for much of the country of Ethiopia in an operation known as the Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission. Emperor Haille Sellasse and President Nixon in Ethiopia was one of the first countries to take part in the American Peace Corps program, which emphasized agriculture, basic education, tourism, health, economic development and teaching English as a foreign language.
The Peace Corps reports that sincewhen its first volunteers arrived in Ethiopia, a total of 2, volunteers have served in that country.
Information Service educational and cultural exchanges were also an important part of their relations. Mengistu Regime[ edit ] After the Ethiopian Revolutionthe bilateral relationship began to cool due to the Derg 's linking with international communism and U.
The United States rebuffed Ethiopia's request for increased military assistance to intensify its fight against the Eritrean secessionist movement and to repel the Somali invasion.
U.S. Department of State
In Julythe U. Ambassador to Ethiopia was recalled at the request of the Ethiopian Government who was then Frederic L. Chapinand the U. Diplomatic relations were upgraded to the ambassadorial level in During the severe drought year ofthe U.
Congress legislation[ edit ] The U. Congress, however, attempted to set conditions, over the objections of the Bush Administration. In October,the House of Representatives passed the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act ofbanning military aid, for other than counter-terror and peacekeeping unless Ethiopia improved its human rights record.
African U.N. envoys suggest Trump meet leaders in Ethiopia after 'shithole' remark | Reuters
If the President certified that all political prisoners had been released and an independent media could function without excessive interference, full, normal military aid could resume. The Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act would have restricted security assistance and imposed travel restrictions on Ethiopian officials accused of human rights violations unless Ethiopia met the conditions — although the legislation would have given the president a waiver to prevent such measures from taking force.
The Pentagon needs Ethiopia and its intelligence service to counter the influence of Al-Qaeda fighters in the neighbouring Somalia.