On Tuesday, the Ethiopian Parliament not only lifted the state of emergency, but the executive committee of Ethiopia’s ruling party under Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed also decided to end border disputes with Eritrea and to recognise and implement the Algiers Agreement of 2000. The Federal Government welcomes these steps, which are an important contribution to greater freedom and stability in Ethiopia and in the region.
We encourage the Ethiopian leadership to proceed resolutely down the path of reform and to continue to work to ensure that all Ethiopian citizens can live in peace, take part in political life and represent their interests in the political process to an appropriate degree. Germany remains ready to support both Ethiopia’s political and economic development and peacebuilding efforts based on democratic principles and human rights.
The Ethiopian Government declared a state of emergency for six months owing to mass protests on February 16. Shortly afterwards, the German Foreign Office expressed its concern over this step. Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, who has been in office since the beginning of April, announced that he would initiate reforms and respond to the protesters’ concerns. Since then, the situation in Ethiopia has calmed. An early end to the state of emergency has now been brought about by a parliamentary decision.
The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea has dominated politics in both countries for decades. A two-year war between the countries from 1998 to 2000 was ended with the Algiers Agreement, which was signed on June 18, 2000. A border commission issued an arbitration ruling in 2002 awarding Eritrea a number of important strategic locations (including Badme) in the contested border region. The Ethiopian Government refused to acknowledge this ruling until recently and there were recurrent hostilities in the border region. Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed announced a new dialogue with Eritrea when he took office in early April. On Tuesday evening, it was announced that the executive committee of the ruling party in Ethiopia had decided to accept and implement the Algiers Agreement, in its negotiated form.