A few weeks ago, Ethiopia and Eritrea were enemies, as they had been for the past two decades, yet now they are behaving as if they are the best of friends.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is set to reciprocate the welcome he received in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, last Sunday. There, the two men embraced warmly and declared an end to the state of war.
This is a new phase in the president’s relationship with Ethiopia, which has largely defined his life.
He was born in 1946 in Asmara, which was, at the time, under British administration. In 1962 it was annexed by EthiopiIn 1965 he went to Addis Ababa to study engineering at Haile Selassie University but left a year later to join the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), which was fighting for independence.Mr Isaias was among the first group of fighters to travel to China in 1967 for military and ideological training. On his return he, along with others, agitated for change within the ELF but then went on to form a new party, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front.