By Staff Reporter
February 9, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki has accused the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) for creating hurdles to resolve the unsettled border issue with neighboring Ethiopia. Calling the TPLF the “failed political group” in Tigray, he blamed the organization for implementing the peace plan.
Isaias was referring to the disputed lands in Badme town and surrounding areas that are currently administered by the Tigray state of Ethiopia.
“The situations in the disputed Badme town and surrounding areas have become worse, particularly after the diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea were restored in mid-2018,” said the Eritrean President in an interview with Eritrea TV.
In mid-2018, Ethiopia accepted a 2000 peace agreement with Eritrea over their disputed border, ending a two-decade cold war.
The countries fought from 1998 to 2000 over their border dispute, which left about 80,000 people dead. They signed a peace agreement in 2000, but Ethiopia had never accepted the findings of a boundary commission until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018.
Even though Abiy abided by the decision of the border commission, Badme and surrounding areas to Eritrea were not given away to Eritrea because the TPLF, which administers the Tigray region, resisted the implementation of the accord, according to his complaint.
All the four roads linking the two horn African nations that were opened at some point are closed, freezing trade and people to people relations.
“The reforms in Ethiopia resulted in the collapse of TPLF and brought about peaceful relations based on love and respect between Ethiopia and Eritrea," Isaias added.
The president went on saying Ethio-Eritrean diplomatic relations have gained momentum following the political reform in Ethiopia and the landmark decisions made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
The land of Badme was supposed to be returned for Eritrea by now but that didn't happen because the TPLF is barging and gambling over the matter, the president continued.
According to the president, Ethiopia has faced unfolding ethnic clashes, instability and social unrest, leaving the nation at crossroads, which Eritrea is closely following and readying to react accordingly.
The president blamed the Ethiopian constitution behind the ongoing ethnic clashes in the country. “I advised the then leaders of Ethiopia to revise the constitution but they refused," he said.
He further commented that the forthcoming Ethiopian elections should be postponed due to the political crisis in the country.
The Eritrean President and his organization, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), and the TPLF were allies for decades. They fought together to overthrow the Derg regime and enjoyed very close relations until the late 1990's when the two disagreed over trade and monetary issues, which led to war between the two countries.
Notwithstanding his new-found concern for Ethiopia, the Eritrean President has long been accused of various activities to destabilize Ethiopia and the wider region. Some of the forces playing havoc in Ethiopia today have their roots in Eritrea.
Considered by many as one of the worst human rights violators in the world, the Eritrean President has ruled the country of some 5 million with an iron fist for nearly three decades. Young Eritreans have been fleeing their country in tens of thousands every year to avoid forced and indefinite military service and seeking liberty elsewhere. According to many reports, the Eritrean economy was in shambles until recently when its relations normalized with neighboring countries.
You can watch the full interview in Tigrigna of Isaias Afewerki with Eritrean TV on Ezega Videos.
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