Eritrea & Somalia relations
Eritrea and Somalia the past and the future By Abdul Sharif
Having met so many people from the Horn of Africa nation of Eritrea,a country that has so much lessons to contribute to rebuilding Somalia.Eritrea's heroic and unique independence struggle was one the foremost things that surprised me about this country.
In 2012 Eritreans celebrated there 21 anniversary of the independence,which was won after heavy sacrifices and after a fierce and longstanding war of liberation which lasted 30 years.
Against all odds,because the challenges were insurmountable, notably if you put into consideration the international legality represented in UN resolutions and the organisation of African Unity charter which made the dream of the Eritrean independence almost impossible.
As I was writing this post,I was also have a chat with my Hooyo(mother)about Eritrea and she told me should would always see the Eritrean community in Mogadishu's Hodan district in the 1980's,with whom she used to exchange views on the continues independence struggle back in Eritrea.
Somalia was a strong supporter of Eritrean nationalism, including Isaias Afewerki’s Eritrean People’s Liberation Front. Somalia is clearly a friend of Eritrea even though some might disagree.I was absolutely astonished by the many anti-Eritrea rhetoric specially talking about it's support to Al-Shabaab. There are evidence Eritrea has supported Al-Shabaab,but that shouldn't be the center of Somalis and Eritreans relationships.Somalis were there for Eritrea during it's struggle for independence from Ethiopia.
During the time of the Eritrean liberation,Somalia's president Said Barre supported the rebel groups who were fighting against the Ethiopian govt,the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF).Barre's regime even want as far as letting EPLF members use Somali passports,& letting them station in Mogadishu.
Somalia's new government has not so far made any decision to start negotiations with Eritrea or to restore relations.But there has been reports and rumors that Eritrea requested Turkey to help it reconcile with the Somali government led my President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Mogadishu and Asmara should pursue a political dialogue on issues of common interest and on issues of concern to both parties.At the same time,it should be noted that the basic idea of helping resolve the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict peacefully would be helpful for Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
We Somalis and Eritreans, have so many things in common. What unite us is bonds of common history, the same political challenges, similar social and cultural background and have the same aspirations.
Both our communities in Diaspora are facing the same challenges and preoccupations, we need to cooperate, to exchange views and experiences and coordinate our efforts to make our voice heard and to reassert our presence. ...via Africathinker