'Brothers at Peace’: People-to-People Reconciliation in the Ethiopian–Eritrean Borderlands
Publisert i Forskningsaktuelt Torsdag 12. desember, 2019 - 18:49 | sist oppdatert Tirsdag 5. oktober, 2021 - 21:13
Forsker: Kjetil Tronvoll
The coming to power of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Ethiopia in 2018 opened up a renewed peace engagement with Eritrea and diplomatic relations were restored. Before the political rapprochement, grassroots processes of people-to-people reconciliation in the borderlands between the two countries had been underway for years, gradually eroding officially-produced enemy stereotypes. This article explores how physical borders and boundaries of identity at a local level may be conceived differently from that at state borders or expressions of formal nationalism at an inter-state level. The local level border between the northern regional state of Tigray in Ethiopia and Eritrea has become increasingly porous over the last years, whilst the inter-state border was rigidly defended. The political rapprochement is however disconnected from the people-to-people reconciliation, as the local government in Tigray is at odds with both Ethiopia’s federal government in Addis Ababa and the Eritrean government. The formalised peace processes are elite driven, leaving no voice for the people affected in the borderlands.
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