Ethiopia PM ready to welcome Eritrean delegation for peace talks

17 hours 19 minutes ago

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has thanked his Eritrean counterpart, President Isaias Afwerki for his positive response to a peace and reconciliation overture.

The 41 year old leader also expressed his readiness to welcome the Eritrean delegation to Addis, according to Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister office.

HE PM Dr Abiy Ahmed thanked & congratulated President Isayas Afworki for the positive response to Ethiopia’s #peace and reconciliation overture. He also expressed his readiness to welcome warmly and with considerable goodwill the Eritrean delegation to Addis. #Eritrea #Ethiopia— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) 20 juin 2018

Abiy’s message, which was reportedly recorded his message in Tigrigna, one of the languages spoken in Eritrea, will be aired on state television.

Eritrea responds to Ethiopia’s olive branch

President Isaias today announced plans to send a delegation to understand the recent announcement that Abiy’s government would accept the Algiers Agreement that gives the disputed town of Badme to Eritrea.

‘‘For this reason, and outside myopic considerations of public relations stunts and advantages, we will send a delegation to Addis Abeba to gauge current developments directly and in depth as well as to chart out a plan for continuous future action,’‘ Afwerki said.

The announcement was made at the annual martyr’s day celebration in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

The 1998-2000 war between the Horn of Africa neighbours drew comparisons to the First World War, with waves of soldiers forced to march through minefields towards Eritrean trenches where they were cut down by machine gun fire.

As many as 80,000 are believed to have been killed in total.

Disputes over the still-militarised border, in particular the town of Badme, have kept the two sides at loggerheads, with Asmara using the Ethiopian threat to justify its hefty military spending and long-term conscription.

ALSO READ: Ethiopia-Eritrea reconciliation project meets resistance from border communities

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Ivory Coast: ruling coalition member rejects proposal for unity

17 hours 39 minutes ago

The main partner in President Alassane Ouattara’s ruling coalition won’t go ahead with a proposal to unify their parties before presidential elections in two years.

The Democratic Party of Ivory Coast known as the PDCI, instead says it plans to field its own candidate and regain power in 2020. After a six hours of debate in its meeting on sunday, the PDCI also decided to postpone its 13th congress until after the 2020 polls.

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Football for friendship: the World Cup of the youth

18 hours 34 minutes ago

The sixth edition of Football for Friendship program, implemented by Gazprom, this year was organized at a worldwide scale, featuring teams from all continents.

The participants, 12 year old boys and girls, came to Moscow from 211 countries.

The young international players became the Ambassadors of football and 9 values promoted by the F4F program such as friendship, equality and peace.

«Football for friendship is a social program, and it is not only about football, it is also about friendship and communication of children, so that while communicating with each other they would implement the 9 values which are being promoted by this program,’‘ explained Victor Zubkov, the chairman of Gazprom’s board of directors.

‘‘Peace, equality, this is the most important. And I think they manage to do it,’‘ he added.

32 international Teams of Friendship, named after rare and endangered species, met at the field of the Sapsan Arena Stadium in Moscow.

They proved that different cultures, languages and traditions are not an obstacle for fair play and proved that friendship can overcome borders.

In five years the number of participating countries of F4F program grew tremendously and it has more than 3 million supporters

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South Sudan president Kiir departs for Ethiopia ahead of peace talks

18 hours 52 minutes ago

South Sudan President Salva Kiir left the capital on Wednesday and headed to Ethiopia ahead of a planned meeting with his rival and rebel leader Riek Machar ahead of planned talks to try to negotiate an end to a five-year-old civil war, an official said.

“IGAD has decided to call face-to-face dialogue between our president and Riek Machar on outstanding issues,” Awut Deng, a senior member of Kiir’s delegation, said before departing, referring to the regional East African bloc.

“So we expect the face-to-face meeting between our president and Riek Machar will be today as scheduled by IGAD.”

Hope for peace in South Sudan

Kiir recently met the Ethiopian prime minister, Abiy Ahmed who is the current chair of IGAD, and the two leaders agreed that a peace deal is viable.

IGAD led talks to revive the 2015 peace deal have stagnated after parties failed to agree on salient issues that could conclusively end the civil war. Kenyan veteran politician, Raila Odingaalso met both Machar and Kiir to facilitate the first face-to-face meeting of the two rivals since July 2016.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the civil war that broke out in late 2013 when troops loyal to Machar, the former vice president of South Sudan, launched a rebellion against the government.

All sides in the now complex and multi-faceted war stand accused by the United Nations and other bodies of committing atrocities against civilians.

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