Eritrea Rejoins East Africa Bloc After 16 Years

Eritrea Rejoins East Africa Bloc After 16 Years
Image copyright: Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • On Monday, Eritrea rejoined the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa (IGAD), after exiting the bloc in 2007 to protest the deployment of Ethiopian troops to Somalia to combat al-Shabab militants.

  • Announcing the news on Twitter, Information Minister Yemane Meskel said the country — which took its seat at the 14th Ordinary Summit in Djibouti — wanted to join IGAD members in promoting peace and stability in the region.

The Spin

Narrative A

Eritrea is one of the world's most repressive states on almost every front, and IGAD should not legitimize the brutal Afwerki regime. Additionally, the country has been accused of severe human rights violations in the Tigray conflict, where it joined the side of Ethiopia. Even after the close of hostilities, it's still believed that Eritrean forces are committing atrocities in the region. IGAD should be putting pressure on Afwerki, not welcoming him with open arms.

Narrative B

The US, in order to prop up Tigrayan rebels, has painted Eritrea as a despotic regime instead of one forced into a war of self-defense. This isolation of a country that stands up to Western hegemony did not fool the East African nations, as they welcomed back Eritrea with open arms to IGAD. These ineffective and misguided attacks on a sovereign nation have brought this display of regional solidarity to fruition.

Metaculus Prediction

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