PM Abiy Ahmed says Ethiopia will avoid invading other nations

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends his last campaign event ahead of Ethiopia's parliamentary and regional elections scheduled for June 21, in Jimma, Ethiopia, June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared his commitment to avoiding any invasion of other nations. He made these remarks to address the concerns of neighbouring countries who feared that he might resort to military force to secure access to a seaport, as rumours about this started to circulate this summer.

Abiy stated on in the beginning of the month that Ethiopia should assert its right to access the Red Sea through peaceful means, causing tensions with regional governments of Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti. Eritrea, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a prolonged civil war, characterized recent discussions about the Red Sea as excessive and called on concerned parties not to be provoked, without directly responding to Abiy’s statements.

Following these developments, both countries moved their troops closer to their shared border, raising concerns about another conflict in a region already plagued by violence. Abiy assured thousands of soldiers gathered in the capital, Addis Ababa, that Ethiopia had no intention of invading any country and would not use force to pursue its interests.

Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts to bring peace and end two decades of hostilities with Eritrea. However, relations soured again after Eritrea was excluded from the peace talks. The situation has raised concerns that relations between Addis Ababa and Asmara have deteriorated over the past year, potentially leading to outright hostility.

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