Eritrea and Ethiopia have ended one of Africa’s longest and bitterest conflicts, opening the Horn of Africa to new mining possibilities

By Gavin du Venage, South African Editor

Events moved quickly. In May, Ethiopia gained a youthful new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed. Within three months, the 42-year-old Ahmed had made peace with Eritrea and settled border disputes that straddled vast potash deposits.

For 20 years, the countries fought a border war that claimed as many as 100,000 lives. Ethiopia was cut off from the Red Sea, and Eritrea sealed itself off from the rest of the world. Right next door, Somalia lived on as a failed state, another no-go for all but the most intrepid explorers.

Ahmed has also since brokered deals with Somalia’s various enclaves to secure at least four port projects along the Indian Ocean coast.
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