War Over, Once Isolated Red Sea State Faces Democracy Calls

  • Eritrea’s 20-year conflict with Ethiopia ended in July

  • Government said besiegement justified tight political control

By Nizar Manek and Samuel Gebre, 27 August 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Eritrea’s rapprochement with Ethiopiamay have removed the threat of conflict, but it poses a new challenge for the one-party Red Sea state that’s long prioritized a war-footing with its giant neighbor over democracy.
After decades of conflict and tension, the calm is a novelty for the nation that sits on a key shipping route to the Suez Canal and has known only five years of official peace since seceding from Ethiopia in 1993. After the two fought a 1998-2000 war, Eritrea stifled dissent and indefinitely suspended time limits on national service, spurring tens of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries and Europe.
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