From Separation to Conflict and Beyond

The nascent, albeit sluggish, peace rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea has stirred hope for full normalisation of relations between the two countries in the near future. If so happens, this will be a new dawn for much needed Ethiopia-Eritrea research activity.

Ethiopia and Eritrea are bound together in webs of cultural, social, historical, and economic significance. No time in the history stretching back 2,500 years or so has the people-to-people contact and relations across the Mereb River border been obstructed for such a long period of time as during the “no war – no peace” era. About twenty years have passed without daily social interaction through family ties, intermarriage, migrant labour, border trade, religious feasts, or for that matter research collaboration. With a few exceptions, all mutual crossborder interactions were severed. Likewise, the breach of formal bilateral relations during the same period has left much wanted in terms of the alignment of policies of mutual relevance within all governance sectors – and much needed empirically founded knowledge production to underpin such policies are lacking.

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