Global Insider: Ethiopia-Sudan Relations

Sudan and Ethiopia recently reached a initial agreement to explore and develop mineral resources along their shared border. In an email interview, David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and a current adjunct professor of international relations at George Washington University, discussed Ethiopia-Sudan relations.

WPR: What is the recent history of relations between Ethiopia and Sudan?

David Shinn: Ethiopia and Sudan have a long history of alternating periods of conflict and cooperation. Following the outbreak of war between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998, Ethiopia's relationship with Sudan shifted from hostile to cordial as Ethiopia sought to ensure peace on its other borders. The relationship has remained positive ever since. Ethiopia improved its main road connection to Sudan and now imports Sudanese oil. It plans to build additional dams on Nile tributaries and sell electricity to Sudan. It recently agreed to send two battalions of Ethiopian troops to the contested Abyei region between north and south Sudan in order to help ensure the Republic of South Sudan has a peaceful birth on July 9. Ethiopia also has a good relationship with the new government in south Sudan.

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