Unprecedented Eritrean Ethiopian Concert
After a useless border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, there was a stalemate of no-war and no-peace for about 20 years.
Culturally and historically united, both countries have relatives eager to see one another, as well as immense opportunities for growth if peace is established.
The youngest leader in Africa, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed entered this scene and made drastic changes.
A love, unity, and peace concert held at the Millennium Hall on Sunday, July 15, 2018, showcased the opportunities that a potential peace could bring for both countries.
Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki, his Eritrean counterpart, spoke of unity at this concert that was a hallmark in the new peace that is developing between these historically united countries.
Attended by thousands of peace loving Ethiopians and some Eritreans, the flags of both countries were held high, in a show of unprecedented unity.
The two leaders led this peace rally and concert between Ethiopia and Eritrea by holding hands and waving at the crowds, amid loud applause.
With huge pictures of both the Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders on display, musicians performed songs that entertained the masses.
We have chosen to go along a path, in which we will work together towards the shared goal of development, growth, and peace, having overcome a planned conspiracy of hate, revenge and destruction.
The audience was filled with celebrities and other prominent people from both countries.
Eritrea, after holding a referendum in 1993, had seceded from Ethiopia, after a long war against two successive governments of Ethiopia.
This new peace among these countries will bring an important changing factor for the Horn of Africa region, which is seen as volatile in the area of politics and security.
Many youths have risked their lives to flee to the Middle East and Europe because of the hostilities between the two countries.
Forgiveness opens up the consciousness. When we speak of our reconciliation, we mean we have chosen a path of forgiveness and love...When I told Isaias, that there will not be enough hotels for Ethiopians planning to visit Massawa and Asmara, he said he would leave his house for them, and sleep in the balconies.
By the end of the Eritrean Ethiopian concert, both leaders hugged and Isaias in a heartwarming gesture rested his hands on his heart as he bid the concert goers goodbye.
The day before, Isaias was given the opportunity to visit the Chinese built hallmark industrial park in Hawassa.
The next day, Abiy Ahmed hosted a breakfast of a traditional Oromo meal and was offered gifts such as a horse and camel (national symbols).
Both countries have since reopened embassies and diplomatic relations.