Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reiterates on Thursday that Ethiopia will not seek its interests “through war,” following concerns raised by previous statements regarding access to the Red Sea.
Addressing thousands of troops in Addis Ababa for National Army Day, Abiy assured that Ethiopia is dedicated to pursuing mutual interests through dialogue and negotiation, rather than resorting to conflict.
In a televised speech earlier this month, Abiy highlighted the significance of access to a port for landlocked Ethiopia, stating, “If we plan to live together in peace, we have to find a way to mutually share from each other in a balanced manner.”
These remarks raised concerns among observers, particularly in light of apparent tensions with Eritrea.
Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa with approximately 120 million people, lost its coastline after Eritrea declared independence in 1993 following a three-decade war. Since then, Ethiopia has relied predominantly on Djibouti for imports and exports.
Abiy, who received the Nobel Prize in 2019 for his efforts in reconciling with Eritrea, emphasized that Ethiopia has never invaded any country and does not seek to do so in the future. He added that the Ethiopian army’s objective is to defend the nation, not to attack or invade others.