Eritrea Asked to Open its Ports for Ethiopia’s Famine Relief

Eritrea's Massawa port - (Credit: Andre Vltchek )

By Hank Cohen

The severe Ethiopian famine that is just over the horizon will require the use of Eritrean ports to handle the massive arrival of food relief from the international community. The sheer volume of food for 40 million people cannot be processed solely by the port of Djibouti and the railway from Djibouti to Addis Abeba.

It is important that Ethiopia and Eritrea start making arrangements immediately for the opening of the Eritrean ports of Asab and Masawa so as to receive the ships carrying the famine relief. These ports have easy access to northern Ethiopia where most of the need exists.

While they are making arrangements, I recommend that the two governments discuss how to make Ethiopian access to these two ports permanent. At the same time, cross-border trade should be resumed.

This would be a win-win result for both countries.