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Ethiopia and Eritrea take concrete steps to ending two-decade-old conflict
JULY 8,2018
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Mr Mnangagwa did not accuse Mrs Mugabe of being involved in the attempt on his
life.

He told the BBC he expects arrests to be made shortly.

"I don't know whether it was one individual - I would think it is broader than one person. I would
think this is a political action by some aggrieved persons," he said.

'Soft as wool'

Mr Mnangagwa described Mrs Mugabe as someone who had frequently insulted him in the past.

"On what basis would I trust someone who was used by a cabal to say things that had no basis?"
he asked.

Nicknamed "the crocodile", Mr Mnangagwa has a reputation for being ruthless, but he told our
correspondent: "I am as soft as wool. I am a very soft person in life, my brother. I'm a family
person. I am a Christian."

Despite the apparent attempt on his life, Mr Mnangagwa said there would be no countrywide
security clampdown and elections scheduled for 30 July would go ahead in a free and fair
manner.

Zimbabwe was stable and that foreign investors should not worry, he said.

Representatives of Zanu-PF, the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
other parties signed a peace pledge on Tuesday, promising to avoid violence and hate speech
during campaigning.

The MDC's Nelson Chamisa is expected to be Mr Mnangagwa's main challenger in the election.
He has also condemned the attack in Bulawayo.
Graphic Online
Ethiopia and Eritrea announced the first concrete steps toward normalizing relations after two
decades of conflict during an unprecedented visit Sunday by the Ethiopian prime minister.

The two neighboring archenemies agreed to open up their airspace to one another, re-establish
telephone communications, reopen embassies and allow Ethiopia — which became landlocked
when Eritrea seceded a quarter-century ago — to use its smaller coastal neighbor’s port, gaining
precious access to the Red Sea, the countries’ leaders said.

Lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea could herald a new era in a strategic part of Africa
near the Middle East. Ethiopia is a top Western and Chinese ally in the conflict-prone Horn of
Africa, near one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. Eritrea hosts a major United Arab
Emirates military base, and is home to a 715-mile Red Sea coastline near the Suez Canal.

Ethiopian leader Abiy Ahmed was greeted in Asmara, one of the world’s most reclusive capitals,
by longtime Eritrean rebel-turned-dictator Isaias Afwerki. Afwerki, 72, became president of Eritrea
at independence in 1993. The two men embraced at Asmara airport as Eritrean women danced
to welcome Ahmed, Ethiopian state TV reported. The visit came after a senior Eritrean delegation
visited Addis Ababa last month to start peace talks between the David-and-Goliath neighbors,
and is the first by an Ethiopian leader in recent history.