Phone lines open between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and people are calling strangers

Eritrea 2018.jpg

UN Photo/Cia Pak Osman Mohammed Saleh, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Eritrea, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-second session.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content

The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea that has roots stretching back to the 1960s has finally come to an end, resulting in one of the most unexpected consequences of any peacetime period.

In 1991, following decades of armed struggle, Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia. However, uncertainty over where the border between the two countries should run eventually erupted into war. The situation escalated during two years of fighting between 1998 and 2000. Thousands of people died, leading to a period of ongoing tension interspersed with outbreaks of armed conflict.

When the hostilities ceased with the formal signing of a joint declaration, there was an outpouring of warmth between citizens of the two countries.

Most notably, some enthusiastically embraced the newly-restored ability to place telephone calls to their neighbouring nation. Not just to speak to friends and family they were previously separated from, but people also called complete strangers at random. Many also took to social media to share their excitement.

“I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I am from Ethiopia and I am so excited to talk to you,” said Roman Tafessework Gomeju, who described herself as “crazy happy” in a Facebook post, the New York Times reports.

Her excitement was echoed elsewhere in Ethiopia and across the border in Eritrea too.

Even though language barriers persist for many, they weren’t an obstacle for those taking the opportunity to find some common linguistic ground.

And even the most prosaic of encounters took on a deeper significance. After all, when was the last time you called a hotel receptionist just to have a conversation?

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

EU Border and Coast Guard: new corps of 10 000 border and coast guards by 2027

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

These countries have the best work-life balance

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

The role companies play in boosting growth in emerging markets

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

Resiliency is the key to strong investments in a chaotic world

One third of poorer countries face both undernutrition and obesity: WHO report

OECD warns global economy remains weak as subdued trade drags down growth

UN welcomes ‘most comprehensive agreement ever’ on global health

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Business models inspired by nature are the future

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

Libya: Heavy shelling and civilian deaths ‘blatant violation’ of international law – UN envoy

The EU tells the bare truth to the UK that there is no such thing as easy divorces

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Women in peacekeeping, the arrest of Sudan’s leader, updates on Libya, Nigeria and Syria

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Ebola fight ongoing amid evidence of ‘several massacres’ in DR Congo’s Ituri province

What the future of trust looks like

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

104 countries have laws that prevent women from working in some jobs

3 reasons why business leaders can’t afford to ignore diversity

First 17 “European Universities” selected: a major step towards building a European Education Area

The Catcher in the Rice

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

US-EU trade war: Berlin fearful of the second round

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Malaysia has achieved high levels of growth, but must do more to address governance and social challenges

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

European Business Summit 2014 : The Sting Report, Day II – Business, Politics and EBS 2015

The number of internally displaced people is at a record high. Here’s why

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

Checks, fines, crisis reserve: MEPs vote on EU farm policy reform

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

World’s human rights watchdog spotlights Afghanistan, Yemen and 12 others: Here’s the scoop

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

Daughter of 2019 Sakharov Prize winner Ilham Tohti receives prize on his behalf

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

In polarized America, a new divide looms

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s