In the 120 years of diplomatic relations between Washington and Addis Ababa, it has not been just love that solely dominated the relation between the two. The Ethio-Somali War and the 17 years of the Dergue Regime set records for all time low in their diplomatic history.
With the demise of the Dergue regime in Ethiopia in 1991, the US had become a key development partner of Ethiopia providing billions of dollars each year in the form of humanitarian and development assistance. Ethiopia was also a key ally of the US in the fight against terrorism in the Horn of Africa. However, following the outbreak of a war between the new Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in November 2020, relations between the two got strained after more than 27 years of heyday. Words of war at State Department press conferences, loggerheads over the repetitive agenda at the UN Security Council, a signed executive order for sanctions, withdrawals of promised loans and development assistances, and the banning of Ethiopia from the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA)— all show how the their relations has gone through tough twists and turns in the last two years.
However, as the central government concluded a peace deal with the TPLF fighters last month in Pretoria, the Ethiopian government has found favorable response in its quest for the restoration of the friendship with the US. The just concluded US-Africa Leaders Summit was an opportune moment to catch. The visit of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Washington to attend the Summit on December 13–15, 2022, was in that case a fruitful mission in easing of tensions between the two longtime friends. It was very instrumental in soliciting profound support for Ethiopia’s dollar-starved economy. In this article, EBR’s Addisu Deresse analyzes their relationship and the element of an ever rising China.