Once a pariah, Eritrean president comes up with regional bloc idea  

Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki (L) and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed talk during the inauguration of the Tibebe Ghion Specialized Hospital in Bahir Dar, northern Ethiopia, on November 10, 2018. PHOTO | EDUARDO SOTERAS | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Critics of the revolutionary who led his country to independence accuse him of dictatorship, a charge he denies.
  • For the past two years, though, Afwerki’s traits appear to be changing.
  • This week, he hosted Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Mohamed Farmajo, the president of Somalia.
  • Some analysts told the Nation that the recent meeting points to where Afwerki’s prize is: influence in the Horn of Africa.

Isaias Afwerki, the mustachioed Eritrean president, is not usually known for regional integration.

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