What Happened: The Ethiopian military has reiterated that it intends to build a navy, despite being landlocked, Xinhua reported Nov. 8.
Why It Matters: As Ethiopia's economic clout is growing, it will likely want to secure its trade relations and assert itself militarily. Ethiopia has developed good ties with several states around the Horn of Africa that have shown interest in hosting foreign military bases, such as Djibouti, Eritrea and the breakaway territory of Somaliland.
Background: Ethiopia lost its naval capabilities 27 years ago when Eritrea became independent. Since then, the landlocked country has attempted to act on its imperative of seeking sea access. Recent diplomatic developments have paved the way for Addis Ababa to increase its access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
- Eritrea Creaks Open the Door as Fears of War Recede (Oct. 12, 2018)
- Ethiopia's Ambitious Leader Reaches for the Stars (Sept. 18, 2018)
- Ethiopia, Eritrea: Border Opening Marks Another Milestone for the Former Enemies (Sept. 11, 2018)
- Where Is Ethiopia Headed? Signs Past and Present Point the Way (Sept. 7, 2018)