Afwerki cosies up to Ruto at Abiy's expense
The Eritrean president has made a rare diplomatic move for his traditionally isolationist country, seeking to distance his country from neighbouring Ethiopia by moving closer to Nairobi.
There are signs of a lull in the Afar region, following the truce declared by Prime Minister Abiy, with the withdrawal of the insurgent coalition from the Erepti region. However, activity in the disputed areas of western Tigray has been far from peaceful.
Domestic political agendas are in the process of remodelling the regional balance of power between Sudan and Chad while, in the neighbouring Central African Republic, the role of Wagner, which is an ally of Sudan but hostile to Chad, is raising questions.
The low-key visit to the Horn of Africa in early February by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was followed by the appointment of a special Chinese envoy for the region. Their interest coincides with the loss of momentum in the ongoing talks between Kenya and the African Union.
The Egyptian president snubbed an African Union summit and instead attended the Beijing Olympics in the company of his financial sponsor, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Sisi is continuing his strategy of encircling his Ethiopian rival and consolidating his position in Sudan and Djibouti.
With implicit support from the Emirates and with less than two weeks to prepare, the Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki took on the role of mediator between his neighbours. An initiative which could be seen as an act of defiance directed towards international institutions, and not least the UN, which has placed sanctions on Eritrea.