Ethiopia’s controversial quest for the Sea, by Washington Post
Many centuries ago, chroniclers conjured what was in antiquity called Ethiopia as a realm at the heart of global trade.
The treasures of Rome and India all flowed through its ports along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Merchants and pilgrims made their way to the Middle East and Mediterranean world via its caravan routes and docks. A 6th-century Byzantine historian described a kingdom with a vast fleet of wooden boats. The ancient Greeks even named the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean, thousands of miles away from the Ethiopian highlands, the Ethiopian Sea.
But modern-day Ethiopia is famously landlocked. Apart from a few decades in the 20th century when Ethiopia had annexed neighboring Eritrea, Africa’s second-most populous nation has never had a coastline. It maintains a meager, mostly riverine navy and pays tiny Djibouti some $1.5 billion a year for the privilege of accessing its ports and coastal infrastructure.
Ethiopia’s controversial quest for the Sea, published by Washington Post.
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