Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says Ethiopia will not invade any neighbouring nation after his recent comments on a need for his country to own a sea outlet created disquiet in the region.
Addressing the nation at a square in the capital, Addis Ababa, to mark Army Day on Thursday, Mr Abiy said Ethiopia would “never invade” any country.
“Our army has never initiated an attack and now we will not attack anyone,” he said.
“Fears have been voiced that there could be an invasion when Ethiopia recently stressed the need to discuss some issues… there is nothing whatsoever Ethiopia intends to achieve through invasion. I would like to strongly assure you that we will not pull a trigger on our brothers to attain our needs by force,” the PM added.
It comes a few days after Mr Abiy told legislators that securing a sea outlet was “a matter of existence” for his country.
Ethiopia became landlocked following Eritrea’s secession in 1993, and has since depended on Djibouti for over 85% of its imports and exports.
Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a two-year border war between 1998 and 2000.
Tensions were eased between the two countries in 2018 when Mr Abiy and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea signed a peace agreement.