NewsEast & Horn AfricaAfter 20 years, Ethiopia, Eritrea border reopens


Posted on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 09:37

After 20 years, Ethiopia, Eritrea border reopens

By Reuters

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, centre left is welcomed by Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, centre right upon his arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport, Ethiopia, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Photo: Mulugeta Ayene/AP/SIPAThe leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea re-opened crossing points on their shared border for the first time in 20 years on Tuesday (September 11), cementing a stunning reconciliation and giving Addis Ababa a direct route to its former foe's Red Sea ports.

After opening the border, Ethiopian Prime Minister said his countries forces stationed along the countries' shared border will be moved back to camps to ease tensions further for the first time in two decades.

"Welcoming the New Year with a new hope and peace will help us in making our forthcoming jobs easier," Abiy told reporters, referring to the fact that Ethiopian New Year was celebrated on Tuesday.

Ending two decades of hostility

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki attended a border opening ceremony in Zalambessa, an Ethiopian border town.

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed said: "Our defence forces, as of today, will withdraw from the borders de-escalating the tense war situation on the border and assemble to its camps, recover and engage in more training to equip itself. The same will be done on the Eritrean side."

Since signing an agreement in Asmara, Eritrea on July 9 to restore ties, the Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders have moved swiftly to end two decades of hostility which burned on after the 1998-2000 war between the two countries in which 80,000 people died.

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