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Ethiopia, Eritrea to normalise relations: Ethiopian PM

The two leaders have a light moment today. PHOTO VIA @TravelToEritrea

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | AFP | Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed to reopen embassies and borders, Ethiopia’s prime minister said during a visit to Asmara on Sunday, signalling an end to two decades of conflict between the neighbours.

“We agreed that the airlines will start operating, the ports will be accessible, people can move between the two countries and the embassies will be opened,” Abiy Ahmed said at a dinner attended by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki following talks earlier in the day.

Ethiopia and Eritrea broke off relations at the start of a 1998-2000 border conflict that claimed 80,000 lives.

Ethiopia then refused to honour a 2002 ruling by a United Nations-backed boundary commission meant to settle the frontier dispute, leading to years of cold war between the two neighbours.

In office since April, Abiy announced last month that Ethiopia would cede territory to Eritrea including the flashpoint town of Badme that it is occupying in violation of the border ruling.

Africa’s second most populous country, Ethiopia was rendered landlocked in 1993 when Eritrea, then a province, voted for independence after years of bloodshed.

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