Ethiopia and Eritrea officially declare war between them is over
July 9, 2018
On Monday, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki signed a declaration ending the state of war between the two countries. The conflict originated in 1998 over the border between the countries, five years after Eritrea declared its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Fighting ended in 2000, after at least 80,000 were killed, with a peace deal that was never fully implemented.
Monday’s meeting, which took place in the Eritrean capital city of Asmara was the first time the leaders of the two countries had met in 20 years.
The peace deal, called the Algiers Agreement, was reached in 2000 and never fully implemented. Abiy, who became Ethiopia’s prime minister in April after former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned in February, said in his inaugural address that he was “fully committed to reconcile” with Eritrea. In June, Ethiopia announced it would accept the terms of the 2000 peace agreement and later that month, Eritrea announced it would send a delegationto Ethiopia’s capital.
Since the border conflict, there have been no flights between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the land border has remained closed and telephone lines between the countries have not worked. On Monday, Eritrea’s Minister of Information Yemane Meskel said on Twitter that transport, trade and telecommunication ties would resume. Family members across the border were able to phone each other on Monday, according to BBC.
Abiy’s Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega also tweeted that the two countries “are determined to close a costly chapter and eager to make up for lost opportunities putting the interest and aspirations of their people at the center.” He added that the two nations would “forge close political, economic, social, cultural & security cooperation,” and would “work on regional peace “