Ethiopia, Eritrea resolve decades-long conflict

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Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed a declaration of peace this Monday thereby formally ending the state of war between the countries.

Though Eritrea had seceded from Ethiopia in 1991 after a 30-year war for independence, and eventually gained international recognition, it continued having conflicts with Ethiopia.

The countries had fought a border war from 1998 to 2000, which was even followed by decade-long cold wars, proxy conflicts and seldom open hostilities in some cases.

However, now, the nations have agreed to bury the bitter past by embracing a new era of
harmonious relations.

As per the peace deal, “transport, trade and communications links” between the countries will be re-established before Sunday. By next week, commercial flights between the nations will resume.

All communication linkages from making calls till reopening embassies in the respective capitals have been specified under the agreement and will be enforced soon.

Michael Woldemariam, a political scientist and assistant professor at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, calls Ethiopia-Eritrea relations as “breathtaking”, and says that the time would predict the course of the two countries’ relations.

Woldemariam told Voice of America, “Taking that off the table now and getting the governments of both countries to work together is going to move the region as a whole
forward in terms of cooperation — regional cooperation on security matters. The optimist in
me thinks that there may be some movement on these issues going forward”.

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