Thursday, July 19, 2018
On Monday, Eritrea reopened their embassy in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa just a week after both the countries signed a declaration of the end of the two-decade-long conflict between the countries.
71-year-old Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki raised the Eritrean flag in Addis Ababa and Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed handed Afwerki the keys for the embassy. Abiy said, “Both nations have chosen peace as opposed to war […] We won’t allow anyone to stop this from happening.”
A former province of Ethiopia, Eritrea voted in favour of a sovereign state and declared independence in 1993. The Eritrean embassy in Ethiopia was shut down in 1998 and, per reports, about 80 thousand were killed in the border conflict between the two nations from 1998 to 2000.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister visited Eritrea earlier this month and on July 9, leaders of both countries signed a declaration of the end of the conflict in Eritrean capital Asmara. After announcing the end of the conflict, telephone lines were set up between the two countries and on Wednesday, Ethiopian Airlines flew the first direct plane between Ethiopia and Eritrea in twenty years. Chief Executive of the airlines Tewolde GebreMariam said, “This day marks a unique event in the history of Ethiopia and Eritrea”.