News Brief

2 Major Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Crossings Have Reopened After 20 Years

Hundreds of Ethiopians and Eritreans have been celebrating the reopening of these borders after a border war closed them.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki continue the terms of the peace deal signed in July by reopening the Burre and Zalambessa crossing points, BBC reports.

Hundreds of Ethiopians and Eritreans hug each other and cry as the leaders led celebrations to commemorate the reopening today, which also is Ethiopian New Year.

A border war that began in May 1998 was what caused these crossing points to close. It fought over the exact boundary between Ethiopia and Eritrea where tens of thousands of people died.

The war ended in 2000 after the signing of the Algiers agreement, but peace was never fully implemented since Ethiopia refused to enforce a ruling by a border commission established by the agreement.

The reopening at Burre is especially significant as it gives landlocked Ethiopia access to the sea, BBC notes. Families who've been separated by the conflict will now be able to reunite after more than 20 years.

The reopening of the Zalembessa and Burre crossing points are the only open borders at the moment, as details about the other parts of the border, which span 1,000 km (620 miles) still need to be hashed out.

Interview
Photo: Shaughn Cooper

Ras Nebyu Is Washington, D.C.'s 'Uptown Lion Walkin'

We talk to the Ethiopian-American rapper about his new album, his Washington Slizzards crew, and the impact of gentrification on D.C.'s music scene.

Ras Nebyu is caught up in the crowd at Howard University's homecoming tailgate, where he can barely walk a block without shaking hands with another person who he knows. Although he didn't attend Howard University, the campus and the surrounding neighborhood forms as much of a part of his narrative as any student.

The Ethiopian-American rapper hails from uptown Washington, D.C., a neighborhood he uses to inform his latest album, Uptown Lion Walkin, a project that pays homage to his ancestral upbringing, as well as his thoughts on making money, love, happiness, and the government.

There's a twoness to Nebyu's identity that allows him to create from a place of historical-cultural reverence while pushing forward new ideas. He was raised in a Rastafarian household by an Ethiopian dad and African-American mother.

Nebyu doesn't hold much back when he speaks, like his music. He preaches about belonging to his community, gentrification and the diaspora. His work serves as a strong soundboard, for not only his Ethiopian community but D.C. natives.

In 2011, Nebyu co-founded the Washington Slizzards, a collective of Ethiopian creatives in D.C. What started as a joke, tacking on "slizz" to everything, became a buzz-worthy crew. Around the same time as the group's inception, he began releasing music into the world.

Nebyu first ventured into making music as a producer, but soon found it frustrating getting artists to use his beats. He decided to begin experimenting with using his own voice and hasn't slowed down since. OkayAfrica caught up with Nebyu to discuss the new album and growing up uptown.

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Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty, Afro B & Mayorkun Join DJ Neptune On 'Tear Rubber' Remix

Listen to the "All Star Remix" now.

"Tear Rubber," one of the standouts from DJ Neptune's latest album, Greatness, gets a big remix that'll jump start your week.

The track, which originally featured Mayorkun, now gets a massive revisit featuring Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty and Afro B.

All three are potent additions to this laid-back and addictive Young John-produced track which was already getting a lot of spins.

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Listen to Sade's Beautiful New Song—'The Big Unknown'

Sade has graced us with her second single of the year—this time for Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, "Widows."

We now have two new Sade songs to shed thug tears to before the end of 2018, y'all.

The queen herself released a lyric video for her new track, "The Big Unknown." This single will be played during the end credits of Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, Widows, which is due to be released in theaters November 16, Highsnobiety reports.

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