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.
Road links between Ethiopia and Eritrea will be operational, opening the gate for cross border movement of people a… https://t.co/EHUFNGYRN4— Fitsum Arega (@Fitsum Arega)1536671262.0
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.