Eritrea reopens embassy in Ethiopia amid thaw

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki reopened his country’s embassy in Ethiopia on Monday, more than 20 years after the two countries broke off relations when they went to war.

The embassy inauguration caps Isaias’s historic visit to the Ethiopian capital aimed at cementing peace less than a week after Ethiopia and Eritrea declared an end to two decades of conflict.

State-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) showed Isaias raising the Eritrean flag at the embassy in downtown Addis Ababa and accepting from Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed keys to the building, filled with dusty furniture that appeared untouched for years.

READ MORE: Ethiopia’s 100-day revolution

The embassy visit marked the end of the Eritrean leader’s three-day stay in Ethiopia that also included a visit to an industrial park and a Sunday evening dinner and concert attended by thousands of Ethiopians.

“The high-level Eritrean government delegation headed by President Isaias just left Addis Ababa for Asmara,” EBC reported after Isaias departed the embassy.

Ethiopia and Eritrea expelled each others’ envoys at the start of a 1998-2000 border war that killed around 80 000 people.

Relations remained frozen after Ethiopia declined to accept a 2002 United Nations-backed border demarcation, leading to years of cold war between the two countries.

Last month, Abiy announced Ethiopia would accept the demarcation and cede land to Eritrea, paving the way for normalisation.

Abiy has pursued an aggressive reform agenda since taking office in April, including making peace with Eritrea, releasing jailed dissidents and liberalising parts of the economy.

Once a province of Ethiopia, Eritrea voted to leave in 1993 after a bloody, decades-long independence struggle.


Since the end of the war, Isaias has used the threat of Ethiopia aggression to justify a rash of repressive policies, including an indefinite national service program the UN has likened to slavery.

Spokesman for the Ethiopian foreign ministry, Meles Alem, told AFP Ethiopia has not yet reopened its embassy in the Eritrean capital Asmara.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertising

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations

Senwes launches Agri Value Chain Food Umbrella

South African farmers can now help to feed the needy by donating part of their bumper maize crop to delivery number 418668

Ethics and internal financial controls add value to the public sector

National treasury is rolling out accounting technician training programmes to upskill those who work in its finance units in public sector accounting principles

Lessons from South Korea for Africa’s development

'Leaders can push people through, through their vision and inspiration, based on their exemplary actions'