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Ethiopian, Eritrean leaders open new border

Opening of Oumajir-Humera border is continuation of normalizing of ties between Horn of Africa nations

Munira Abdelmenan Awel   | 07.01.2019
Ethiopian, Eritrean leaders open new border File Photo of Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed(L) and Isaias Afewerki ( Minasse Wondimu Hailu - Anadolu Agency )

By Munira Abdelmenan Awel

ANKARA

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki officially opened a new road linking the two Horn of Africa nations on Monday.

The two leaders opened the Oumajir-Humera border in continuation of normalizing of Ethiopian-Eritrean relations, according to Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister.

Afwerki and his delegation welcomed Ahmed in the Eritrean town of Teseney accompanied by chief administrators of the regional states of Amhara and Tigray.

This move is expected to boost people-to-people relations on both sides and promote cross-border trade in the long term, local media reported.

Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993 and from 1998 to 2000 the two countries fought a bloody war in which an estimated 70,000 people perished on both sides.

The two countries broke two decades of tension after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed extended an olive branch to the Eritrean president in his inaugural speech in April 2018.

Both opened their respective embassies, while Eritrea allowed Ethiopia to use its Red Sea ports.

Last September, the two leaders announced the opening of the borders allowing free movement of goods and people leading numerous families to reunite.

Telecommunication and flights between the two countries have also restored after two decades.

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