Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea re-opened the third border connecting the people of the two countries.
Re-opening the Humera-Omhajer border on Sunday the two leaders were accompanied by other government officials from both sides.
After the two leaders met in Teseney, Eritrea, they went to the border and officially opened the border, which will be the third one connecting the two nations since the two neighbors peace decided to restore peaceful relation.
The two leaders have also visited an irrigation project in Eritrea, according to the report of the state broadcaster – ETV.
Among the attendants of the event were Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael of Acting President of Tigray Region and Gedu Andargachew, head of Amhara of Ethiopia Region of Ethiopia. The borders previously opened have strengthened the people to people relations between the two countries, according to Dr. Debretsion.
Recent reports show that a few weeks ago, Eritrea has closed the Zalambessa – Assab –border. Commenting on the issue, Dr. Debretsion stated that he has learned from the Eritrean president that the reason the border is closed was to put in place formal customs procedures and it will soon be opened.
The two countries went to war in May 1998 over a border dispute over a town called Badme. The two years’ long war between the two countries has resulted in loss of over 80,000 lives from both sides and economic and social damages, among others.
The two sides have agreed to restore peace and implement border demarcation following the 2002 UN-mediated peace talks in Algiers. Meanwhile, they haven’t been able to implement the agreement for close to two decades choosing to pursue what many labeled as, ‘no-peace and no-war’ situation.
After the reformist Prime Minister Abiy came to power some nine months ago, he reactivated the relationship between the two countries keeping his inaugural speech promise.
Since then the two countries leaders have been visiting each other, which led to the opening of borders, reactivation of air transport and opening of embassies, among others.