Earlier this month, Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Addis Ababa would fully accept and implement the terms of a peace agreement between the countries.
“We are fully committed to reconcile with our Eritrean brothers and sisters and extend an invitation to the Eritrean government to start dialogue and establish rapport,” Abiy told parliament earlier this month.
The UN-backed agreement, which was signed in 2000, awarded disputed territories, including the town of Badme, to Eritrea. The two countries fought a bloody border war in 1998 that left more than 80,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands.
This visit is very significant and when the agreement is fully implemented it will mean the people of the two countries can finally have friendly relations. It will also improve the security of the region. The proxy wars between the two countries will also end.
The outcome will be felt not just in the disputed territories but across East Africa. The implementation of the agreement might also lead to political reforms in Eritrea.
For the first time since the start of the conflict, the Eritrean flag hung side-by-side with Ethiopia’s on the streets in downtown Addis Ababa on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Many in the Ethiopian capital welcomed the arrival of the delegation and the recent thawing of tensions between the two neighbors.