Ethiopia, Eritrea Reopen Another Border Crossing

Ethiopia, Eritrea Reopen Another Border Crossing

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat
Tuesday January 8, 2019

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki reopen a border crossing between their countries. (AFP)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Monday reopened a border crossing between their countries as part of an ongoing reconciliation between the former foes, reported AFP.

The two leaders re-opened the border crossing between Humera in Ethiopia and Oum Hajer in Eritrea on the western edge of both nations, according to the state-owned Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation.

In September, an initial two land crossings between the countries were ceremonially reopened for the first time in 20 years, after Abiy settled a long-standing border dispute by agreeing to adhere to a United Nations ruling.

However, the major crossings between Bure-Debay Sima in the east and Zalambessa-Serha in the west were closed again last month without explanation, according to local media reports.Nevertheless, relations between the neighbors have continued to improve rapidly with Monday’s reopening of the Humera-Oum Hajer border post the latest sign of normalization allowing the free movement of people and goods.

Borders were sealed in 1998 as the neighboring Horn of Africa nations cut diplomatic ties at the outbreak of a short but bloody two-year frontier battle.

An ensuing cold war stymied development and trade, and undermined regional security, but in a surprise move last year, Abiy began peace overtures, which were welcomed by Eritrea.