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Ethiopia-Eritrea border: Landmark summit aims to end conflict

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image copyrightReuters
image captionNew Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed (left) is meeting veteran Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has begun a visit to Eritrea, days after the two countries agreed to end a two-decade-old border dispute.

He was welcomed in the Eritrean capital Asmara by President Isaias Afewerki. The trip follows a visit to Addis Ababa by an Eritrean delegation.

Mr Abiy, who took office in April, has accepted a ruling awarding disputed territory to Eritrea.

Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a lengthy conflict.

But within five years the neighbours were fighting over remote border areas, including the town of Badme.

image copyrightAFP
image captionEthiopia had refused to remove its troops from the region around Badme

Tens of thousands of people were killed in two years of fighting.

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The land was awarded to Eritrea by a 2002 border commission ruling, but Ethiopia refused to accept it and retained its troops there.

The two sides have remained on a war footing since then.

In a further sign of warming ties, direct international phone calls have been restored between the two countries for the first time in more than 20 years, the Ethiopian prime minister's office said.

Timeline

  • 24 May 1993: Eritrean independence from Ethiopia officially declared
  • 6 May 1998: Border war begins
  • 18 June 2000: Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities signed
  • 12 December 2000: Algiers Peace Agreement signed
  • 13 April 2002: The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission delivered its "binding" ruling

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