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Ethiopia and Eritrea sign peace deal

HISTORIC: The summit brought together the heads of state of Ethiopia and Eritrea for the first time in 20 years (Image: Fitsum Arega/Twitter)

ETHIOPIA AND Eritrea have agreed to bring an end to the border conflict between them.

The announcement was made at an historic meeting of Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, yesterday.

“I have returned to Addis Ababa elated with the historic breakthrough we have made in our sincere effort to bring lasting peace between our two nations. I am immensely encouraged by the great strides were were able to take and the mutual trust and friendship we quickly forged,” Abiy wrote in a letter addressed to the Eritrean president.

Although a peace deal was previously drawn up to end the 1998-2000 war, it has never been put into practice fully.

Tensions between the countries had been ongoing but they are now hoping to re-establish trade and diplomatic links.

The summit brought together the heads of states from Eritrea and Ethiopia for the first time in almost two decades.

Abiy said: “The peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea are eager for peace and normalisation of relations between the two nations. What we have achieved during this summit is to bring to reality our peoples’ hopes and dreams.”

Eritreans and Ethiopians have been reacting to the news on social media.

Eritrean-American writer, Rahawa Haile, tweeted: “My country isn’t in a state of war for the first time in 20 years and I can’t stop screaming.”

Semhar Araia, who was born in New York to Eritrean parents and is the founder of Dawn, an organisation which connects and empowers African diaspora women on African affairs, tweeted: “Can I get a collective Twitter elelelelelelelelel [sic] for this historic moment of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia.”

The declaration means that transport and telephone links between the two nations will be re-established, as will direct flights – which could be reinstated from as early as next week.

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