Ethiopia and Eritrea enter era of peace - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Ethiopia and Eritrea enter era of peace

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WSIL -- July 9 marks a historic day for Ethiopia and Eritrea who formally declared an end to their "state of war."

Leaders from the two East African nations signed an end of war agreement between the countries Monday. This comes years after a brutal war from 1998 to 2000 left more than 70-thousand people dead.

This past weekend, Eritrean President Isais Afwerki welcomed Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, with open arms and smiles. They met for first time in about 20 years marking a landmark moment.

In June, Prime Minister Abiy, who was elected earlier this year, made an announcement that he would fully accept a nearly 20-year old peace agreement to end a border war with Eritrea. The Algiers Peace Agreement includes Ethiopia withdrawing forces from Badme, a town disputed over for years. 

Not everyone is supportive of the agreement. There have been reports of protests in Northern Ethiopia against leaders withdrawing forces. However, an overwhelmingly large amount of support backed Prime Minister Abiy’s decision to move forward with the agreement.

While folks around the world are celebrating the historic moment, some citizens continue to raise concerns over human rights issues and are calling on leaders of both countries to address them. Prime Minister Abiy has already taken steps toward addressing human rights violations, like releasing thousands of political prisoners.

Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders are now working toward strengthening diplomatic relations between the two nations that share a border, cultural values, traditions and so much more.

Eritrean Minister of Information Yemane G. Meskel tweeted, "A new era of peace & friendship has been ushered."

Prime Minister Abiy announced they will reopen embassies and ports and allow flight operations between the two nations. Many Ethiopians and Eritreans said this will allow them to visit family members they haven't seen in years.

Ethiopian Airlines already came out and said it will resume flights to Eritrea starting this month.

Meantime, Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders are gearing up to celebrate New Year, which falls in September, in Eritrea's capital Asmara.

This is the beginning of a new era.

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