Ethiopia, Eritrea declare end to war

Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders signed a declaration Monday stating that the war between the countries is over.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) and Eritrea's President Isaias Afewerki signed a declaration Monday to end the war between the countries. Photo courtesy of Yemane Meskel
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki signed a declaration Monday to end the war between the countries. Photo courtesy of Yemane Meskel

The declaration was signed at a summit meeting in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, where Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met for the first time in nearly two decades.

The countries will re-establish diplomatic ties.

“State of war that existed between the two countries has come to an end,” Eritrea’s information minister Yemane Gebre Meskel tweeted. “A new era of peace & friendship has been ushered . . . Both countries will work to promote close cooperation in political, economic, social, cultural & security areas.”

The declaration comes after Ahmed announced at a state dinner Sunday that the two countries will reopen embassies and ports and allow flight operations to strengthen diplomatic ties, Meskel told CNN.

It also comes after Ethiopia’s ruling party announced plans last month to implement a dormant, 18-year-old peace agreement with Eritrea after border war.

More than 70,000 people were killed in the turf war sparked between the countries from 1998 to 2000. A peace agreement, the Algiers accord, signed in 2000 gave Badme to Eritrea, but it was never fully implemented because Ethiopia disagreed with the plan and called for more negotiations. Since then, they have had occasional armed clashes.

“The boundary decision will be implemented,” Ahmed’s Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega tweeted. “Both nations will work on regional peace.”

By Sommer Brokaw