The east African nations of Ethiopia and Eritrea border dispute was ended and a new era of Eritrea and Ethiopia peace was ushered in on July 9th, 2018.
It was a decades-long conflict that had a huge human cost and severely damaged Eritrea and Ethiopia relations.
The declaration of peace wasn’t just symbolic either, it had immediate real life consequences for people on both sides of the border. Diplomatic relations were restored, flights between the countries resumed, and even phone lines opened up allowing people in each country to call each other for the first time in two decades.
In April 2018, Abiy Ahmed came to power in Ethiopia. The 41-year-old is one of Africa’s youngest leaders and has made a few reforms since gaining power.
He pardoned political prisoners, and rolled back censorship of over 200 websites, blogs and television stations. But the most shocking of them all, was Ahmed’s announcement that he would “fully accept and implement” the 2000 Peace Treaty with Eritrea, officially ending a war that he had even fought in himself.
And Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki was on board.
On July 9th, 2018 in Eritrea’s capital Asmara, the two leaders released a joint statement saying they were QUOTE, “Determined to close this very costly chapter, which also had a detrimental role in the Horn of Africa, and to make up for lost opportunities and create even bigger golden opportunities for their peoples.”
In this episode of NowThis World we’re going to explore the complicated history between these two countries and what led to the end of this conflict.