Ethiopia-Eritrea border opens for first time in 20 years

Ethiopian and Eritrean troops will withdraw from the border as the rapprochement between the one-time enemies continues in rapid fashion.

The announcement was made on Tuesday shortly after the countries officially opened the border following two decades of tensions.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed - in comments carried by the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate - said: "to ease the tense atmosphere that existed in border areas, Ethiopian defence forces will return to various camps to recover and obtain additional training. The same will be done on the Eritrean side".

Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki opened the frontier at Burre, a region that saw some of the fiercest fighting during their 1998-2000 war.

Tensions over the border burned on after the fighting ended until Abiy offered to end the military standoff this year as part of a package of reforms that has reshaped the political landscape in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

The two leaders also celebrated the Ethiopian new year together with their troops at Burre, before opening another border crossing point between Ethiopian border town of Zalambesa and Serha on the Eritrean side.

"PM Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afwerki are visiting Bure Front along Ethio-Eritrea border to celebrate the New Year with members of the Ethiopian & Eritrean Defense Forces following the full normalization of the relations between the two countries. #Ethiopia #Eritrea," Fitsum Arega, Abiy's Chief of Staff, said on Twitter. Read more...

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