Ethiopia, Eritrea reopen border points for first time in 20 years
(EBC; September 12, 2018) - The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea re-opened crossing points on their shared border for the first time in 20 years on Tuesday, cementing a stunning reconciliation.
Ethiopian and Eritrean forces stationed along the border will be moved back to camps to ease tensions further, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.
“We heralded the new year by demolishing the trenches along our border,” Abiy told reporters, referring to the fact that Ethiopian New Year was celebrated on Tuesday.
“As of today, Ethiopia’s defense forces (along the border with Eritrea) will be gathered to camps and ease tension that was often extreme. The same will be done from the Eritrean side.”
Thousands of people from both countries watched one border opening ceremony in Zalambessa.
Soldiers and civilians waving Ethiopian and Eritrean flags lined the road as Prime Minister Abiy and President Isaias opened the frontier in a ceremony broadcast live on TV.
The two leaders opened another frontier crossing at Bure, Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel said in a tweet.
The Debay Sima - Bure crossing leads to the port of Assab in Eritrea’s east, while its Massawa port is directly north of the Serha-Zalambessa connection.