Ethiopia ‘accepts peace deal’ to end Eritrea border war

From BBC

Ethiopian soldiers on a hilltop outpost overlooking the town of Badme in 2005Image copyrightAFP
Image captionEthiopia had refused to remove its troops from the region around Badme, the dusty market town at the centre of the dispute

Ethiopia’s governing coalition has announced it will fully accept and implement the peace deal that ended its border war with Eritrea.

It says it will accept the outcome of a 2002 border commission ruling, which awarded disputed territories, including the town of Badme, to Eritrea.

This will end a dispute with Eritrea that sparked Africa’s deadliest border war in 1998.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in two years of fighting.

The two sides have remained on a war footing as Ethiopia had, until now, refused to accept the ruling of the border commission, which was set up as part of a peace deal.

As a result, Ethiopia had refused to withdraw its troops out of the disputed areas – leading Eritrea to accuse Ethiopia of forcefully occupying its territory.

“The Eritrean government should take the same stand without any prerequisite and accept our call to bring back the long-lost peace of the two brother nations as it was before,” the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) wrote on Facebook.

A map showing Ethiopia and Eritrea

Eritrea had refused to hold any talks with Ethiopia until it agreed unconditionally to the border commission’s findings.

Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had promised to make peace with the country’s northern neighbour after taking power earlier this year.

BBC World Service Africa editor Will Ross says if Ethiopia does now remove soldiers from the disputed land, it would show it is serious about seeking peace.

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