Ethiopia’s ruling party announced on Tuesday it would end its dispute over its shared border with Eritrea after decades of fighting and tension.
The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) said in a statement it would “fully implement” a 2002 decision by a UN-backed boundary commission that divided up contested territory between the two countries after a 1998-2000 border conflict.
“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 EPRDF wrote on Facebook.
The move represents a major policy change by new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who promised in his April inaugural address to seek peace with Eritrea.
A one-time province of Ethiopia enjoying its entire Red Sea coastline, Eritrea voted for independence in a 1993 referendum but was soon at war with its southern neighbour over the demarcation of the two countries’ borders.
Around 80,000 people died in that conflict, which degenerated into a stalemate after the impasse over the boundary.
Periodic clashes between the two countries after the war’s formal end killed hundreds.