Ethiopia withdraws troops from Eritrea border


By:Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia has confirmed that it has started withdrawing its troops from disputed territories on the border with Eritrea, in line with a landmark peace deal the two countries signed in July.

That agreement ended two decades of a bitter border dispute that killed tens of thousands of people.

The withdrawal of troops had always been a key demand of the Eritrean government prior to the deal.

The two countries fought a bitter war between 1998 and 2000. Despite a peace deal agreed two years later, the relationship between them remained strained.

But since July, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has spearheaded reforms that have seen trade and diplomatic ties between Eritrea and Ethiopia restored.

Families that were displaced by the conflict have also returned and are now rebuilding their homes in the once-contested areas.

Critics, however, say that despite the peace agreement very little has changed in Eritrea which remains Africa’s most secretive and isolated country.


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