Eritrea appoints first ambassador to Ethiopia in 20 years

Move follows the inauguration of the Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa by President Isaias Afwerki on Monday.

    Eritrea's Isaias visited Ethiopia to re-open Eritrea's embassy in Addis Ababa last week [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]
    Eritrea's Isaias visited Ethiopia to re-open Eritrea's embassy in Addis Ababa last week [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

    Eritrea has appointed its first ambassador to neighbouring Ethiopia in two decades, the government said, as the former foes pushed on with rapprochement. 

    Semere Russom, Eritrea's former ambassador to the United States and current education minister, will head Asmara's diplomatic mission to Addis Ababa, Information Minister Yemane Meskel said on Twitter.

    Since signing an agreement to restore ties in Asmara on July 9, Eritrea and Ethiopian leaders have moved swiftly to sweep away two decades of hostility since conflict erupted between the two Horn of Africa neighbours in 1998. 

    On Thursday, Ethiopia named Redwen Hussien, formerly the country's ambassador to Ireland, to become Addis Ababa's representative in Asmara. 

    The newly appointed Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed first initiated the peace overtures and restoration of relations in April. 

    Earlier this week, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki visited Ethiopia and reopened his country's embassy there. 

    Ethiopia and Eritrea had expelled each others' envoys at the start of the 1998-2000 border war, which killed about 80,000 people.

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    Once a province of Ethiopia, Eritrea seceded in 1993 after a long independence struggle. A dispute over the demarcation of their shared border triggered the conflict.

    The Horn of Africa nations remained at loggerheads since Ethiopia rejected a United Nations ruling and refused to cede to Eritrea land along the countries' border following the war. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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