Upholding the peace: Ethiopia gifts Eritrea land to build new embassy

Mohammed Awal December 30, 2019
Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki (L) and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP)

Ethiopia has donated land to Eritrea to build a new Embassy building.

The move, according to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, aimed at cementing the restored relationship between the two nations.

Last year, Abiy signed a peace pact with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to end hostilities that began with a two-year border war in 1998, deteriorating into 18 years of stalemated relations.

The border town of Badme was the flashpoint for the conflict, resulting in the death of tens of thousands.

Abiy and his Eritrean counterpart laid the foundation stone for the new Eritrean Embassy to be built at Sidst Kilo in the capital Addis Ababa.

“This is a Christmas gift of the people and government of Ethiopia to the people and government of Eritrea,” Abiy said.

Both Ethiopian and Eritrean embassies were reopened in July last year, after the peace deal that ended two decades of hostilities over a border dispute.

Afwerki, who is on an official state visit, was grateful for the hospitality and benevolence of Ethiopia, saying his country remains resolute to work with requisite “vigor to recoup lost opportunities by three generations to bolster new chapter of cooperation between the two countries.”

Abiy was named the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for ending the longstanding border dispute between his country and Eritrea.

Announcing Abiy as the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said the award was to recognize his “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea”.

Potential winners for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize included the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, Jacinda Arden for her swift response to the Christchurch shooting.

Also, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, the prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia respectively, who ended 30 years of acrimony between their countries were considered.

Ninety-nine individuals and 24 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prizes since 1901.

Three hundred and one candidates were put forward for this year’s award. The Committee will make public their names after 50 years.

Receiving his Nobel Peace Prize medal, Abiy said: “I accept this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace.”

“Likewise, I accept this award on behalf of my partner, and comrade-in-peace, President Isaias Afwerki, whose goodwill, trust and commitment were vital in ending the two-decade deadlock between our countries,” the 43-year-old added.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: December 30, 2019


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