“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 governing party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, said in the statement.
The countries fought a war from 1998 to 2000 over their border dispute, which left about 80,000 people dead. The border has been a deadly point of contention ever since, and the dispute had been widely regarded as a diplomatic stalemate.
But Ethiopia signalled a few months ago that it wished to resolve the problem when its new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, vowed in his inaugural address to seek peace with Eritrea. Ethiopia’s major objection was the boundary commission’s decision to award Eritrea the border town of Badme.
With this decision, Ethiopia is signalling its seriousness and commitment to finally resolve the dispute.
“Ethiopia and Eritrea have the most unique cultural, historical and blood ties. The suffering on both sides is unspeakable because the peace process is deadlocked. This must change for the sake of our common good,” Fitsum Arega, the prime minister’s chief of staff, tweeted shortly before the announcement.