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Concern mounts as Eritrea shuts borders with Ethiopia


Opening of borders last year had signalled end to decades-long face-off

By Tasie Theodore

Concern is mounting across Africa over the closure of the three principal land borders linking land-locked Ethiopia and its Horn of Africa neighbour, Eritrea.

This is coming on the heels of the closing of the Serha-Zalambesa border crossing in December, the Om Hajer-Humera border crossing in the middle of April and the Assab-Bure border crossing on Monday this week.

With the latest development, all the land border points connecting the two nations are now closed.

It will be recalled that considerable praise had greeted efforts at peace-making that had been initiated by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, shortly after his assumption of office in April last year.

From then, it had been a gradual thawing of relations with an exchange of visits by both Abiy and his Eritrean counterpart, President Issias Aferwerki, and culminating in the opening of the borders, of which the last of them to be reopened had been the Bure – Assab crossing which was opened only last December.

At the moment, the closure is only on the Eritrean side and region and continent watchers say they hope that both nations can talk over all disputed issues in the larger interest of the region and continent.

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed

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