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Ethiopia, Eritrea begin pulling troops from the disputed border areas

Ethiopia and Eritrea have begun pulling their troops as of Sunday from the disputed border areas after their leaders officially opened transport routs linking the neighboring horn African states.Prime Minister Dr Abiy and President IsaiasAfwerki of Eritrea on Tuesday officially opened the Debay Sima-Burre and Serha-Zalambesa border points between the two countries for road transport connectivity.

Hundreds of people from the two countries crossed the border near Zalambesa and Burre and hugged each other and some wept as their leaders led celebrations to mark the reopening on Sunday, coinciding Ethiopian new year

The leaders visited the Debay Sima-Burre border crossing with members of their countries’ armed forces.

The event saw tearful reunions of long-separated families as people from both sides ran toward one another as the border crossings opened, hugging, kissing and crying.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace deal in July, ending two decades of hostilities.

Since then both countries have moved quickly to restore diplomatic and trade relations, and both are working on regional issues of mutual concern. The Eritrean government has begun work refurbishing its ports for use by Ethiopia. An Ethiopian ship docked in Massawa port last week, its first in two decades.

Both nations have reopened their embassies in their respective capitals and normal flights resumed.

Speaking to journalists at Bole Airport, the Premier said “we had a good New Year celebration at the border.”

 “To ease the tense atmosphere that existed in border areas, Ethiopian defense forces will return to camps to recover and obtain additional training beginning from today. The same will be done on the Eritrean side,” he added.

The troops from both countries suffered a lot for the past years, the Premier indicated.

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