ETHIOPIA has announced it will fully accept a peace deal to see an end to its long-running border dispute with Eritrea after the government voted to accept the terms of the agreement.
Following a lengthy meeting of its 36-member executive committee session yesterday, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) accepted the outcome of the Algiers peace agreement brokered in 2000.
The peace accord followed a two-year deadly border war which saw tens of thousands killed in fighting between the two countries.
Both agreed to accept the outcome of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission established as part of the peace agreement as “final and binding.” However, then Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zanawi backtracked, leaving the countries on a war footing.
The commission ruled in 2002 that the disputed town of Badme should be returned to Eritrea, but Ethiopia refused to withdraw its troops from contested areas, leading to accusations they were illegally occupying Eritrean territory.
Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised he would make peace with Eritrea which had refused to negotiate with Addis Ababa until it agreed to the border findings “unconditionally.”
“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,” an EPRDF government statement said.
In another development the government announced It was opening up the state-run telecoms monopoly and Ethiopian airlines to the private sector in a bid to attract foreign investment.
The ruling coalition said state-run companies, including “railways, sugar, industry, hotels and various manufacturing firms,” would be fully or partially privatised.