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Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (right), President Isaias Afwerki (middle) and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Abu Dhabi at the Royal Palace / Photo: Yemane G. Meskel/Twitter

Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders get medal for making peace

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki have been awarded the United Arab Emirates’ highest honour. The two leaders were on Tuesday presented with the Zayed Award, “for their vision, courage and statesmanship to end war and bring about peace between the two countries”.

The two men are in the UAE after their dramatic steps towards reconciliation since the beginning of the month. The UAE is reported to have played an important role in bringing the two countries together after two decades of tension

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war from 1998 to 2000 that killed an estimated 70,000 people from both sides.

Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki both helped in resolving the conflict and recently restored diplomatic ties among their two countries.

Despite the peace agreement a tense armed standoff ensued with the two countries engaging in clashes occasionally. The emergence of Abiy as Ethiopian Prime Minister dramatically changed the relations between the two countries, culminating in the normalisation of relations.

Adira Kallo

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