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IGAD Heads of State summit to be held in Addis Ababa

South Sudan, Eritrea and Eritrea-Djibouti issues will be high on the agenda [File Photo]

ADDIS ABABA - The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Assembly of Heads of State and Government will hold its 33rd summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today, Wednesday, September 12. 

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, who is also current chairperson of the IGAD, will chair the meeting.

South Sudan, Eritrea and Eritrea-Djibouti issues will be high on the agenda.

Eritrea will rejoin the IGAD and South Sudanese parties are expected to sign the last revitalized peace agreement.

- Ethiopia troops begin withdrawing from the border with Eritrea - 

Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopian and Eritrean troops will begin to withdraw from border areas today.

Prime Minister Dr Abiy and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea today officially opened the Debay Sima-Burre and Serha-Zalambesa border points between the two countries for road transport connectivity.

The two leaders, Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers, as well as other senior government officials from both counties, also celebrated the Ethiopian New Year together at the border.

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 defence 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 over the past years, the Premier indicated.

Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace deal last July, ending one of Africa’s longest wars.

The agreement comes after 18 years of “no peace, no war” that followed two years of intense border fighting between 1998 and 2000.

Following the peace deal, the two countries agreed to regularize their ties with the opening of embassies, free travel of people, airline links, direct international telephone connection, and use of ports.