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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Africa’s largest trading bloc welcomes
end to Ethiopia-Eritrea hostilities

LUSAKA, (Xinhua) -- Africa’s largest trading bloc on Wednesday welcomed an end to border hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea, saying it was a harbinger to cementing regional peace.

On Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed an agreement ending years of hostilities between the two countries.

Sindiso Ngwenya, outgoing secretary-general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), said the decision taken by the Ethiopian prime minister to unconditionally accept the ruling by a boundary commission deserves commendation and that the Eritrean president also needed to be applauded for the reciprocal stance taken.

“These seismic developments are a harbinger of peace in the Horn of Africa and the COMESA region and indeed the entire continent,” he said in remarks delivered at the start of the 20th COMESA Heads of Government Summit in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.

He said it was gratifying that the hostilities which have defied external mediation over the years have been resolved, adding that this gives hope that the African Union (AU) decision of silencing the guns by 2020 was within reach.

The 20-year hostilities involving border disputes left 70,000 people dead from both sides. Although the war between the two countries was ended by a December 2000 Algiers peace agreement, it left the two countries in a state of bitter armed standoff.

Meanwhile, the regional bloc also welcomed the developments in South Sudan where there has been an agreement that Riek Machar should resume as vice-president of that country after mediation talks led by Sudan. 

           

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