Ethiopia, Eritrea normalisation continues as new border crossing opens

Another border crossing between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been opened for travelers and businesspeople as reconciliation between the two Horn of Africa countries continues, all part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s attempts to build peace with his neighbors and broaden the political space at home.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isayas Afework officially opened Oumajir-Humera border along Gonder and Eritrea, in Western Ethiopia, as Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church followers celebrated Christmas, along with the rest of the Orthodox Christian World on Monday 7 January.

This development is a further sign that the two former enemies are working to bury the hatchet after 20 years of closed borders and tensions. An update issued by the office of the prime minister says, “the opening of the border [Oumajir-Humera] will further enable the people to people connection on both sides and facilitate cross-border trade in the long term.”

The Humera-Oum Hajer border on the western side of both countries was not the first border crossing to be reopened. In September, two land crossings were opened.

Since then, relations between the neighbors have continued to improve, with the normalization allowing the free movement of people and goods.