Thousands run for Eritrea-Ethiopia in Addis Ababa

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Thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians on Sunday took part in a 10-kilometre run for peace in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace and Reconciliation Run is the first joint sporting event held between the two countries since signing a peace deal earlier this year that ended their long-standing border conflict. With the border now open between the neighbouring countries and diplomatic ties restored, runners from both nations gathered in Addis Ababa to participate in the race.

Eritreans, Ethiopians run for peace

After 20 years of conflict, Eritrea and Ethiopia brought a sudden end to their border dispute that has threatened peace in the Horn of Africa region for two decades. Now, the two countries are working together to build economic partnerships and strengthen the region’s peace prospects.

Since signing a peace deal in July, Eritrea and Ethiopia have strengthened relationships with Somalia, whose relationship with Eritrea has been strained for many years. With Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia working together, the security situation in the Horn of Africa holds significantly more potential although it has provoked some tensions with Djibouti, which has an ongoing border dispute with Eritrea.

For the most part, though, an unprecedented push for peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia have had a positive effect for both nations and the wider Horn of Africa region. The border between the two nations has transformed from a war zone into a bustling businesses location and a place where people from either side can move freely.

This time last year, the prospect of Eritreans running through the streets of Addis Ababa in a joint sporting event in celebration of peace with Ethiopia would have been impossible to imagine. However, this is precisely what happened on Sunday and this shows how drastic recent changes in the Horn of Africa have been.

Featured image: By Rjruiziii – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24965504

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.