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Eritrea, Somalia restore relations after 15 years

President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

After years of animosity, the presidents of Eritrea and Somalia have signed an agreement to restore relations, Al Jazeera reported today.

Eritrea and Somalia are bridging the gap in relations after 15 years. “The two countries will establish diplomatic relations and exchange ambassadors,” after a joint resolution on “brother relations” was signed in the Eritrean capital Asmara by the country’s President, Isaias Afwerki, and his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Farmajo.

Shortly after signing the resolution, Farmajo called for lifting sanctions on Eritrea over its alleged support for Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda associated group that has caused carnage in the country for more than a decade.

“We urge all economic sanctions and embargo imposed on the people of Eritrea must be lifted so that the economic integration of the Horn of Africa region can be realised,” Farmajo said.

The restoration in relations comes after Farmajo paid a rare visit to Eritrea last Saturday, where regional and political issues were discussed. Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a border war between 1998 and 2000 during which tens of thousands died. The war was followed by a military stalemate and a peace deal was signed in April.

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