The war between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998-2000 was Africa`s deadliest border war. An estimated 100,000 soldiers have died on both sides, many families have been displaced at the border, many cities have been destroyed and many civilians living in both countries have been deported to their respective countries. The Algiers agreement provided that the two states, fresh out of a costly two-year war, would accept a decision of the Eritrean and Ethiopian Border Commission (EEBC) as “final and binding”. However, when the EEBC withdrew its decision to award the city of Badme, the epicentre of the war that killed tens of thousands of two sides in Eritrea, Ethiopia, it withdrew from its engagement with the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who finally declared that Ethiopia would only accept the EEBC decision in “principle”, leading to a 16-year state of war without peace between the two countries and frustrated the international community. Article 4: The parties will respect the limits of independence, as indicated by the OAU resolution AHG/Res 16 (1) at the 1964 OAU Summit in Cairo. A five-member neutral delimitation commission will be set up. The Commission is headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands. Within forty-five days of the signing of this agreement, the parties appoint two commissioners appointed by the Boundary Boundary Committee. The chairman of the Boundary Committee may not be a national or permanent resident in either country.
Within forty-five days of the agreement, each party submits requests and evidence relevant to the Commission`s mandate. Each of the parties has filed applications with the Commission on its own behalf and on behalf of its nationals within one year of the agreement`s entry into force, and the Commission should, with some exceptions, be the only forum for such applications. In appropriate cases, the parties could file claims on behalf of persons of Eritrean or Ethiopian origin who were not nationals. Ethiopia`s new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, 41, was elected to power primarily as a direct result of the endless protest against the repressive nature of the Ethiopian government, which came to power in 1991. Sixteen years after the ruling of the Egyptian Border Commission (EEBC), Dr Abiy said that Ethiopia had fully accepted the Algiers agreement without preconditions. As a result, Eritrea also sent a high-level delegation to Addis Ababa, the first diplomatic visit between the two countries since the war began in 1998. Ministers were greeted with much applause. The same goes for Dr Abiy, who was welcomed with the entire population of Asmara when he arrived a few days later in the Eritrean capital.
This was followed by the visit to Ethiopia of the only Eritrean president since independence. Like Dr. Abiy, on 14 July, President Isaias was greeted by millions of people in the capital, Addis Ababa.