Extending for 1,051 km through remote, desert areas, the Eritrea – Ethiopia boundary has a complex history. The border was first established in a series of colonial-era treaties between Ethiopia and Italy, as Eritrea was then an Italian colony. Following World War II, Eritrea and Ethiopia united into one country, which lasted until Eritrea declared independence in 1961. Eritrea’s separation from Ethiopia resulted in a series of brutal conflicts that continue to hamper relations between the two countries.

Eritrea formally gained independence in 1993, and Ethiopia recognized the State shortly after. The Eritrean government began asserting claims over numerous swaths of territory along the border, which eventually led to the outbreak of a conflict between the two countries over territorial disputes.

A ceasefire agreement, signed in 2000, temporarily halted violence and appointed an international boundary commission to resolve disputes and delimit a borderline. However, both countries’ lack of cooperation with the Eritrean–Ethiopian Boundary Commission (EEBC) and with one another prevented border demarcation work from occurring and caused a resurgence in violence along frontier areas.

Despite these issues, the two countries have significantly improved relations with one another recently. In June 2018, the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments signed a declaration in which they agreed to accept the EEBC line and to end the hostilities between one another. The Eritrean and Ethiopian governments have continued to hold bilateral talks since the signing of the Declaration, indicating that relations will continue to improve.

Eritrea – Ethiopia land boundary map



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