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AFRICA

Ethiopia and Eritrea set to play friendly football match

Ethiopia and Eritrea set to play friendly football match

TIKSA NEGERI

REUTERS

The two nations have been avoiding games that pit them against each other since the start of a border war in 1998.

Ethiopia and Eritrea have come to an agreement to stage a friendly football match in Asamara next month.

According to a report by Ethiosports, the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) sent an invitation letter to its Eritrean counterpart requesting that the two countries’ national teams play a friendly match.

The Eritrean Football Federation accepted the invitation, with an exact date for the encounter yet to be determined.

No Eritrea-Ethiopia matches since 1998

Both nations have been avoiding games against each other since the start of a border war in 1998.

Ethiopia boycotted games against Eritrea in 2000 and 2010.

Eritrea, meanwhile, failed to participate in a 2014 African Nations Championship first-round qualifier against their neighbours.

However, after recent diplomatic ties, peace has returned between the Horn of Africa nations.

Earlier this month, Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders both visited the opposite country, opening embassies for the first time in two decades.

Also, Ethiopian airlines began flying to Asmara from last week.

Back in May 1998, the Ethiopian-Eritrean border conflict erupted and lasted until June 2000. The two countries went to war over the desolated plains of Badime.

The result was a WWI-style trench war that outcame in an estimated of over 100,000 dead and more than a million displaced.

A peace treaty was first signed in 2000, however, both countries agreed to fully implement it until the recent weeks.

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