A surprise announcement by Ethiopia’s prime minister to mend relations with neighbouring Eritrea is highlighting the rapid pace of his government’s agenda just eleven weeks since he was sworn in.

Abiy Ahmed of the ruling EPRDF coalition is offering to cede control of the northern border town of Badme and other disputed regions to Eritrea and abide fully by a peace deal that ended a two-year border war between the countries in 2000. At least 70,000 people were killed in the conflict. Relinquishing Badme to Eritrea would be in recognition of a UN-backed border commission ruling in 2002 that Badme belongs on the Eritrean side of the frontier.

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