Ethiopia, Eritrea sign peace pact


Algiers - Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace agreement yesterday formally ending a two-year border war that cost tens of thousands of lives in the impoverished Horn of Africa. The conflict between the two nations, often plagued by famine and drought and among the world's poorest countries, erupted in May 1998 following frequent border skirmishes.

The peace pact, signed at Algiers' seaside Palais des Nations by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and the Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki, was the fruit of months of international diplomacy and followed a ceasefire that took effect in June.

The Algerian President, Mr Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who mediated on behalf of the Organisation of African Unity, hosted the signing.