Despite a step by step complete closure of the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) chose to remain silent without giving any explanations to its citizens.
Asked about the matter at a press conference he gave at the Ministry, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Nebiyat Getachew, negotiated through the question by speaking about the ongoing preparation of a legal framework to govern the relationship of the two nations who were enemies, once.
“The process of institutionalizing the movement of people and trade across the border which began since the peace agreement is progressing well,” Nebiyat said without speaking about the border closures. “These activities will shape the future relations between the two countries and enable us to get full answers for questions on detailed matters,” Nebiyat added.
It was following an unannounced visit of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on July 11, 2018, that the stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea ended and rapprochement began. Since then, people from both sides were moving in and out, seeing relatives and trading in goods.
The closure of the borders began in December 2019, without any explanation from both sides.
However, the Eritrean government’s Information Ministry, in a statement on its website connoted that the closure is for “legal arrangements”.
“When the two countries agreed to open the border, they [criticizers] described it as a deliberate action by the government to encourage the people to leave the country. When the unstructured border crossing in some areas was partially restricted for legal arrangements, they were the first to bark,” says the statement issued on April 6, 2019.
Although legal frameworks that govern the relations between the two countries were said to be progressing, no official source has disclosed the status or when it will be completed and take effect.
Various reports indicate that the recent closure of the borders was enforced by the Eritrean side since April 22, 2019.