Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday announced the reopening of his country’s eastern border with Eritrea, which has been shut since last year.
Bashir ordered the frontier closed in January 2018 after he announced a state of emergency in the eastern region of Kassala to fight arms and people smuggling.
“I announce from Kassala the opening of the border with Eritrea,” Bashir said on Thursday at a televised rally of loyalists in the regional capital near the frontier.
“Politics can divide us but still they (Eritreans) are our brothers and relatives,” he said, without giving more details on the decision.
Ethiopia-Eritrea peace deal
The conflict and unease between Ethiopia and Eritrea that lasted decades is coming to an end as leaders from the two countries sign a second peace agreement this year during a summit in Saudi Arabia.
The closing of the border last year was part of a government campaign to disarm organised people smuggling gangs that Khartoum has blamed for the transit of migrants from the Horn of Africa towards Europe.
Bashir’s address to the rally in Kassala came as he remains defiant in the face of nationwide protests against his three-decade rule that have rocked Sudan for weeks.