Eritrean Troops Withdrawn From Ethiopian Border – Press Agency

Eritrea’s President, Isaias Afwerki talks to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed during the Inauguration ceremony marking the reopening of the Eritrean Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 16, 2018

Eritrea has pulled troops back from its heavily militarised border with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation”, the pro-government Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page.

There was no immediate confirmation from the government in Asmara, but the move would be consistent with rapidly improving ties between the Horn of Africa neighbours, whose 1998 war killed tens of thousands and led to two decades of military stalemate.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki signed an agreement in Asmara on July 9 to restore ties and have since taken steps to put it into practice including reopening embassies in each other’s countries.

“It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that wrought so much suffering on both peoples,” the agency said.

Earlier on Thursday, Ethiopia appointed its first ambassador to Eritrea in two decades, the state-affiliated Fana news agency said. An online report from Fana said Redwan Hussien, formerly Ethiopian ambassador to Ireland, had become Addis Ababa’s representative in Asmara.

Abiy became prime minister in April and said he wanted to implement a peace deal that ended the war. The surprise decision was part of a broader effort to reform economics and politics in Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa and East Africa’s largest economy.

The reforms included releasing thousands of political prisoners, a big step in a tightly controlled country ruled by a coalition of parties that drove the previous regime from power in 1991.

Better relations between the two countries could eventually give landlocked Ethiopia access to Eritrea’s ports and lay the groundwork for an easing of the political isolation of Eritrea.

Both leaders have visited each other, and Isaias this week reopened his country’s embassy in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s national carrier Ethiopia Airlines on Wednesday made its first flight to Asmara in two decades and was greeted by dancers waving flags and flowers as families separated for decades had emotional reunions.

Human Trafficking: Kingpin, Mered Medhanie, Extradited To Italy

MigrantsA 35-year-old Eritrean suspected to be the main-man of the operation to smuggle migrants from Africa to Europe has been extradited to Italy.

Reports say the suspect, Mered Medhanie, who is commonly referred to as ‘The General’, was flown to Rome on Tuesday, after he was held in Sudan in May.

According to BBC, Britain’s National Crime Agency said he was suspected to have masterminded the transit of a boat in October 2013, which sank near Lampedusa, an island in Italy.

At least 359 migrants were reported dead when the boat conveying passengers who were mostly Eritreans and Somalians capsized.

Netanyahu Accuses Ban Of Encouraging Terror

Benjamin NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has accused UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon of “encouraging terror”.

This came after Mr Ban said it is human nature for oppressed people to react to occupation.

While speaking at the UN Security Council, Mr Ban also condemned recent stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians.

More than 155 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean had died in violence since October.

Mr Ban told the security council that the wave of attacks were driven by a “profound sense of alienation and despair” among some Palestinians, particularly the young.

He condemned the attacks, but said ‘Israel’s settlement-building programme casts doubt on its commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state’.

But Mr Netanyahu said that the Palestinians were working against the creation of a state.

The BBC reported that on Monday, a 24-year-old Israeli woman was fatally stabbed in a West Bank settlement – the third such attack in 10 days. The two Palestinian assailants were shot dead by a security guard.

Most of the Palestinians killed had been attackers, Israel said, while others had been shot dead by Israeli forces during protests and clashes.

Israeli Soldier Stabbed In Beersheba Bus Station Attack

Israeli crisisViolence continues in Israel where reports say an Israeli soldier has been killed in a gun and knife attack at a bus station in Beersheba.

After the attack on Sunday evening, police opened fire on two people at the station in the city of Beersheba, killing an alleged Palestinian attacker.

A man of Eritrean origin was mistakenly shot and died later in hospital.

Sunday’s attack brings the total number of people killed in the violence that erupted at the beginning of the month to 52: 44 Palestinians and eight Israelis.

According to the police, the attacker stabbed a soldier and stole his weapon, opening fire on the crowds at the bus terminal.

He shot and killed 19-year-old Sgt Omri Levy, before taking the soldier’s gun and continuing to shoot. The attacker was shot dead by security forces.

The upsurge began amid tensions at a flash-point holy site in east Jerusalem.

Israeli security forces have imposed tighter restrictions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and there have been clashes with Palestinian protesters.

The suspected attacker was named by police as Muhand Alukabi, 21, a resident of Hura in the Negev.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, called the attack a “natural response” and Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian group, said it was a “normal answer to Israeli crimes”.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry is to meet Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and separately, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, this week in a bid to help restore calm.