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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Eritreans celebrate peace
Asmara is enjoying the new sense of peace
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By the BBC's Alex Last
Asmara
line
Eritreans on Monday woke up to the news that they had won the key disputed village of Badme, where the war started.


I am happy. Now at least, you can plan the rest of your life

Ermias Ekube
There were celebrations when the announcement was made but for most the key issue was that now there was a real prospect for peace.

"Peace is priceless, peace first of all," said Debrazion Yosief, an Eritrean restaurateur. "We suffered a lot for defending ourselves, and so we are satisfied with the decision"

For young people, the war has other implications.

Rebirth

Virtually every young Eritrean is on national service. Demobilisation has yet to take place but many hope that now people can return to civilian life and start to plan their future.

A cafe in Asmara
Watching the world, not soldiers, go by
"I am happy," says young painter Ermias Ekube. "Now at least, you can plan the rest of your life. Many youngsters have a hope to lead their own lives, so it's nice."

"It's like a rebirth for Eritrea," added Ermias.

Over the four years of war, almost all the country's attention and focus was on the war.

But Eritrea and Ethiopia are among the poorest nations in the world, and now it is hoped that attention will be turned to domestic concerns.

For travel agent Solomon Abraha, the announcement was a very special occasion.

"At last the war is over and it's time to move on," he said.

A statue in Asmara
Eritrea's monument to independence
"I am very happy that finally the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been decided upon.

"I hope that now the leadership of both countries will start to put this thing behind us, as soon of possible and we can all concentrate on taking care of our real problems which are poverty hunger and disease."

See also:

15 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea gets key village
14 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea accepts border ruling
13 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea-Ethiopia border defined
24 Feb 02 | Africa
UN envoys upbeat after Horn tour
06 Feb 02 | Africa
Ethiopians await border results
Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


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