The article revisits the 2000 Algiers Agreements between Ethiopia and Eritrea, including the claims and boundary arbitral decisions issued thereunder, in light of the 2018 Asmara and Jeddah agreements. Similar state practice and relevant international law as well as the geopolitical context are also considered. It is argued that accountability and boundary demarcation issues remain serious challenges in the relations between the two countries; however, it finds that the 2018 Agreements indicate that the parties intend to start afresh in their relations. In particular, the article challenges the misperception that the ‘virtual’ demarcation decision should be implemented without qualifications; doing so ignores relevant subsequent practice of the parties, the wishes of their border communities and other relevant international law, and therefore could be detrimental to the friendly and peaceful co-existence of the parties. After all, the border issue was not the primary basis for the devastating armed conflict and subsequent no-peace-no-war situation; moreover, other peremptory norms were breached that without question are higher in legal status than the question of compliance with an arbitral award flawed in many respects. It is proposed that a broader, institutionalized and agreed socio-economic, development and integration process pursuant to the 2018 undertakings be given priority to bring lasting peace and prosperity for both countries and the region.
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