Ethio-Eritrean border along the town of Zalambessa is closed again, Gulo Meheda district head in Tigray regional state told VOA Amharic service yesterday.
The border was opened in September of this year and there has been two ways movement of people to and from both countries since then.
Eritrean government did not disclose the reason as to why it decided to close the boarder at the time news was reported by VOA Amharic.
An Eritrean news portal on social media, Eritrean Press, reported yesterday that there are speculations that the border closure is linked to assassination attempt of Eritrea’s former minister of defense, Sebhat Ephrem, who is said to be in a stable condition.
Although Tigray regional authorities claimed that they have reported closure of the border to the Federal government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Meles Alem, who is now appointed as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Kenya, reportedly told journalists that government is not aware of the border closure.
DW Amharic service reported yesterday, citing residents in the region, that Eritrean border guards demanded laissez-passer and denied entry to Eritrea for those travelers without it.
Also, DW Amharic cited its sources in the border town to report that the regulated border crossing active as of 6 a.m. local time.
Business and other travelers from the two countries were enjoying unrestricted border crossing since the reopening of the border in September after normalcy was resorted following the end of state of “no war – no peace” relation.
Vehicles that were not allowed to enter to Eritrea on grounds of lack of permission to enter were seen making long lines in the border area, according to DW Amharic report.
It remains unclear why Eritrea wanted to activate regulation of boarder crossing. Eritrean Press, apparently a social media Eritrean News portal, reported “Speculation was rife that the latter [Zalambessa] would be closed for ‘security’ reason after the failed assassination attempt on former Eritrean defense minister General Sibhat Ephrem in Asmara last week.”
Eritrean Press also reported security at Bure, in the south east Eritrea, border is tightening.
Ethiopian government officials have not remarked about the latest development in regards to border crossing. However, the ministry of revenue was discussing controlling mechanism vis-a-vis cross-border trade.