Thousands join Ethiopia-Eritrea peace run

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Competitors hold a banner with images of leaders as they gather to run the first Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace and reconciliation Run (10km) at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on November 11, 2018. (AFP)
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A runner holds Eritrea’s national flag during the first Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace and reconciliation Run (10km) in Addis Ababa on November 11, 2018. (AFP)
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Runners hold Eritrea’s national flag during the first Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace and reconciliation Run (10km) in Addis Ababa on November 11, 2018. (AFP)
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Competitors react as they run during the first Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace and reconciliation Run (10km) in Addis Ababa on November 11, 2018. (AFP)
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Competitors run during the first Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace and reconciliation Run (10km) in Addis Ababa on November 11, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2018
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Thousands join Ethiopia-Eritrea peace run

ADDIS ABABA: Thousands of Ethiopians and Eritreans took part in a 10-kilometer reconciliation run Sunday in Addis Ababa in the first joint sporting event since the former bitter foes launched a rapid diplomatic thaw in July.
The peace run through the Ethiopian capital caught a new positive mood after years of “cold war.”
The two countries fought a war from 1998-2000 that left an estimated 80,000 people dead on both sides.
Reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over in Addis Ababa in April and kicked off peace moves, agreeing to hand back disputed areas to Eritrea.
The neighbors have restored diplomatic ties, trade and phone links, resumed flights and re-opened their common borders.
Sunday was the first athletics event for the new friends and Ethiopian Mohammed Ahmed said he took time off work and trained hard for the “noble” race.
“I’m very happy, I don’t know how I can properly express my happiness to you, there is nothing more than love, reconciliation and happiness in this world,” he said.
Ethiopian police constable Chalachew Addis had personal reasons to attend after the borders were re-opened on September 11.
“With the opening of the border my brother has come back to Ethiopia after 20 years and met me,” said a beaming Chalachew.
“I’m running this race while wearing Eritrean flag, I feel happy this day has come,” he told AFP.
Nega Belay, former coach of Eritrean athletics star Zersenay Tadese and a representative of the Eritrean community in London was also celebrating.
“This is not a run of two people, but a run of one people, what differentiates them is minor or can be said to be non-existent, they are similar in every sense,” Nega told AFP.
He said he was holding discussions with Eritrean National Athletics Federation (ENAF) to stage a similar event in the Eritrean capital Asmara on January 1, 2019.
Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in the early 1990s and war broke out later that decade over a border dispute.
A 2002 UN-backed boundary demarcation was meant to settle the dispute, but Ethiopia refused to abide by it.


Pakistan’s top court grants bail to former PM Sharif on medical grounds

Updated 6 min 25 sec ago
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Pakistan’s top court grants bail to former PM Sharif on medical grounds

  • Nawaz Sharif is serving a seven-year sentence imposed last year for failing to disclose his source of income to acquire Al-Azizia Steel Mills

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to release former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on bail for six weeks to receive medical treatment but said he would not be allowed to leave the country.
Sharif is serving a seven-year sentence imposed last year for failing to disclose the source of income that allowed him to acquire the Al-Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia. He has appealed.
The case was heard by a three-judge panel headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
The three-time former premier has been suffering from a heart condition and kidney problems and has been admitted to hospital. A previous bail appeal was rejected last month.
The Supreme Court removed Sharif from office in July 2017 for not disclosing part of a salary drawn from his son’s company and he was later convicted in two separate cases of failing to disclose sources of income.
In one of those cases, over the ownership of upmarket properties in London, the high court granted him bail last September, suspending a 10-year sentence until a final decision on his appeal against the conviction.
The appeal process in both cases is continuing.
Sharif has termed the charges against him politically motivated and accused the military and courts of working together to end his political career and destabilize his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.