They share a common language, a shared Christian heritage, and hundreds of years of history.
But for more than 20 years, Ethiopians and Eritreans were separated by a bitter conflict and militarised frontier sealed as tightly as the Berlin wall or the Korean demilitarised zone.
Now, Eritreans and Tigrayan Ethiopians are mingling again – in what has been hailed as an unexpected and rapid thaw that has profound implications for the horn of Africa.
“We are the same,” declared Dharar Bahlab, an Eritrean baker visiting the Ethiopean frontier town of Mekele for the first time last week.
“We are brothers,” he said of his Ethiopian neighbours as he milled freely around Friday’s livestock market. …