Africa

Frozen in time: Inside Eritrea's embassy

Inside the Eritrean embassy. This and other embassy furniture from twenty years ago has been handed over by the Eritrean leader to his Ethiopian counterpart. Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption This furniture was used by the last Eritrean ambassador to Ethiopia two decades ago

Dust-covered furniture, cars and even beer bottles have been revealed as Eritrea officially opens its embassy's doors in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, for the first time since 1998, when the two countries went to war.

It is part of the ongoing rapprochement between the two countries, who have only recently agreed to restore diplomatic ties, even though the conflict ended in 2000.

These photos were taken inside the embassy by the BBC.

Inside the Eritrean embassy Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption These cars have been kept in storage at the embassy compound in Addis Ababa.
Bottles of beer, wine and olive oil in a crate Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption Their vintage is unknown but these untouched bottles of wine, beer and olive oil were found in a dusty crate.
President Isaias Afwerki at the embassy with his host Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he raises Eritrea's flag for the first time in 20 years Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption President Isaias Afwerki - who was joined at the embassy by his host Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed - raised Eritrea's flag there for the first time in 20 years...
President Isaias (L) and Prime Minister Abiy (R) talk inside the former embassy Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption ... members of the press joined President Isaias (L) and Prime Minister Abiy (R) as they looked inside the diplomatic quarters.
Inside the Eritrean embassy Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption Staff and building renovators say they do not know who is shown in these photographs - but believe they are family members of former embassy workers.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy (C) handed the key to the embassy to Eritrea's President Isaias Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy (C) handed the key to the embassy to Eritrea's President Isaias (R) as part of the official ceremony.
Band outside the Eritrean embassy Image copyright Kalkidan Yibeltal/BBC
Image caption Fanfare marked the visit of the two leaders to Eritrea's embassy in Addis Ababa - its doors are to re-open as part of Ethiopia's ongoing drive to re-establish relations with its neighbour.

All pictures subject to copyright.

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