Ethiopian journalist Addisalem Hadigu has met his daughters Asmera and Danait in Eritrea for the first time in 16 years.
He was among many families kept apart by decades of war and conflict between neighbours Ethiopia and Eritrea.
They were reunited in scenes of tearful joy and relief after the first commercial flight between the two nations in 20 years landed in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara.
“My suffering has ended – I have met my daughters and kissed them, and poured my tears,” Addisalem told local media.
His reunion with his daughters, who are not twins as reported earlier, filled him with “so much peace and hope”, he added.
The 58-year-old had told BBC Tigrinya last week that he had become separated from his Eritrean wife in 2002 when she crossed the border into Eritrea with their children.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption All three were overcome with emotion when they met at the airport
“I was like a dead man walking. My life was without meaning, without taste. The border was closed to Ethiopians, so I could not go after her. I felt like I had died,” Addisalem said.
“I used to wish my family had moved to any other country – because it would have been easier to visit them there than to cross the border into Eritrea.”(BBC)