Ethiopia urges UN to act against Eritrea

ethio_eriADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Ethiopia on Saturday criticised the UN for not taking strong measures against arch-foe Eritrea over its failure to withdraw troops from disputed territories along its border with Djibouti.

A UN resolution adopted last January gave Asmara five weeks to pull out, and the Security Council earlier this week concluded that Eritrea had not fulfilled its obligations 10 weeks after the request.

“Unless the international community is prepared to hold Eritrea accountable for such open and reckless defiance of international norms and decisions, there is the real danger Eritrea will be encouraged to continue its regional destabilization,” the Ethiopian foreign ministry said in a statement.

The UN resolution had welcomed the fact that Djibouti withdrew its forces from the disputed areas as requested by the council last June and condemned Eritrea’s refusal to do so.

Eritrea is also involved in a bitter border dispute with larger neighbour Ethiopia, whom it fought in a 1998-2000 war that killed some 70,000 people.

The long-running border row between Djibouti and Eritrea over the disputed Ras Doumeira promontory on the shores of the Red Sea flared up last June after previous clashes in 1996 and 1999.

The clashes have assumed a greater strategic significance because both France and the United States have bases in Djibouti, a former French colony.

The United States has more than 1,200 troops stationed in Djibouti, which hosts an anti-terrorism task force in the Horn of Africa.