UN, AU Call for Restraint Along Eritrea-Djibouti Border
The U.N. Security Council is calling on Eritrea and Djibouti to peacefully resolve a land dispute along their border.
Djibouti accused Eritrea of deploying troops to occupy the contested area, known as Ras Doumeira, after a contingent of 450 Qatari peacekeepers departed last week. If true, the move could threaten a return to war for the first time since the countries fought over the land in 2008.
In a news conference Monday, Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz, the permanent representative of the president of the U.N. Security Council, said that council members supported an African Union initiative to deploy a fact-finding mission to the border and that all parties should work to "maintain an atmosphere of calm and restraint."
The U.N. assistant secretary-general for political affairs, Taye-Brook Zerihoun of Ethiopia, held a briefing for members to discuss the matter. Soliz said members were considering "future confidence-building measures." He added that members would continue to follow the situation closely.
Ethiopia, which fought a war against Eritrea from 1998 to 2000, currently holds a two-year nonpermanent seat on the Security Council.
No 'speculative analysis'
On Friday, the Eritrean government issued a statement saying it would wait to get more information and not "engage in speculative analysis at this stage." Eritrea's ambassador to the African Union, Araya Desta, told The Associated Press his government didn't want to take any land from Djibouti, and "the last time, we had some skirmishes. It was unnecessary."