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AU Chair expresses worry over Ethiopia-Eritrea border tensions

African Union

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has weighed in on the Eritrea/Ethiopia border clash.

Ethiopia’s Information Minister, Getachew Reda on Tuesday said the clashes in the Tsorona area were “an Eritrean initiative”.

Earlier, the Eritrean government said that Ethiopia had “unleashed” the attack.

Dr Dlamini-Zuma’s statement, stated that her office:

-Expressed with deep concern the reports of border clashes between Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Tsorena border area.

-Called on the two countries to exercise utmost restraint and to refrain from any statement and action likely to aggravate the situation

-Notes with regret that 16 years after the signing, under the AU auspices, of the Algiers Peace Agreement, the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea remains stalled.

- Reiterates the AU’s readiness to assist with the challenges at hand

Witnesses on Tuesday said both sides were rushing troops to the Tsorena border area, and heavy artillery was apparently fired from both sides.

On the Eritrean side, several people were reported to have been killed.

The reports of fighting and the media blackout on what is happening there raises fears that the two countries could be sliding once again toward an all-out war.