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Eritrea-Djibouti border tensions: UN, IGAD join de-escalation calls

Eritrea-Djibouti border tensions: UN, IGAD join de-escalation calls


The United Nations (UN) has urged Horn of Africa neighbours – Eritrea and Djibouti, to peacefully resolve a border dispute that is threatening the security of the region.

The AFP news agency reports that the UN security council after discussing a report on the border tension tasked, ‘‘parties to resolve the border dispute peacefully in a manner consistent with international law.’‘

The UN is joined by the regional political bloc, the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), whose General-Secretary also stressed that both countries needed to exercise restraint in de-escalating tensions.

IGAD Secretary General urges Eritrea and Djibouti to exercise “utmost restraint” in de-escalating border tensions. pic.twitter.com/xPbhMpVHQd

— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) June 20, 2017

The African Union (AU) dispatched a fact-finding mission to the area last weekend but its report has yet to be made public. The AU Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat in a statement called for calm to avoid any clashes.

A position that Ethiopia, as a regional security giant, agreed with adding that it was monitoring the situation. Addis Ababa had also called for the UN intervention in the impasse.

Djibouti late last week accused Eritrea of deploying troops to a disputed border region after Qatar withdrew its troops.

The Gulf state had been acting as mediator in a border dispute but is believed to have pulled out after both countries sided with Saudi Arabia in a diplomatic row.

Qatar’s Gulf Arab neighbours cut ties with Doha at the beginning of June accusing Doha of backing Islamist militancy and Iran. Qatar strongly denies this.

On Friday (June 16), Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said their military were “on alert” adding that they had lodged complaints to the U.N. and the African Union over the Eritrean ‘occupation.’

“Qatari peacekeepers withdrew on June 12 and 13. On the same day, there were Eritrean military movements on the mountain,” Ali Youssouf told Reuters.

“They are now in full control of Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Island. This is in breach of the UN Security Council resolution,” he added, referring to areas that the neighbours dispute.

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