Djibouti is seeking the assistance of the United Nations (U.N.) to resolve a border dispute with neighbouring Eritrea.
The tiny Horn of Africa nation’s ambassador to the U.N. Mohamed Siad Doualeh in a letter to the Security Council said they wanted help with international mediation with Eritrea.
Portions of the letter said Djibouti needs U.N. intervention “with the aim of facilitating an agreement between them upon a mutually acceptable means of peaceful dispute settlement,” stressing that they wanted international settlement or arbitration that would be legally binding.
Eritrean forces continue to occupy Djiboutian territory, prisoners of war remain unaccounted for, threats of force continue to emanate from the Eritrean side and the risk of violent confrontation is once again high.
The disputed land in question is the Dumeira mountain and Dumeira island which Djibouti claims is being illegally occupied by Eritrea.
“Eritrean forces continue to occupy Djiboutian territory, prisoners of war remain unaccounted for, threats of force continue to emanate from the Eritrean side and the risk of violent confrontation is once again high,” Doualeh said stressing that the requested settlement will help avoid any escalation of the crisis.
An arms embargo imposed on Eritrea since 2009 was chiefly to do with its alleged support for Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab but also because of its agression against Djibouti and refusal to enter any form of mediation over the disputed regions.
The last time tensions between the two came to the fore was in June 2017 when Qatar withdrew its peacekeeping force in the area at the height of the Gulf Crisis.
Eritrea has been in the news recently over the peace deal it entered into with neighbouring Ethiopia after two decades of severed ties and hostility over a border ruling. Addis Ababa through PM Abiy accepted to respect the 2002 border ruling and by that agreed to restore all ties with Eritrea.
Abiy signed a five-point end of war agreement with Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki during a historic visit to Asmara. Afwerki reciprocated the gesture with a three-day visit to Addis Ababa.