Alexa

UN demands Eritrea pull troops back from border

UN demands Eritrea pull troops back from border

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously demanded that Eritrea pull its troops back from the Djibouti border and resolve the dispute with its neighbor in an important area overlooking Red Sea shipping lanes.
In June, the Security Council condemned Eritrea for launching an attack against the tiny port nation of Djibouti, a key U.S. ally in the Horn of Africa, which the U.S. said left 44 Djiboutian soldiers dead and many more missing.
The council called for a cease-fire and urged the two countries to withdraw their forces from the border _ which Djibouti did, but Eritrea did not.
The resolution adopted by the council Wednesday expressed "deep concern" that Eritrea has not withdrawn its forces and has refused to engage in dialogue with Djibouti or accept the offers of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the African Union and others to help resolve the dispute.
The council demanded that Eritrea "engage actively" in dialogue and diplomatic efforts to defuse tension and find "a mutually acceptable settlement of the border issue."
It also demanded that Eritrea "comply immediately" with its order to pull its troops back from the border. It gave Eritrea five weeks to take action, asked the secretary-general to report on compliance and said it will review the situation in six weeks.
Uncertainty over the Djibouti-Eritrea border led to hostilities between the two countries twice in the 1990s. Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war, and their border also is in dispute.
Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh warned the council in October that Eritrea's occupation of Djibouti's territory could lead to war if the dispute wasn't quickly resolved.
He urged the council "to do everything possible" to convince Eritrea to leave the territory it has occupied since March.
In June, Eritrea accused the United States of instigating the conflict.
More than 1,200 U.S troops are stationed in Djibouti, which hosts the base for an anti-terrorism task force in the Horn of Africa. France, which sponsored Wednesday's resolution, also has a base in Djibouti, its former colony.
In a letter to the council on Monday, Eritrea's U.N. Ambassador Araya Desta called the accusations against his country "unfounded."
He added: "Eritrea has not occupied any land that belongs to Djibouti and it cannot accept a resolution that demands the `withdrawal of its forces' from its own territory."


Updated : 2021-02-26 10:01 GMT+08:00