Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ethopia Accuses Eritrea

Ethiopia today accused Eritrea of continuing to undermine efforts to restore peace and stability in Somalia by arming insurgents battling the transitional Government in Mogadishu and urged the Security Council to strictly enforce existing sanctions against Eritrea.  “Despite the sanctions, Eritrea is still the principal architect of the complicated situation in Somalia by training, arming and nurturing the extremist elements such as Al Shabaab and Hisbul Islam who are causing havoc in the country today,” Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said in his statement to the General Assembly’s high-level debate.  Click here for a copy of the statement.

In a resolution in January last year, the Council imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea and a travel ban and an assets freeze on Eritrean political and military leaders who violated the embargo or provided support to armed opposition groups destabilizing Somalia.  The resolution followed a request by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) for the Council to take such action.

Yesterday, Eritrea’s Foreign Minister Osman Saleh told the General Assembly that the UN “continues to ignore” Ethiopia’s failure to comply with the ruling of an international commission that delineated the border between the two countries after their 1998-2000 war.  “While the United Nations grapples with Sudan and Somalia, it continues to ignore grave consequences of Ethiopia’s continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territory, eight years after the ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), and three years after the Commission ended its work by depositing in the United Nations the demarcated boundary between the two countries,” said Mr. Saleh.

To end the border war, both parties agreed to abide by the ruling of the border commission, which was reached in April 2002. However, Ethiopia's rejection of the decision stalled the physical demarcation of the border in 2003.

(Excerpts from a UN Press Release)

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