UN welcomes "recent concrete steps" by Eritrea, Djibouti to resolve border dispute

08:34, July 21, 2010      

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The United Nations Tuesday welcomed the "recent concrete steps" undertaken by Eritrea and Djibouti to resolve their two-year border dispute through a negotiated settlement.

"We commend the recent concrete steps taken by Eritrea and Djibouti on the border issue, with the active mediation efforts of the State of Qatar," said UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe during his briefing to the Security Council on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recent report on the dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti.

"As you are aware, the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea erupted in March 2008 following Eritrea's deployment of troops and military equipment in Ras Doumiera and Doumiera Island, two localities adjoining the de facto Djibouti-Eritrea border," Pasco said.

"Despite conflicting colonial agreements on the practice position of the borderline, Ras Doumiera and Doumiera Island were administered by Djibouti up until the eruption of hostilities between the two countries," he said.

"It is our belief that the states in the Horn of Africa region, IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), the Africa Union and the UN need to work together to effectively address the inter-linked conflicts in the region, including Somalia and the long-standing border settlement between Eritrea and Ethiopia," Pascoe said.

On June 6, an agreement was signed by Eritrea and Djibouti to end the dispute that erupted in early 2008 when, following weeks of tensions and military build-up, the two countries' armed forces clashed over an un-demarcated area on the shores of the Red Sea known as Doumeira, killing 35 people and leaving dozens of others wounded.

The agreement was inked under the auspices of Qatar.

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