Nairobi hosts Eritrea-Ethiopia talks

UN peacekeepers have met senior military officers from Ethiopia and Eritrea in Nairobi in a bid to calm soaring tensions over their border that have raised fears of renewed conflict between the two countries.

Ethiopian soldiers on the Eritrean border
Ethiopian soldiers on the Eritrean border

Two days after the UN Security Council threatened the arch-rival neighbours with sanctions if they returned to war, the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) hosted the closed-door talks in the Kenyan capital on Friday, officials said.
There was no immediate word on any outcome as none of the parties spoke with reporters after the meeting at a Nairobi hotel, but an UNMEE official said the mission would release a statement about it on Saturday.
The gathering was the first of the so-called “Military Coordination Commission” (MCC) to be held since UNMEE reported this month that the border had become “tense and potentially volatile” with troop movements on both sides.

On Thursday, UNMEE said a small group of Ethiopian troops had temporarily breached the 25km wide Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) that hugs the 1000km border earlier this week. 

On Wednesday, the Security Council warned that both sides would face economic and diplomatic sanctions if they returned to war, and said Eritrea could be imposed with such measures if it did not rescind its restrictions on UNMEE.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Ethiopia has yet to formally respond to either the Security Council resolution or the report that some its troops had occupied an area in the eastern sector of the TSZ from Saturday to Wednesday.
But Eritrea has criticised the resolution as a “recipe for more conflict” and attacked the council for failing to forcefully demand that Ethiopia should accept a binding 2002 border demarcation it has thus far refused to accept.

Source : AFP

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