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Eritrea demands UN action against Ethiopia over disputed territory

From the Sudan Tribune

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

October 25, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Eritrean government has urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take measures against neighboring Ethiopia over territories the latter illegally occupies.

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Eritrea, which borders Sudan and Ethiopia, has been dubbed the North Korea of Africa (HRW)

Eritrea’s foreign affairs ministry, in a statement, said the UN was applying “double standards” over the long-standing border dispute between the two countries.

The two nations, between 1998-2000, fought over Badme, a disputed town which they both claim.

In its latest statement, Asmara said the Horn of African nation continues to occupy Eritrean territories, including the town of Badme, in breach of the Charter of the UN.

It accused the UN of failing to implement the 2003 ruling made by the boundary commission, which awarded the flashpoint to Asmara. Following the ruling, Ethiopia then said it accepts “in principle” the commission’s ruling but declined to pullout its troops from Badme, demanding further negotiations over its implementation, a request Eritrea rejected repeatedly.

“There is one unfathomable fact that the UN Security Council cannot gloss over as it unfairly victimises Eritrea,” noted the Eritrean ministry of foreign affair’s statement.

It said Ethiopia’s acts also violate the Algiers Peace Agreement, guaranteed by the Security Council and the final and binding arbitral decision.

“This must surely be an affront to the UN Security Council in as much as it wishes to hide it”, the ministry said.

Although mandated by Articles 39-41of the UN Charter, the Eritrean foreign ministry accused the Security Council of failure to take appropriate measures against Ethiopia.

“But the UNSC cannot contemplate this action as Ethiopia enjoys the full protection and tutelage of the United States” it added further accusing the world body of undermining its own legal authority by taking “prejudiced” actions.

“But in submitting to US political wishes and preferences, the UNSC is compromising and undermining its own legal mandate and authority”, the foreign ministry stressed.

The Eritrean foreign affairs ministry’s statement further observed that Eritrea and the region will suffer the consequences of “unwarranted” UN action in the short-term.

“But in the long term, the real causality is international law as well as the corrosion of the UNSC’s legal authority in the maintenance of international peace and security”.

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year war, but the two countries remain under no-peace no-war situation since the border conflict which killed an estimated 70,000 people ended 15 years ago.

In 2007, Eritrea accepted the border line demarcated by an international boundary commission, but Ethiopia rejected it. Following the border conflict Ethiopia and Eritrea routinely trade accusation of supporting one the other’s rebel group.

In 2011, Ethiopia warned Eritrea that it will take all necessary measures after accusing the Red Sea Nation of sending agents across the border to plant bombs.

A UN report that year accused Eritrea of being behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in Ethiopia. Ethiopia then openly declared for the first time that it will support Eritrean rebel groups fighting to oust President Isaias Afewerki’s government.

Currently, there are at least 12 Eritrean opposition groups operating in Ethiopia.

The UN Security Council, the African Union, the regional bloc (IGAD) and other international organizations have long blamed Eritrea for its subversive activities bent on destabilising the volatile East African region.

In 2009, the UN imposed sanctions on Eritrea for its alleged support for al-Qaida allied Islamist insurgents in Somalia.

The UN Security Council on Friday, however, adopted a resolution to uphold an arms embargo imposed against Eritrea and Somalia for yet another year.


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