Eritrea troops near Ethiopia border

The United Nations has accused Eritrea of moving soldiers and tanks closer to Ethiopia in violation of a six-year-old peace agreement ending a border war between the two countries.

    Eritrea is moving troops nearer the buffer zone

    Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief spokesman, said Eritrea has moved about 1,500 troops and 14 tanks into a buffer zone set up along its border with Ethiopia, and has also taken over a UN checkpoint.

    Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, "urges the government of Eritrea to withdraw its troops from the zone immediately, and to cooperate with the United Nations in restoring the cease-fire arrangements," Dujarric said.

    The move was a "major breach" of the 2000 accord ending the two-year conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea that killed more than 70,000 people, he said.

    UN peacekeepers set up the buffer zone in 2000 as part of the peace agreement and have been monitoring it ever since.

    The agreement also required both countries to agree in advance to accept a new border between them as marked out by an international commission.

    Peacekeeping

    But the peace process ground to a halt after Ethiopia rejected the commission's border and insisted on further talks, prompting Eritrea to restrict peacekeepers' movements, including a ban on helicopter flights over its territory.

    The UN peacekeeping force in Ethiopia and Eritrea now stands at 2,300 troops and military observers.

    Due to the impasse, the Security Council last month threatened further cutbacks in the force unless the two countries made progress on their border.

    The US launched a diplomatic initiative to revive the peace process earlier this year. But border commission meetings scheduled for June and August were cancelled after Eritrea refused to attend.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months