SG urges Ethiopia and Eritrea to de-escalate border row

6 Jun 2008

SG urges Ethiopia and Eritrea to de-escalate border row

New York, 24 January: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the continuing military build-up by Ethiopia and Eritrea in their border areas could reignite hostilities.

In his latest report to the Security Council on the work of the mission,

Mr. Ban said the two countries urgently needed to de-escalate the situation, end their exchange of hostile statements, and return to December 2004 levels of deployment in the border. He said Eritrea must immediately withdraw all troops and heavy military equipment from the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) and reverse all restrictions on the movement and operations of UNMEE. This includes fuel supplies, which were stopped last month.

"I am seriously concerned that, if not resolved immediately, the stoppage of fuel supplies since 1 December 2007 will completely immobilize the Mission operations in the coming few weeks," Mr. Ban said, noting that UNMEE would have to relocate staff and equipment unless fuel is available.