UN chief tells of good signs from Eritrea

Posted Tuesday, June 29 2010 at 20:10

NAIROBI, Tuesday

Eritrea is taking steps in the right direction but should do more to prove it is complying with UN resolutions on security issues affecting its neighbours, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday.

Eritrea participated in a Qatar-led effort to solve its border dispute with Djibouti and it sent representatives to the Istanbul conference on Somalia last month.

“While recent developments represent a move in the right direction, I urge the government of Eritrea to do more to provide evidence of its compliance with Resolution 1907 and the practical measures set out in it,” Ban said in a statement posted on the UN website.

The resolution imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea, a travel ban and an assets freeze on Eritrean political and military leaders who violate the embargo or provide support to armed groups destabilising the region in places like Somalia.

The restrictions also targeted leaders seen as having obstructed implementation of a previous U.N. resolution that demanded that Eritrea withdraw its troops from Djibouti.

The two Red Sea nations, who overlook vital shipping lanes linking Europe and Asia, have traded accusations and engaged in occasional border skirmishes since June 2008 when Djibouti said Eritrea crossed the border and began occupying its territory.

While Ethiopia, Eritrea’s arch-foe, says an agreement between Asmara and Djibouti should be taken with some scepticism, Djibouti says Eritrea has now withdrawn its troops as part of the deal.

“The international community should take any positive signal from the regime in Asmara … with a modicum of optimism … but it has to be a guarded one,” Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a website statement on Monday.

“Eritrea’s behaviour is far from reassuring,” it said, citing the lack of detail known about the deal and the fact it did not involve any major international body.

“There is no evidence to even remotely suggest that (Eritrea) has altogether stopped its destructive activities in Somalia and other countries of the region,” it said. Eritrea used to be a part of Ethiopia and it fought a 30-year war for its independence. (Reuters)


Source:  Daily Nation

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