Eritrea, Djibouti to End Land Dispute

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The U.N. Security Council is calling on Eritrea and Djibouti to peacefully end a conflict which started over a land dispute along their border.

Djibouti accused Eritrea of sending its troops to occupy Ras Doumeira which is the land in question after a party of 450 Qatari peacekeepers departed last week. If true, the move could threaten a return to war for the first time since the countries fought over the land in 2008.

In a bid to resolve the conflict between the two countries, Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz, the permanent representative of the President of the U.N. security council, in a news conference recently, said that members of the council members supported an African Union initiative to deploy a fact-finding mission to the border and that all parties should work towards maintaining an atmosphere of calm and restraint.

The U.N. assistant secretary-general for political affairs, Taye-Brook Zerihoun of Ethiopia, held a briefing for members to discuss the matter. Soliz said members were considering “future confidence-building measures.” He added that members would continue to follow the situation closely.

On Friday, the Eritrean government issued a statement saying it would wait to get more information and not “engage in speculative analysis at this stage.” Eritrea’s ambassador to the African Union, Araya Desta, said his government didn’t want to take any land from Djibouti, and “the last time, we had some skirmishes. It was unnecessary.”