Ethiopia: AU troop deployment sought for Djibouti-Eritrea border flashpoint

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) – East African foreign ministers have called on the African Union (AU) Summit to immediately authorise the deployment of troops to the border of Djibouti and Eritrea to fill the power and security vacuum created by the withdrawal of Qatari forces there.

The crisis ministerial meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held on the sidelines of the 29th AU Heads of State and Government Assembly in Addis Ababa, also called for the demarcation of the border between the two countries to avoid further escalation of the conflict.

Djiboutian and Eritrean forces briefly clashed in 2008 when Eritrean forces crossed into the border at Dumera and the Island of Dumera, on the Red Sea, and reportedly dug trenches in 2008.

Earlier, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, called on the African leaders to work towards lowering the tension between Eritrea and Djibouti.

The UN and the AU have intervened diplomatically. Qatari forces were deployed to the region to keep peace but withdrew recently when both Eritrea and Djibouti resolved to condemn Qatar in a dispute with a coalition of countries supporting Saudi Arabia’s position on the fight against terrorism.

The IGAD Council of Ministers held its 57th Extra-Ordinary session on the 2nd July, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the chairmanship of Ethiopian foreign minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu.

Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf briefed the meeting on the developments around the border region since the withdrawal of the Qatari forces on 14 June.

The ministerial meeting was attended by the Kenyan ambassador to the AU, Catherine Mwangi, representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Somali Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad Omar and Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, South Sudan’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

Also attending was Ibrahim Ahmed Ghandour, Sudanese Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, the Ugandan Foreign Minister and Festus Mogae, Former President of Botswana and Chairperson of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

During the ministerial meeting, the Djiboutian Foreign Minister, voiced his country’s apprehension regarding the new development of the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea that has been triggered as a result of the evacuation of the Qatari forces from the area.
-0-PANA AO/MA 4July2017

04 july 2017 09:16:18

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