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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

AU to mediate Eritrea-Djibouti border dispute

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui will travel later this month to mediate solutions in the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea.

The revelation was made on Tuesday by African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at a press conference after closing of the 29th AU Ordinary summit held from June 27-July 4 in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The Gulf nation of Qatar mediated between the two Red Sea nations in 2010, culminating in a 450 strong Qatari peacekeeping force being stationed in the disputed border.

However, Qatar abruptly removed its forces from the border last month, when both Djibouti and Eritrea backed Saudi Arabia led campaign to isolate Qatar.

Subsequent to the Qatari troops withdrawal, Djibouti accused Eritrea of occupying the disputed border area and appealed to the African Union and the United Nations to resolve the crisis.

Eritrea hasn’t yet given its official position on AU’s or UN’s possible involvement in mediating in its border dispute with Djibouti. 

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism. Qatar has denied the charge.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

East African bloc calls for restraint at Djibouti-Eritrea border

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Mahboub Maalim, on Monday called for restraint at Djibouti-Eritrea border.

Maalim, who is closely following the recent developments between Djibouti and Eritrea after the withdrawal of Qatar’s peace keeping forces from the border between the two countries, is highly concerned by this development, said an IGAD statement.

The Executive Secretary has called on both countries to apply utmost restraint in solving the matter.

The African Union (AU) on Saturday made a call for restraint on the border of the two East African nations.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, highlighted that the AU Commission, in close consultations with the authorities in Djibouti and   Eritrea, is in the process of deploying a fact-finding mission to the Djibouti-Eritrea border.

Maalim has commended the prompt response of the Chairperson of the AU Commission.

“IGAD believes that the situation should be addressed as quickly as possible,” the Executive Secretary has called on the UN to support the AU in its efforts to get hold of the situation.

The Executive Secretary has assured IGAD Secretariat’s readiness to relentlessly work towards bringing peace between Djibouti and Eritrea, according to the statement from the East African bloc.

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Ethiopia calls for calm in Eritrea-Djibouti border dispute

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has called for calm in the border dispute between the two red sea nations of Eritrea and Djibouti, with which it shares common border.

The statement from regional heavyweight Ethiopia on Sunday will be keenly watched as the landlocked nation of 100 million people used to utilize Eritrean ports for its import and export trade 20 years ago.

That changed when a border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea from 1998-2000 which cost around 70,000 lives on both sides saw Ethiopia lose access to Eritrean ports and instead rely on Djiboutian ports.

Ethiopia views its access to Djiboutian ports, through which about 95 percent of its external trade passes through, as a national security issue, raising fears the Eritrea-Djibouti border dispute could turn into a conflict involving Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s current non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has also raised speculations about Ethiopia’s role in the scheduled Monday meeting of UNSC to discuss the Eritrea-Djibouti border tensions.

Ethiopia’s statement also supported Saturday’s African Union (AU) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat statement calling for a deployment of fact finding mission to the disputed area. 

Djibouti has appealed to the AU and UNSC to resolve the border dispute, while accusing Eritrea of moving its troops to the disputed territory.

A border dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti resulted in armed clashes in June 2008, leaving several people dead from both sides.

A mediation effort led by the Gulf Kingdom of Qatar in 2010 led to a Qatari peacekeeping force being stationed in the Eritrea-Djibouti border. 

Tensions between Eritrea and Djibouti resurfaced after a 450 strong Qatari peacekeeping force stationed in their common border left the area abruptly on Wednesday.

The Qatari troops left the Eritrea-Border Djibouti after Eritrea signaled its support for Saudi Arabia led efforts to isolate Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and severed ties earlier this month.

Qatar has denied the charge but its ties to regional Saudi rival Iran and support for various Islamist groups has put it at odds with fellow Gulf region countries.

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Djibouti appeals to AU, UN over border dispute with Eritrea

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Djibouti has appealed to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to resolve border dispute with Eritrea, after it said Eritrea occupied a disputed territory in their common border.

The statement was made to Xinhua on Friday by the ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti in Ethiopia, Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) and the Economic Commission for Africa, Mohammed Idriss.

On Wednesday, 450 strong Qatari troops that had been stationed in the common border between Eritrea and Djibouti were removed after Eritrea sided with Saudi Arabia led efforts to isolate Qatar over its “support of terrorist groups.”

The Djiboutian Ambassador said he has already met African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to find peaceful ways for the border dispute.

Idriss also says his country is in discussion with UNSC member nations regarding efforts to resolve the border crisis.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism.

Qatar has denied the charge, but its ties to regional Saudi rival Iran and embrace of various Islamist groups have put the country at odds with its Gulf neighbors.

Eritrea also has allegedly been a base for the ongoing Saudi Arabia led war in Yemen.

Qatar mediated in Djibouti and Eritrea over their common borders in 2010, after clashes between the two Rea Sea nations left several people from both sides dead in May 2008.

“Djibouti will always work with the International Community to ensure peace and security in the region and is hoping the border dispute is solved amicably,” says Idriss. 

             

 

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