- The UN Security Council today terminated its peacekeeping mission monitoring the disputed border between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The mission was seen to have "failed", increasing dangers of a new Ethio-Eritrean war.
Council members voted unanimously today to withdraw its failed 1,700 strong force monitoring a buffer zone between the Horn of Africa neighbours, which ended their border conflict in 2000.
The decision came in response to the crippling restrictions imposed by Eritrea on the operation of mission and Ethiopia's refusal to recognise a binding verdict by an international boundary panel that granted the flashpoint border town of Badme to Eritrea.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April this year warned that a withdrawal of peacekeepers could spark renewed conflict on frontier as both countries are still at loggerheads despite years of intervention by international bodies.
Eritrea's ambassador to the United Nations, Araya Desta, today told the news agency 'Reuters' that Asmara did not want a military confrontation with Addis Ababa but was fed up with what he described as an illegal occupation of Eritrean territory.
"We have a right to take our land, to do anything possible to take back our territories. We don't envisage at this stage any use of military force to do that," Mr Desta was quoted as saying.
The Asmara government says a November 2007 demarcation of the border by the now-defunct boundary commission ended the issue. Ethiopia says Eritrea is illegally massing troops on the border in a supposedly demilitarised zone and it wants to discuss the border demarcation further.
The Eritrea-Ethiopia dispute is part of a set of regional tensions that extends into Somalia, where Ethiopian troops are supporting an interim government, and into Djibouti, whose forces clashed with Eritrean troops last month.
Eritrea and Ethiopia feuded over their border since Eritrea gained independence in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war. The border war between the two neighbours is estimated to have killed some 70,000 people.
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