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Eritrea warns UN of Ethiopian attack

Eritrea, in a letter published on Friday, urged the United Nations to force its arch-foe, Ethiopia, to urgently implement a border ruling, warning it feared Addis Ababa was preparing to resume war.

In the letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister Osman Saleh said he believed that Ethiopian threats to scrap the Algiers peace deal that ended their bloody 1998 to 2000 border war were a precursor to an attack.

”Ethiopia seems to be planning to use its unlawful attempt at renunciation of the Algiers Agreements as a precursor for initiation of renewed hostilities,” read the letter, dated Thursday but posted on the Eritrean Information Ministry website on Friday.

Ethiopia is already engaged in hostile acts against Eritrea, said the letter, also addressed to UN Security Council members, the European Union (EU) and witnesses of the original peace deal.

”It is a cardinal principle of international law that forcible occupation of the territory of another state is an act of aggression and Ethiopia’s stationing of troops north of the recognised international boundary falls squarely within that category,” Osman added.

On Tuesday, Ethiopia Foreign Affairs Minister Seyoum Mesfin said Addis Ababa is mulling ”legal and peaceful options, including terminating the agreements or suspending their operation in whole or in part”, charging its neighbour with breaching the pact and supporting ”terrorism”.

The exchanges are the latest in a string of heated remarks between the two countries, which have choked efforts to implement the 2000 peace deal.

Early this month, a meeting of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) meeting in The Hague, seen as a last-ditch attempt to break the frontier deadlock, ended in failure.

The UN-appointed border panel will dissolve in November and the frontier will be fixed on maps if no progress has been made by then.

An EEBC ruling to fix the countries’ border granted the flashpoint town of Badme that started the 1998 war to Eritrea. But Addis Ababa wants the border ruling revised, saying it splits families.

”Eritrea urges the UN Security Council to shoulder its legal, moral and security responsibilities and take appropriate action to enforce the decision of the EEBC to stem Ethiopia’s reckless game,” Osman said. — AFP



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