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01 Jul 2008 07:40
The African Union demanded on Monday that Eritrea immediately withdraw its troops from a border area in dispute with Djibouti.
The AU “strongly condemn Eritrea’s military action against Djibouti in Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island and demands that Eritrea withdraw immediately and unconditionally”, it said in a statement from its Peace and Security Council released on the margins of a summit of heads of state being held in Egypt.
The AU “urges the two countries, in particular Eritrea, to show restraint, resort to dialogue to resolve any bilateral dispute and to give cooperation to all efforts deployed to this effect”, said the statement.
The AU’s Peace and Security Committee met on Sunday, but the results of the meeting were not previously made public.
Tension between the Horn of Africa countries has been high since April 16 when Eritrean troops raided Ras Doumeira, a disputed promontory on the shores of the Red Sea, as it pursued deserters.
Clashes on June 10 killed nine people.
The neighbours fought for control of the area in 1996 and 1999 and have never held talks to resolve the dispute.
The statement also called on Eritrea to accept an AU Commission delegation and cooperate with its efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully.—Sapa-AFP
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