The head of the United Nations peacekeeping operations says Eritrea's ban on U.N. helicopters over its volatile border with Ethiopia is endangering U.N. troops.
Undersecretray-General Jean-Marie Guehenno said in a meeting with the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that U.N. peacekeepers rely on helicopters for safety. He said three Kenyan peacekeepers injured in a road accident earlier this week were not able to be air lifted out of the region because of the ban, putting their lives in danger.
He also said the flight ban has interfered with U.N. observation of the border area and caused peacekeepers to stop demining activities.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has denounced the ban, saying it violates the 2000 peace deal which ended a border war between the two nations.