U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on the U.N. Security Council to ensure Eritrea lifts restrictions on U.N. peacekeepers.
In a letter to the Security Council, Mr. Annan described the situation on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border as "alarming." He said it requires the full attention of the international community.
Mr. Annan noted that Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki rejected his plea to lift a ban on flights by U.N. peacekeeping helicopters. Mr. Isaias said that Mr. Annan lacks the "humanitarian high ground on matters of law, the rule of law and humanitarian issues."
The U.N. mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea says the unexplained restriction on helicopter flights, as well as Eritrea's ban on night patrols by U.N vehicles, has forced it to scale back its outposts by nearly one half.
For more on the secretary-general's letter, see http://www.un.org/News/ossg/hilites.htm