The UN Security Council yesterday accused the Eritrean government for blocking troop movements as the UN blue helmets try to regroup in the capital Asmara. Eritrea denies the accusation.
The peacekeeping mission, known as UNMEE, reported to New York that a vehicle carrying two peacekeepers was stopped by Eritrean authorities and ordered to remain in the confinement of the 25-kilometer Temporary Security Zone. The UN says this has halted its troops’ movement to the capital Asmara for a possible withdrawal.
The UN has instructed its 1200 peacekeeping troops and support staff to gather in Asmara for a possible departure saying that Eritrea has blocked fuel supplies to the mission, thus restricting the movement of its peacekeepers along the border. According to a February 15 UN statement Eritrea has created a situation which forced a temporary relocation of personnel and equipment from that country.
Eritrea, however, denies these accusations insisting that they did not enact fuel sanctions or prevent peacekeepers from leaving Eritrea. Eritrea’s Ambassador to the United Nations Araya Desta said claims his government is innocent of the accusations. “We have not blocked UNMEE,” he confirmed. “We are cooperating in all respects and I do not understand why they are saying that.”
The Ambassador accuses the UN Security Council of failing to oversee its mandate. He says the UN has failed in its mission to abide by the Algiers agreement – a document signed between Ethiopia and Eritrea that ended the bloody war in 2000. “The main problem for all these discrepancies is the fault to the Security Council,” Araya said.
“They should pressure Ethiopia to withdraw from the sovereign Eritrean land.”
The Border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea has claimed as many as 10,000 lives.