Accessibility links

UN Says Eritrean Ban Puts Peacekeepers at Risk

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 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.

Earlier in the day, Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, denounced the ban, saying it violates the 2000 peace deal which ended a border war between the two Horn of Africa nations.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.