Security Council last week urged Eritrea and Djibouti to peacefully resolve a
growing border dispute.
fact-finding group had reported that the volatile and fragile situation could
have a negative effect on the entire region, if it’s not resolved peacefully.
Djibouti’s border with Eritrea is a key strategic point on the red sea.
Rashid Abdi, an analyst with International Crisis
Group (ICG) tells VOA’s Akwei Thompson the group concurs with the UN position.
“Tension is building up between these two
countries, the situation is very volatile and the Djiboutian President (Omar
Guelleh) himself addressed the UN Security Council, where he said that Djibouti
may be forced to go to war with Eritrea if the UN does not seek a quick
resolution to this border dispute," Abdi said.
On President Guelleh’s allegation of Eritrea not
wanting to engage in dialogue and negotiation with Djibouti, Abdi said it is
difficult for independent observers to decipher Eritrea’s intentions.
“…they (Eritrea) are generally downplaying this
tension with Djibouti. One of their diplomats was quoted as saying this is just
a fabricated conflict. And they say they have no problem with Djibouti,” Abdi
analyst went on to say that, in spite of downplaying the conflict, Eritrea may
be taking an aggressive posture and making a pre-emptive move because it
suspects that Djibouti is colluding with Ethiopia for its forces to gain a
foothold in Djiboutian territory.
trying to downplay this tension with Djibouti, they also make the claim or the
allegation that Ethiopia perhaps is moving troops and equipment, especially
heavy range artillery pieces, building a network of roads on that stretch of
border,” pointed out.
agreed that the Horn of Africa cannot afford another war giving the
longstanding conflict in Somalia and the already dire humanitarian crisis in