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Eritrea Renews Its Criticism Of The UN On The Border Dispute


Eritrea is stepping up criticism of the United Nations in its bitter border dispute with Ethiopia. A statement by Eritrea's foreign ministry accuses the world body of what it calls "ingrained bias against Eritrea" in its handling of the border issue. It says the UN's refusal to force Ethiopia to accept a binding four-year-old border demarcation is “appalling and a parody of international justice.”

Political analyst Matt Bryden told English to Africa reporter Ashenafi Abedje the remarks reflect Eritrea’s frustration at what it sees as UN inaction on the border dispute. Mr. Bryden, who heads the Horn of Africa Project of the International Crisis Group, says the Eritreans want the United Nations “to take a stronger line in demanding that Ethiopia accept demarcation of the border.” But he says Eritrea’s confrontational approach has created a new element that distracts from the core issues.

Yesterday, the United States announced it will soon send a high-level delegation to the region to help ease tensions between the two neighboring countries. Mr. Bryden sees the US initiative as a positive development for both Ethiopia and Eritrea. He says, “It represents the first clear sign of US interest at this level in the dispute in several years.” The Horn of Africa specialist expresses hope that both the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments treat the US delegation with seriousness and show good faith in trying to end this dispute.