The United Nations has begun withdrawing Western peacekeepers from Eritrea, a week after the Eritrean government ordered troops from the United States, Canada and Europe to leave the country.

The move affects about 180 military observers from Western nations, part of a 3800-member U.N. mission assigned to Eritrea and Ethiopia.  Most of the peacekeepers were sent by India, Jordan and other countries.

U.N. forces have been monitoring the tense Ethiopian-Eritrean border region, trying to prevent any flareup of the conflict between the two nations that killed about 70-thousand people five years ago.

A Security Council statement Wednesday about the situation in the Horn of Africa says only that U.N. officials are temporarily relocating some military and civilian staff from Eritrea to Ethiopia in the interests of safety.