No obstructions to regrouping of peacekeepers in Eritrea, UN says

22 February 2008 –

With Eritrea still hindering the temporary relocation of United Nations peacekeepers to Ethiopia, the UN mission to the two countries said today that there were as yet no obstructions to its regrouping in the Eritrean capital of Asmara.

UN convoys en route to Asmara are moving troops, equipment and supplies from all sectors of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) that divides the Horn of Africa countries which fought a bloody border war that ended in 2000, according to the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

Earlier this month, UNMEE decided to relocate to Ethiopia after Eritrea cut off diesel fuel supplies to the Mission, paralyzing the operation on that side of the border.

Additionally, food stocks are also running extremely low for blue helmets after a commercial company supplying rations to UNMEE said it would no longer fulfil its contractual obligations.

The mission’s personnel and equipment began regrouping this weekend in a bid to speed up the relocation.

Yesterday, Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), briefed the Security Council on UNMEE’s temporary relocation efforts, after which Ambassador Ricardo Alberto Arias of Panama, which holds the rotating Council presidency, told journalists that the 15-member panel “condemned Eritrea’s systematic violations of successive Security Council resolutions.”


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