Ban dispatches UN team to assess Djibouti-Eritrea border situation

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

31 July 2008 – A fact-finding mission dispatched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in the Horn of Africa to assess the political, security and humanitarian situation along the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, in light of the recent tensions there.

Eritrean military action against Djibouti in Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island in early June left several people dead and dozens wounded. The clashes prompted calls from Mr. Ban and the Security Council for the two neighbouring countries to commit to a ceasefire and withdraw their forces to the status quo ante.

The situation along the joint border was recently reported to be calm but tense, with military regrouping occurring on both sides and a de facto ceasefire continuing to hold.

The mission – which was sent in response to a request by the Security Council – is being led by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and includes representatives from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

Members of the team convened yesterday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where they are scheduled to meet with the African Union (AU), the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other partners.

The team will then head to Djibouti, where it will hold meetings with civilian and military authorities and conduct a field visit to the border area to collect information about recent incidents.

The mission is expected to complete its work on 6 August and submit a report to the Secretary-General upon its return.

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Security Council calls for UN fact-finding team to visit Djibouti-Eritrea border

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