|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON ERITREAN AUTHORITIES TO CEASE OBSTRUCTION OF RELOCATION
OF UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN ETHIOPIA, ERITREA TO ETHIOPIAN SIDE
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the situation with the relocation of personnel and equipment of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), from Eritrea to designated relocation sites on the Ethiopian side.
Since the beginning of the movement of UNMEE’s advance units on 11 February, not more than six vehicles have been allowed by the Eritrean authorities to cross into Ethiopia. A number of UNMEE vehicles were stopped by the Eritrean Defence Forces and prevented from crossing the border. In one such case, on 14 February, UNMEE personnel were threatened and the equipment seized. In a disturbing development, the Eritrean commercial company that provides rations to UNMEE has informed the Mission today that it will no longer be able to fulfil its contractual obligations. The Mission has only a few days of emergency rations left.
The Secretary-General is in close contact with the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries, and the Eritrean authorities are being contacted at the highest level to seek an immediate resolution of this unacceptable situation. The Secretary-General calls on the Eritrean authorities to cease their obstruction of the relocation of UNMEE, with their equipment. The United Nations reiterates that this relocation is temporary and that Eritrea must immediately meet its international obligations to cooperate with the mission.
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