- The UN Security Council has ordered Eritrea to withdraw its forces from a disputed border region with Djibouti. The border dispute that burst into fighting in June 2008, killed at least 35 people and left dozens wounded.
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday, giving Eritrea five weeks ultimatum to withdraw its forces and all their equipment and ensure that no military presence or activity would be pursued in Ras Doumeira and Doumeira island.
The resolution, drafted by France, demanded Eritrea to comply immediately with its demands and in any case, no later than five weeks after the adoption of the resolution.
It welcomed the fact that Djibouti withdrew its forces from the disputed areas as requested by the council last June and condemned Asmara's refusal to vacate the disputed land.
The council said it would review the situation six weeks from the adoption of this resolution on the basis of a report on the compliance by both parties with their obligations to be submitted by UN chief Ban Ki-moon in six weeks.
Last October, the United States had warned Eritrea that it faced appropriate action from the council if it refused to cooperate to resolve its border dispute with Djibouti peacefully.
The Council encouraged the African Union and the Arab League to strengthen their efforts to engage both parties in diplomacy, and asked Mr Ban to contact both organisations before reporting back on the matter within six weeks.
Last June's confrontation was the first clash since 1996. The two countries had in the past clashed twice over the border area at the southern end of the Red Sea, in 1996 and 1999.
Eritrea which gained independence in 1993 from Ethiopia has been a menace in the horn of Africa having been involved in two serious conflicts on border demarcation with its neighbours and is still recovering from its 1998 war with Ethiopia.
Tension between the Horn of Africa countries has been high since 16 April 2008 when Eritrean troops raided Ras Doumeira, a disputed promontory on the shores of the Red Sea.
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