Sunday, March 18, 2012
UN chief spokesperson urges Ethiopia and Eritrea to 'respect each
other's territorial integrity' after Ethiopian troops attacked rebels
Ethiopian troops carried out more attacks on rebels inside Eritrea on
Saturday, a government source said, a day after its neighbour called for
UN action over a similar incursion earlier in the week.
The attacks are the first on Eritrean soil that Ethiopia has admitted
to since the end of a 1998-2000 war that killed 70,000 people and left a
border dispute unresolved. Eritrea says there have been others.
"We've carried out further attacks on targets inside
Eritrea. This time it's in the north section around Badme," a senior
Ethiopian government official told Reuters on Saturday.
"We were once again successful. This strike was part of
our plan to take proportional measures that included the
(earlier)attacks in Eritrea's southeast." He did not specify who had
been targeted in the latest attack.
On Thursday Ethiopia said it had raided three military bases inside
Eritrea that it said were being using to train an Ethiopian rebel group
it blames for killing five foreign tourists and kidnapping two others in
its remote Afar region in January.
Eritrea responded by saying it would not be "entrapped" by the military
incursion, signalling its determination to avert another conflict with
its bitter foe, and it called on the United Nations to act against the
A spokesman for Ban Ki-moon said the UN chief urged both sides to
exercise "maximum restraint" and "respect each other's territorial
The British government expressed concern about the earlier incursion
into Eritrea, saying it risked undermining efforts to develop security
and stability across the Horn of Africa.
A vicious row over the position of Eritrea and Ethiopia's shared border was not resolved at the end of the war.
The Hague-based Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruled in 2002 that
the border village of Badme belonged to Eritrea. But the village
remains in Ethiopia, Washington's main ally in the volatile Horn of