CAIRO, June 12 (KUNA) -- The Arab League Council called on Eritrea Thursday
to withdraw its forces from border areas near Djibouti immediately and respect
Djibouti's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During its emergency meeting on the level of permanent envoys here, the
council reviewed the border tension between the two African Horn countries in
Ras Domira, Djibouti.
The council urged Eritrea to respect the principles of neighborliness, the
sanctity of international borders and the independence of Djibouti, according
to a statement issued following the meeting.
It called on the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and the Arab
Security and Peace Council to pursue their efforts to settle the dispute in a
way that guarantees Djibouti's rights and report to the Arab League Council
during its coming ordinary meeting.
It also urged continuation of contacts with the Eritrean government to
defuse the tension and appreciated the report of the Arab fact-finding
committee on the issue, the statement added.
Meanwhile, Assistant Arab League Secretary General for Political Affairs
Ahmed Bin-Helli said the league would work with the Arab Security and Peace
Council, the African Union, the African Security and Peace Council, Eritrea
and Djibouti to contain the standoff through dialogue.
The Arab fact-finding committee is scheduled to visit Eritrea which refused
to receive the committee on May 8, Bin-Helli disclosed, noting the tension
between the two countries was escalating seriously.
For his part, current chairman of Arab League Council and Djiboutian envoy
to the league Ambassador Moussa Mohammad Ahmed said the Djiboutian armed
forces rebuffed and Eritrean attack against Ras Domira and killed 100 Eritrean
soldiers on Tuesday.
Twenty-one Eritrean troopers defected from their army and surrendered to
the Djiboutian forces, he revealed, voicing regret about Eritrean failure to
respond to the good offices of the Arab League. (end)
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