Eritrea + 1 more

Eritrea-Ethiopia: Ethiopia rejects accusations of laying mines

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NAIROBI, 21 March (IRIN) - Eritrea has accused Ethiopia of laying mines in the buffer zone between the two countries, an allegation Addis Ababa described as "surprising".
The claims were made by Eritrea's Commissioner for coordination with the UN peacekeeping force, Brigadier General Abrahaley Kifle, after military leaders from both countries met in Djibouti earlier this week.

"At a time when the demarcation on the ground is immediate, the woyane [Ethiopia] regime is creating obstacles to hamper the process," he said, according to the Eritrean ruling party's Shaebia website.

The Eritrean delegation to the Military Coordination Commission (MCC) meeting called on the UN, which chairs the meetings, to "put an end to this act of mining which is causing damage to the people and defence forces of Eritrea, [and] the peacekeeping force".

However, an Ethiopian foreign ministry official told IRIN that General Abrahaley's remarks came as a "surprise".

Sources close to the MCC meeting said the atmosphere at the talks had been "cooperative".

The UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) recently said it believed "dissident groups" opposed to the Eritrean authorities were laying new mines in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) between the two countries, following a series of blasts over the last few weeks. However, it refused to speculate as to who may be responsible.

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