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Security Council calls for UN fact-finding team to visit Djibouti-Eritrea border

25 June 2008 – The Security Council has called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send a fact-finding mission to the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, where several days of fighting earlier this month led to several deaths and dozens of wounded.

Council members also reiterated their call to the two countries, especially Eritrea, to withdraw their forces to the status quo, according to a statement to the press read out late yesterday by Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff of the United States, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month.

In the statement the Council also voiced regret that Eritrea has not answered the calls it made in a presidential statement on 12 June, in which the 15-member panel urged maximum restraint and cooperation with diplomatic efforts to resolve the matter peacefully.

The Council, which also commended regional peace efforts, said Djibouti and Eritrea must facilitate the work of the Secretary-General’s fact-finding mission and that Mr. Ban should report back on its work, if possible within two weeks.

Yesterday’s debate in the Council follows Eritrean military action against Djibouti in Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island earlier this month.

Joao Honwana, Director of the Department of Political Affairs’ (DPA) Africa Division, said the situation along the joint border was calm but tense, with military regrouping occurring on both sides and a de facto ceasefire continuing to hold.

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