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Secretary-General urges restraint after Ethiopian attack on Eritrean bases

16 March 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Ethiopia and Eritrea to avoid any action that could escalate tensions between the Horn of Africa neighbours, following Ethiopia’s attack yesterday on military bases in Eritrea.

“The Secretary-General has urged both sides to exercise maximum restraint,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, told reporters in New York.

“He calls on Ethiopia and Eritrea to resolve their differences through peaceful means and to avoid any action that could lead to an escalation of tensions,” he added.

Tensions persist between the two countries, which fought a bloody border war that ended in 2000 with the parties agreeing to abide by the ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. However, Ethiopia’s rejection of the decision reached by the commission in 2002 stalled the physical demarcation of the border in 2003.

The Secretary-General urged both parties to respect each other’s territorial integrity.

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