Eritrea blocking passage of UN peacekeepers as regrouping efforts continue

Eritrea blocking passage of UN peacekeepers as regrouping efforts continue

Eritrean soldiers have blocked the passage of eight United Nations vehicles in the past 24 hours as the world body’s peacekeeping mission in the region continued to regroup staff and assets in the capital, Asmara, ahead of its planned temporary relocation across the border to Ethiopia.

According to the mission, known as UNMEE, the incidents occurred at a checkpoint near Senafe, inside the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) that divides the neighbouring East African nations which fought a bloody border war that ended in 2000.

The vehicles were en route to collect equipment for the regrouping that is currently taking place in Asmara, while the UN awaits Eritrea’s cooperation to temporary relocate to Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, other movements by peacekeepers and vehicles have proceeded without incident, the mission reports.

Top UN officials and the Security Council have urged Eritrea to stop obstructing the temporary relocation of the mission to Ethiopia amid growing concern over rapidly dwindling food and fuel supplies for the blue helmets.