3 August 2018

East Africa: Djibouti Criticises Somalia Appeal

Djibouti — Authorities in Djibouti are unhappy with Somalia's calls for the lifting of the United Nations sanctions on Eritrea.

The Djiboutian embassy in Mogadishu said Wednesday that the country was "deeply shocked" by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's calls for the removal of the sanctions.

The Somali leader had paid Asmara a historic three-day visit where the two Horn of Africa nations agreed to restore diplomatic relations after nearly 15 years.

Djibouti said the economic restrictions imposed on Eritrea in 2009 were due to Asmara's refusal to withdraw troops from their disputed border and for its alleged support of Somalia-based Al Shabaab jihadist group.

"It is unacceptable to see the brotherly Somalia support Eritrea which is occupying part of our territory and still denying having Djiboutian prisoners," a statement on Wednesday from the Djiboutian embassy read.

The country said it would not "tolerate ruthless talks while our young men and women are yet here defending Somalia's peace and stability."

Djibouti, alongside Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Ethiopia have contributed soldiers who make up the 20,000-strong peacekeeping African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) to support Mogadishu's fight against Al Shabaab.

In the wake of the thaw of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea that ended two decades of hostility and restored diplomatic ties, Djibouti asked the UN Security Council for help to mediate its long-standing border dispute with Asmara. (NMG)

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