Eritrea Urges Probe of Dispute
Oct. 03, 1998
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Eritrea urged an independent investigation into the human rights conditions in the Horn of African nation, which is locked in a border dispute with Ethiopia.
Eritrea's foreign minister, Haile Weldensae, told the General Assembly on Friday that the responsibility for the conflict, which was sparked in May, rested solely with its former friend, Ethiopia.
``At no time have Eritrean troops crossed Eritrea's internationally recognized borders and it is there for everybody to see,'' he said. ``On the contrary, it was Ethiopian troops that invaded Eritrea.''
The two countries have regularly traded accusations about the dispute _ and the volley was exchanged at the United Nations this week.
On Thursday, Ethiopia's foreign minister, Seyoum Mesfin, said his country was trying its best to avoid a war in its territorial dispute with Eritrea, but would stand up to the aggression regardless of the consequences.
Although no significant fighting has been reported since June, both countries have been beefing up their entrenched positions along their common 625-mile border.
Eritrea claims it is on territory that is rightfully its own according to internationally recognized Italian colonial boundaries.
Ethiopia claims that Eritrean troops are occupying its territory and will not enter peace talks until they withdraw.
Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after having been annexed by Addis Ababa in the early 1960s after passing from Italian to British to U.N. control.