23/10/08 (B470-B) BBC Le Président djiboutien affirme que son pays devra entrer en guerre contre l’Erythrée, si les Nations unies ne parviennent pas à résoudre la crise de frontière actuelle entre les deux pays. Djibouti says Eritrea risking war (En Anglais – Info lectrice)

Djibouti’s president has said his country will have to go to war with Eritrea unless the UN acts to resolve growing tension over a border dispute.

Djibouti has accused Eritrea of invading its territory.

The Eritrean ambassador to the UN denied that his country had taken any land from Djibouti.

Both France and the US have troops in Djibouti, and its border with Eritrea lies at a key strategic point at the mouth of the Red Sea.

Eritrea’s ambassador instead accused Ethiopia of moving troops to the border of the three countries.

Since Eritrea gained independence in 1993, the Horn of Africa country has been involved in two serious conflicts over territory with its neighbours.

Clashes between Eritrea and Djibouti earlier this year left nine Djiboutian troops dead and 60 injured.

On Thursday, Djibouti’s President Omah Guellah appealed to the UN Security Council to help resolve the dispute.

« Continued inaction in whatever form not only will encourage but will benefit Eritrea’s attitude, » he said.

« This would only give my country one option, the option of war. »

In June the UN Security Council called on Eritrea and Djibouti to agree to a ceasefire, stressing that Eritrea should pull its forces back, the BBC’s Laura Trevelyan reports from the United Nations.

France, the former colonial power in Djibouti, is working on presenting a plan to the Security Council reiterating demands for Eritrea to withdraw its forces, she says.

France also wants the two sides to talk to each other about their disputed border.