Eritrea says ”Troops are harvesting buffer zone”

October 17th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

NAIROBI, 17 October (IRIN) – Eritrea has moved 1,500 troops and 14 tanks to a buffer zone along its border with Ethiopia, which was created after the war between the two countries over their disputed frontier. The United Nations Secretary General described the Eritrean incursion as a major violation of the ceasefire agreement.

However, Eritrea’s information minister, Ali Abdu, said the troops had moved to the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) to help harvest crops from state-run farms in the area, which, he said, constitutes one-third of Eritrean territory. “It has nothing to do with the border issue. They [the troops] are involved in production and food security,” he told IRIN

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