Djibouti, Eritrea Have New Territory Dispute After Qatar’s Pullout

Djibouti Accuses Eritrea of Occupying Contested Area

Qatar withdrew its peacekeeping force from the border of Djibouti and Eritrea on Wednesday, a response to both nations backing Saudi Arabia’s recent blockade of Qatar. It didn’t take long for their absence to be felt in the area, with a border dispute breaking out almost immediately.

Djibouti is now accusing Eritrean forces of having occupied a contested area along the border, and have lodged a formal complaint with both the UN Security Council and the African Union, and placed their military “on alert” related to the alleged incursion.

The two nations have repeatedly had disputes in the Ras Doumeira region, which has on occasion led to military conflict. The most recent such clash over the boundary was in 2008, and left over 100 people killed. Internationally Djibouti has tended to be supported in this dispute.

Another war in the region clearly doesn’t benefit anybody, and while there’s talk of the African Union getting involved to try to mediate the dispute again, it seems like the whole mess could’ve been avoided if they hadn’t ended up chasing the Qatari forces out of the region.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.