Eritrea closes border crossing to Ethiopians, official and residents say

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Eritrea has blocked entry for Ethiopians at one of the border crossings that opened this year after the neighbours ended a long military standoff and restored relations, an Ethiopian official and people who live near the crossing said on Friday.

Reuters December 29, 2018 05:05:33 IST
Eritrea closes border crossing to Ethiopians, official and residents say

Eritrea closes border crossing to Ethiopians official and residents say

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Eritrea has blocked entry for Ethiopians at one of the border crossings that opened this year after the neighbours ended a long military standoff and restored relations, an Ethiopian official and people who live near the crossing said on Friday.

Liya Kassa, spokeswoman for the regional administration in the Tigray region which borders Eritrea, said Ethiopian citizens and Ethiopia-licensed vehicles travelling to Eritrea from the Ethiopian town of Rama were asked for "permits" on Wednesday. Those using a crossing in Zalambessa were asked the same on Thursday, she said.

"The restrictions have only been imposed on the Eritrean side," she said. "We did not receive any prior notice."

It was not clear why Ethiopians were being prevented from entering at the Zalambessa crossing, which was shut on Thursday morning and remained closed on Friday, said Solomon Desta, a minibus driver on the Ethiopian side, speaking by phone.

The crossing opened in September, after the countries agreed to remove their troops as part of a reconciliation process.

Thousands of people have crossed since. Trade has flourished and families separated since war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998 have reunited.

A spokesman for Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry told reporters on Thursday that he had no information about any border restrictions. Eritrea's information minister, Yemane Ghebremeskel, did not respond to phone calls on Friday.

Tsegaye Kassaye, a tyre fixer on the Ethiopian side of the frontier, said by phone that Eritreans were being permitted to enter Eritrea, and Ethiopians were being allowed to leave.

(Reporting by Tiksa Negeri and Aaron Maasho; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.