Fighting continues along the frontier

Intense fighting continued today along the Zalambessa-Egela area and Tsorona flank of the Alitiena frontiers, Ethiopian and Eritrean sources confirmed. Both sides blamed the other for the fresh outbreak of fighting. “It started with skirmishes that developed into intense fighting on Sunday and has continued today,” Ethiopian government spokesperson Salome Tadesse told IRIN. She said Eritrea was “talking of demilitarisation yet they have not withdrawn. Let them withdraw from Ethiopian occupied territory unconditionally immediately,” she added. Eritrea on its part said Ethiopia had put forth new preconditions for its acceptance of the OAU peace plan “We have a right to fight to defend our sovereignty. However, Eritrea is committed to the implementation of the OAU Framework,” Eritrea’s director general for Africa and Asia in the ministry of foreign affairs, Tessamariam Tekeste, told IRIN today. He said there were heavy human losses on Ethiopia’s side saying they had destroyed 19 tanks and shot down a MIG 23 jet.