Peacekeepers expelled from Eritrea 'out of frustration'
ED HARRIS IN ASMARA
ABOUT 200 UN peacekeepers were expelled from Eritrea last week out of frustration that a five-year-old peace deal had not been implemented.
In the first public explanation of the decision to remove the European, American and Canadian peacekeepers, officials in the country said nothing had been achieved since an agreement was signed in December 2000 to resolve tensions over the Eritirean-Ethiopian border.
"Meanwhile, peacekeepers are enjoying fat salaries and lavish lifestyles," they said.
"It is not because Eritreans hate peacekeepers that they were told to leave."
About 3,300 peacekeepers have been monitoring the border since a war between the two countries ended in 2000 after the death of an estimated 70,000 people.
UN officials say their presence helps to reduce the risk of further conflict, but acknowledge that little if any progress has been made on border demarcation.