Security Council approves 6-month extension of UN mission in Ethiopia/Eritrea

Security Council approves 6-month extension of UN mission in Ethiopia/Eritrea

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) until 15 March 2002.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council called on the parties to cooperate fully with UNMEE and to abide by the letter and spirit of their agreements. It emphasized that the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) must be completely demilitarized and that the Algiers Agreements link the termination of the UN Mission with the completion of the work of the Boundary Commission demarcating the Ethiopia-Eritrea border.

The Council also urged the parties to resolve outstanding issues of the Algiers accords and to fulfil a list of obligations, such as providing freedom of movement for UNMEE personnel, facilitating the establishment of a secure air corridor between Addis Ababa and Asmara, providing information on the local militia and police inside the TSZ, releasing detainees, and meeting the financial responsibilities of the Boundary Commission.

The resolution asked Ethiopia to provide information on minefields and requested Eritrea to conclude the Status of Forces Agreement with Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It called on both parties to pursue a range of confidence-building measures.

Encouraging the international community to support the peace process, the Council also urged the parties to ensure that their efforts are redirected from weapons procurement and other military activities towards the reconstruction and development of their economies.

The Council adopted the resolution after reviewing Mr. Annan's report on the work of UNMEE, in which he says that the previous 12 months have not been without difficulties, but that there are still grounds for satisfaction. The Mission's approach of steadily addressing the problems of the implementation of the peace process has yielded results, according to the report.