Security Council extends UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea for six months
Stressing the need for continued support in implementing the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Security Council today unanimously decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission (UNMEE) for six months, until 15 September.
In a wide-ranging resolution, the Council expressed its “satisfaction and anticipation” that a final legal settlement of the border issues between Ethiopia and Eritrea was about to be reached in accordance with the Algiers Peace Agreements. It also welcomed recent statements by both countries reaffirming that the upcoming decision by the Boundary Commission on delimitation of the border is “final and binding.”
As for the countries’ working relationship with UNMEE, the Council called on Ethiopia and Eritrea to cooperate fully and expeditiously with the Mission as it carries out its mandate, to abide scrupulously by the letter and spirit of their agreements and to engage closely with Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, regarding the implementation of the decision by the Boundary Commission.
The Council stressed its resolve to support the parties in the implementation of the Commission’s decision and invited the Secretary-General to submit recommendations on how UNMEE can play a role in the border demarcation process, including any need to demine the area.
The Council also addressed long-standing complaints by both sides against each other, calling again on Eritrea to provide UNMEE with full freedom of movement to monitor the redeployed forces, to disclose the number, strength and disposition of its militia and police inside the demilitarized buffer zone between the two countries, and to conclude the status-of-forces agreement with the Secretary-General.
As for Ethiopia, the 15-member body urged it to provide the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre with clarifications to the information already put forward, as previously promised.
The resolution also called on the parties to take other measures that would build confidence and promote reconciliation between the two peoples, and encouraged them to focus on rebuilding and developing their economies and on improving their relations, “for the benefit of all the people and with the view to promoting regional peace and security.”