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UN Security Council discusses options for ending Ethiopia-Eritrea stalemate

UN Security Council discusses options for ending Ethiopia-Eritrea stalemate

Amb. Vassilakis
With no bilateral agreement on the boundary demarcation between Ethiopia and Eritrea so far, the United Nations Security Council today said its options for resolving the stalemate included a meeting of the witnesses to the relevant peace accords and a possible Council visit to both Horn of Africa countries.

After a closed briefing by Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the 15-member body said in a press statement: "Members of the Council note with deep concern the continued lack of progress in the implementation of the final and binding decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and urge Ethiopia to accept fully and both sides to implement completely this decision."

"Members of the Council note possible options to resolve the stalemate in the peace process include, when appropriate, a visit to Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as a meeting of the witnesses to the signature of the Algiers Agreements," the Council President for July, Permanent Representative Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, said, reading from the statement.

The Algiers Agreements, which ended a two-year war over the demarcation of the frontier, legally bind both Governments to accept the decisions of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission.

On the peace process, Council Members expressed concern over recent shooting incidents in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) separating the countries, Mr. Vassilakis said.

Despite a decline in restrictions on members of the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), several questions have not been resolved, such as new restrictions on UNMEE military police in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, the suspension of direct flights between the two capitals, Addis Ababa and Asmara, and Eritrea's closure of the road from Asmara to Keren and Barentu.

"Members of the Council encourage both parties to work towards a full normalization of their relations, including through talking to each other," Mr. Vassilakis said.

The Council added that the ongoing food insecurity in both countries had the potential to create greater instability and urged UN Member States to provide generous support to improve the food security situation.