UN mission monitoring Ethiopia-Eritrea border nearing close

15 October 2008

The United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) has almost completed its withdrawal from the Horn of Africa region, with the last group of blue helmets having returned to their home country.

The United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) has almost completed its withdrawal from the Horn of Africa region, with the last group of blue helmets having returned to their home country.

In July, the Security Council voted unanimously to terminate the mission after restrictions placed on the peacekeeping operation by Eritrea undermined its ability to carry out its mandate.

Over the weekend, 60 Indian peacekeepers who had been based in the northern Ethiopian town of Adigrat left the country. The mission’s 15 remaining guards, part of an Indian contingent, are expected to depart at the end of the week.

“This was a difficult mission but you can go home knowing that you accomplished what you were sent to do,” Azouz Ennifar, the Secretary-General’s acting Special Representative, said at their farewell ceremony. “The parties remained at peace while UN military observers were stationed in the Temporary Security Zone and adjacent areas.”

Mr. Ennifar stressed that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made it clear to both Ethiopia and Eritrea – which fought a bloody border war in 2000 – that his good offices remain available to them.

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Final border report on Ethiopia-Eritrea dispute sent to Security Council

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has transmitted to the Security Council the last report issued by the independent commission on Ethiopia and Eritrea’s common boundary.