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Cablegate: Unmee Consultations

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #1997 1122212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 212207Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1434
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 4701
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 5356

UNCLAS STATE 041997

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC KPKO ET ER
SUBJECT: UNMEE CONSULTATIONS


1. This is an action request. USUN is instructed to draw
upon the following elements during UN Mission in Ethiopia and
Eritrea (UNMEE) consultations on Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

Begin Elements.

-The U.S. welcomes the Special Report of the Secretary
General on UNMEE, which addresses a topic of considerable
importance. The circumstances which have forced UNMEE's
relocation from Eritrea have grave implications not only for
this operation but for peacekeeping in general. With that in
mind, I would like to make six points:

-First, we would like to express our deep appreciation to
troop contributing countries for their invaluable
contributions to the Mission and we deeply regret that UNMEE
troops have been faced with such difficult circumstances.

-Second, the U.S. recalls that in paragraph 15 of article 4
of the Algiers Peace Agreement, the parties agreed that
decisions of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC)
are final and binding, a point noted by the Secretary General
and the Security Council.

-We concur with the Secretary General's assessment that
non-implementation of the delimitation decision, as well as
the erosion of other aspects of the Algiers Agreements,
continue to undermine the prospects of lasting peace between
the two countries. As the Security Council has persistently
urged, both parties must take concrete steps to immediately
and without pre-conditions implement the final and binding
delimitation decision of the EEBC and comply fully with the
Algiers Agreements.

-Third, the U.S. strongly condemns the restrictions that
Eritrea has imposed on UNMEE since early 2004, including the
stoppage of all fuel supplies to the Mission and the
obstacles these restrictions posed to the performance of its
duties. We demand that Eritrea cooperate fully with the
safeguarding and withdrawal of UN-owned and contingency-owned
equipment.

- Fourth, we are concerned about movements of the Eritrean
Defense Force (EDF) into the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ),
and we condemn recent provocative activities by Eritrea near
Bure. These actions risk further destabilizing the region.
We urge both sides to show maximum restraint.

- Fifth, we support the Secretary General engaging with both
parties on how the UN might most effectively facilitate
implementation of agreements that the parties have entered
into, and what UN presence in the area would be most
effective drawing from the four options recommended in
paragraph 54 of his report. Furthermore, the U.S. urges
Ethiopia and Eritrea to accept the Secretary General's good
offices.

-The U.S. stresses that the two parties bear the primary
responsibility to resolve their border dispute, and as the
Secretary General has stated, they should muster the

SIPDIS
political will to take the steps necessary to address the
legitimate legal, political and security concerns of the
other. To accomplish this, it is necessary that the parties
engage on the issues that divide them. We urge the parties
to avail themselves of the Secretary General's offices to
facilitate these discussions.

- Finally, we recall paragraph 47 of the Secretary General's
report which notes that Eritrea,s military occupation of the
TSZ and the restrictions it has imposed on UNMEE have

SIPDIS
undermined the very basis of the Mission's mandate. Unless
Eritrea is willing to lift restrictions and allow UNMEE to
execute its mandate, we strongly support and urge the Council
to consider ending the
Mission by May 31. This should be enough time to determine
what UN presence, if any, would be acceptable to the parties.

End Elements.
RICE

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