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Security Council Extends UN Mission In Ethiopia

Security Council Extends UN Mission In Ethiopia And Eritrea Another 6 Months

With the stalemate in the peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea ongoing, the Security Council today extended for another six months the United Nations peacekeeping operation overseeing the ceasefire between the two Horn of Africa neighbours.

The Council unanimously adopted a resolution extending the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) until 15 March 2005, and approved adjustments to the operation as recommended last week by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a report. Those modifications include the replacement of the Slovak military demining contingent with a modest commercial capacity, as well as a timetable for reducing the number of troops participating in the buffer force.

While taking note of some positive developments between the two countries, who signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in June 2000 after a two-year border war, the Council stressed again the responsibility of both sides for the implementation of the Algiers Agreement and the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. It called on both parties “to show political leadership to achieve a full normalization of their relationship, including through the adoption of further confidence building measures.”

Separately, the Council urged Ethiopia to show the political will to reaffirm unequivocally its acceptance of the Boundary Commission’s decision, and take the necessary steps to enable the Commission to demarcate the border without further delay.

On Eritrea, the Council called for it to enter into dialogue and cooperation with the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Ethiopia and Eritrea, Lloyd Axworthy, and gave full backing to his efforts to facilitate the implementation of the Algiers Agreements, the decision of the Boundary Commission and normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries through his good offices.

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