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Mission In Ethiopia, Eritrea Extended

Mission In Ethiopia, Eritrea Extended By Security Council Until Next March

New York, Sep 13 2005

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of the UN mission monitoring the Temporary Security Zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea until mid-March, but it expressed concern about the high concentration nearby of troops from the two countries, which waged a two-year border war.

In a unanimous vote on the five-year-old UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), the 15-member Council also increased by 10 the military observer force, numbering 214 as of the end of July, and called on both Governments to implement without delay and completely the 2002 border decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and to create the conditions for expeditious demarcation.

In that regard, the Council called on Ethiopia, in particular, to accept fully the Boundary Commission's decision and, without preconditions, to enable the Commission to demarcate the border completely and promptly.

The Council urged both Governments to refrain from escalating tensions or threatening to use force and to consider returning to the levels of deployment of last 16 December.

Both Governments should cooperate fully and expeditiously with the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), ensure the security of all mission staff and remove immediately and unconditionally all restrictions on and impediments to their work and their full and free movement, it said.

With regard to free mission movement, it strongly urged Eritrea to remove restrictions on UNMEE military police in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, and to take immediate steps, in consultation with the mission, to implement direct UN flights between Asmara and the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, as well as to reopen the Asmara to Barentu road to UNMEE traffic.

The Council voiced its concern at the food insecurity which is continuing in both Ethiopia and Eritrea and which has the potential to create greater instability. It requested Member States to continue providing generous humanitarian and development assistance and urged Eritrea to lift all restrictions on the operations of aid organizations.

ENDS



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