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Renewing UN Ethiopia-Eritrea mission for 4 months

Renewing UN Ethiopia-Eritrea mission for 4 months, UN Council cuts troop level

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) for four months while reducing the authorized troop level of the operation keeping the peace on the disputed border between the two Horn of Africa neighbours.

The 15-member Council unanimously adopted a resolution renewing the mandate until 30 September and approving “the deployment within UNMEE of up to 2,300 troops, including up to 230 military observers, with the existing mandate” stipulated in two previous resolutions.

UNMEE was previously authorized to field up to 4,200 troops and had reached 3,373, including 221 military observers, by last month.

The Council demanded that the two countries fully comply with a November 2005 resolution calling on Ethiopia to accept the border recommended by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission in a binding decision and calling on Eritrea, which blames the UN for not forcing Ethiopia to accept the decision, to lift restrictions on UNMEE’s movements.

The Security Council called on both parties to cooperate fully with the Boundary Commission so as to resume the demarcation process. It stressed that the two parties have primary responsibility for the implementation of the Algiers Agreements that ended their war and urged the parties to implement completely and without further delay the Commission’s decision and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation to proceed expeditiously.

The resolution also called on UN member states to provide continued support for UNMEE, as well as donations to the Trust Fund established in 1998 for the demarcation.

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