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Ethiopia, Eritrea agree in principle on UN plan

Ethiopia, Eritrea agree in principle on UN plan to improve handling of border incidents

Military officials from Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed in principle to a United Nations proposal to improve the handling of border incidents, the UN mission in the area said today.

The initiative, involving three Sector Military Coordination Committees, was approved at a meeting held in Nairobi under the chairmanship of Major-General Robert Gordon, Force Commander of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

Addressing participants, he commended both parties for their continued cooperation while urging them to minimize talk of war because it fosters "an atmosphere of insecurity and anxiety among people living in the border areas," according to an UNMEE statement released following the closed-door meeting. At the same time, the Force Commander acknowledged that recent tension stems from the stalled demarcation process.

Both parties stressed their common desire to find a solution to the current impasse and expressed their respective viewpoints in a "frank and honest manner," UNMEE said. They also remained committed to maintaining military stability.

Brigadier-General Yohannes Gebremeskel led Ethiopia's military delegation to the Military Coordination Commission (MCC) meeting and Brigadier-General Abrahaley Kifle led Eritrea's party, while Brigadier-General Elliot Kamteni represented the African Union (AU).

The Commission agreed to meet next on 2 February 2004 in Nairobi.


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