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SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN ERITREA, ETHIOPIA UNTIL 15 SEPTEMBER UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1531 (2004) 12 Mar 2004
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Progress report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea  
5 March 2004  pdf
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REQUEST TO RESPECT UN/INTERNATIONAL STANDARD FOR NAMING/LISTING OF MEMBER STATES
Open letter to Kofi Annan
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Plotical ultimatum imperative to end Ethiopia's persistent defiance
25 Jan 2004
 
   
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Eritrea: High level EU visit over border issue

April 04 2004 at 02:54PM
Reuters

By Jonah Fisher

Asmara - Eritrea welcomed the visit of a high-level European delegation due to arrive on Sunday to try to breathe new life into the stagnating peace process with larger Horn of Africa neighbour Ethiopia.

A number of Western leaders have visited the two countries this year in an effort to raise international awareness of the risks posed by heightened tensions between the two nations, whose 1998-2000 war saw an estimated 70,000 people killed in combat which often recalled the trench warfare of World War One.

"The visit shows an interest and we would expect they would bring something tangible to move the process forward," Yemane Gebremeskel, head of the Eritrean President's office said.


Ethiopia refused to accept the ruling of an independent Boundary Commission

The peace process has stalled since Ethiopia refused to accept the ruling of an independent Boundary Commission over where the disputed 1 000km frontier should lie.

Eritrea has accepted the decision of the Boundary Commission in its entirety, but Ethiopia rejected its ruling that Badme, the village that triggered the conflict, belongs to Eritrea.

Sunday's delegation includes Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, Dutch Development Minister Agnes van Ardenne and representatives of the EU.

They will meet Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki on Monday then fly to Addis Ababa to meet Ethiopian officials.

Diplomats said the peace process appears to have stalled.


4 000 peacekeepers deployed along the border

"It's completely stuck," one diplomat said. "I'd like to be more positive but I can't. Nothing has moved over the last year."

Another diplomat said he doubted the international community had the will to force a breakthrough. "There's no political commitment to push any harder," he said.

"It's not a priority for the US, the African Union is out of it - the only significant player left in is the EU."

Earlier this year UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed the former Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy to try to generate some momentum towards settling the border demarcation.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi received Axworthy in Addis Ababa, but Eritrea saw in him an "alternative mechanism" to the border Boundary Commission and refused to see him.

The UN - with over 4 000 peacekeepers deployed along the border at a cost of over $200-million a year - has criticised both countries, Ethiopia for not cooperating with the Boundary Commission ruling and Eritrea for refusing to see Axworthy.

"I'm frustrated because I believed by now the mission would have ended," said Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, head of the UN peacekeeping mission to the two countries.

 

 
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