Eritrea urges pressure on Ethiopia to allow border demarcation
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14,
statement issued by Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 12 December,
published in English by Eritrean Ministry of Information's Shabait web site on
Four years have
elapsed since Eritrea and Ethiopia signed the comprehensive Algiers Peace
Agreement on 12 December 2000. The Algiers Peace Agreement was signed after
lengthy negotiations that were punctuated by successive Ethiopian military
offensives which claimed thousands of lives.
On the basis of
the Algiers agreement, the United Nations deployed a peacekeeping force, UNMEE
[UN Mission to Eritrea and Ethiopia], at an annual cost of 200m dollars.
Similarly, a neutral boundary commission was established in January 2001
"to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent
colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law".
[Eritrea-Ethiopia] Boundary Commission announced its verdict on 13 April 2002
after examining the voluminous memorials and counter memorials submitted by the
parties as well as a two-week hearing. The boundary commission further issued
detailed demarcation directions and undertook necessary groundwork to start
physical demarcation of the boundary. This work would have been completed in
November 2003 had Ethiopia honoured its treaty obligations and cooperated with
the boundary commission in accordance with the explicit provisions of the
Algiers agreement. The UN peacekeeping mission would have winded up last year,
saving considerable cost to the international community and ushering a period
of peace and stability to our region.
importantly, the humanitarian plight of 60,000 of our citizens who remain
dislocated from their home villages and towns; the opportunity cost to the
peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia and the clouds of another unnecessary and
unjustifiable confrontation would have been removed. As we have maintained all
along, the blame for this state of affairs does not rest with Ethiopia alone.
Our partners in peace have treaty and moral obligations to persuade Ethiopia to
uphold the rule of law and abide by its treaty obligations to promote peace and
stability in our region.
of Eritrea thus underlines, at this propitious juncture, that the way forward
lies in Ethiopia's:
* Full and
unconditional respect of the Algiers agreement;
compliance with the boundary commission decision of April 13 2002;
* Withdrawal of
its forces from sovereign Eritrean territories; and
with the boundary commission to ensure expeditious demarcation of the boundary.
of Eritrea urges the international community to help secure peace and stability
in our region by putting pressure on Ethiopia to ensure the long-overdue
demarcation of the boundary.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Asmara, Eritrea 12