Defiant Ethiopia of deep concern to Annan; commends Eritrea
UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (KUNA) - Secretary-General
Kofi Annan on Friday warned that the political impasse over marking the border
between Eritrea and Ethiopia, following their 1998-2000 war, could be a
source of instability in the Horn of Africa, putting the blame
mainly on Ethiopia.
indication that it will engage UNMEE constructively to resolve any
differences is welcome, Annan said. But Ethiopia's continued opposition to
the demarcation process in conformity with the final and binding decision
of the Boundary Commission is a source of deep concern, he added. “It is worth
reminding the parties, and in particular Ethiopia, that the two Governments themselves entrusted the
Boundary Commission with the entire demarcation process, drew up its mandate
and selected its Commissioners,” he recalled.
"I am concerned
that a relatively minor incident, even one of miscalculation, could
degenerate into a very serious situation, which no one would wish for and
which would be tragic for all concerned," he said in a report to the
Security Council on the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).
He said his Special
Envoy, Lloyd Axworthy, Special Representative, Legwaila Joseph Legwaila,
and UNMEE, whose current mandate ends on 30 September, are ready to work
with both governments to clarify issues, resolve differences peacefully and
prevent incidents in the border area.
With four years having
passed since the end of hostilities, Annan stressed that it is time for the
parties to demonstrate flexibility and realize, "and, perhaps,
explain to their peoples, that sober choices will have to be made in
order to end the
current stalemate." (end)
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