There is no dispute in the Horn
  
Presse Release
SC/8023
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN ERITREA, ETHIOPIA UNTIL 15 SEPTEMBER UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1531 (2004) 12 Mar 20
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Britain reiterates Boundary Commissionís decision final and binding


ADDIS ABABA, July 12, 2004 -- Reassuring Ethiopia and Eritrea of the international community's readiness to work with the two countries to resolve their border dispute, Britain reiterated Monday that the Boundary Commission's decision is final and binding.

In his remarks at the end of an official visit to Ethiopia, Britain's Minister for Africa, Chris Mullin, said there was need for dialogue between the two neighbouring countries, which have failed to normalise relations since the end of a two-year war in 2000.

 

The independent Ethiopia/Eritrea Boundary Commission announced its decision on 13 April 2002 but Ethiopia has not accepted some parts of that decision. A stalemate that ensued has since stalled the border demarcation.

"There is need for dialogue between the two countries on all issues on which they disagree, in order to improve the bilateral relationship.

 

"This is mainly for the parties themselves but we, and other members of the international community, including the United Nations and witnesses to the Algiers agreement, are ready to work with both parties to help them implement the Boundary Commission's decision," said Mullin.

 

On 12 December 2000 in Algiers, Algeria, the two parties signed a comprehensive Peace Agreement so that lasting peace could be achieved. They undertook to permanently terminate military hostilities and to refrain from the threat or use of force against each other.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, a neutral Boundary Commission was set up to delimit and demarcate the border.

The British minister emphasised that both parties should work with UN Special Envoy Lloyd Axworthy "to build confidence and open the channels of communication needed to resolve the present impasse."

 

Concerned about the lack of progress in the implementation of the Algiers Agreement, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan early this year appointed Axworthy, a former foreign minister from Canada, as his special envoy for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

 

Eritrean authorities, however, have not met with the special envoy due to their own reservations about his mandate and terms of reference. - pana

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