Global Policy Forum

UN Suggests New Horn Measures

November 22, 2000

The UN Security Council has urged Ethiopia and Eritrea to adopt five confidence-building measures to lessen their mutual mistrust as they continue talks aimed at a final peace agreement. A two-year border war between the two Horn of Africa nations ended with a ceasefire in June, and an estimated one million Eritreans fled their homes during the fighting.

The Security Council said the "confidence-building" measures could play a key role in helping achieve a final peace settlement. The measures include the prompt release of prisoners of war and interned civilians and the exchange of maps of landmined areas.

The Security Council also called on both countries to open land and air corridors for the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (Unmee), which has begun deploying more than 4,000 troops to oversee the ceasefire. It also called for a moratorium on expulsions.


The measures were suggested by Netherlands' Foreign Minister Jozias van Aartsen. His report said that while both sides had a genuine desire for peace, the "mutual distrust between Ethiopia and Eritrea remains as deep as ever". The Security Council also stressed that the deployment of UN troops was not a substitute for a peace settlement, which must be concluded "without delay".

More than 1,000 soldiers from the Netherlands and Canada are expected to arrive in the region by mid-December and the UN hopes to have the full force deployed by early next year.

On Sunday, the International Committtee of the Red Cross announced that they had repatriated more than 170 Eritrean refugees from Ethiopia back to their country. They were escorted by police as they travelled from Addis Ababa in a convoy of five buses to the Mereb river where they were met by Red Cross officials from the Eritrean capital of Asmara. The Red Cross said it organised the return after the Eritreans had asked for assistance in returning home.

More Information on Ethiopia and Eritrea


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