Global Policy Forum

Eritrea-Ethiopia: Arms Embargo’s Vote Postponed

UN Integrated Regional Information Network
January 11, 2001

The United States on 10 January failed to get the Security Council to lift the arms embargo against Eritrea and Ethiopia. UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said in his briefing on Wednesday that "the vote has been postponed". According to the Associated Press (AP) the vote, scheduled for Wednesday, did not take place because the US failed to get enough support "in closed consultations" of the council.

The UN spokesman told journalists that the UN Secretary-General had signalled his concern that "the job is not done as far as the achieving permanent peace", as envisaged in the security council resolution. The peace agreement signed in Algiers 12 December "silenced the guns", but that alone did not mean peace, he said.

US deputy ambassador James Cunningham told journalists that he would try to bring the draft back to the council "within a week or so", AP reported, adding the US was surprised by "the level of opposition" to the proposal. Many countries had asked for more time to discuss the US proposal. "We don't think there is any urgent need to lift the embargo," British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock told journalists.

The arms embargo was imposed on the two countries on 17 May last when renewed fighting started. The two countries signed a peace agreement in Algiers on 12 December last year, but UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to certify that there is a "definitive peace settlement" before the embargo can lifted, AP said.

More Information on Ethiopia and Eritrea
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