Global Policy Forum

Crucial Horn Appointment Agreed

May 21, 2001

The differences between Ethiopia and Eritrea have been resolved over who should demarcate their mutual border, following the war between the two countries that ended last year.

The United Nations has managed to find a compromise after the countries had rejected each other's nominations.

The proposed commissioners are to serve on the Border Commission, which is to demarcate the 1,000km border and on the Claims Commission, which is to deal with claims for damages arising from the conflict and the expulsion of citizens.

The BBC has learned that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan managed to mediate between Addis Ababa and Asmara, and that after the withdrawal of some names, the dispute has been resolved.


The Border Commission is to be led by Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, a Cambridge professor and one of the most eminent academics in international law. He has previously mediated in border disputes between a number of countries, including Libya and Malta, Bahrain and Qatar, and El Salvador and Honduras.

The two-and-a-half year conflict between Ethiopian and Eritrea officially ended with the signing of a peace treaty in December last year.

Substantial progress has been made with United Nations monitors being deployed in the buffer zone between the two countries, on the Eritrean side of the border. But such is the sensitivity surrounding the issue, the UN have not published the map of the buffer zone, known as the Temporary Security Zone.

Mutal hostility and distrust continues, even though the guns are silent, with both sides having been accused of deploying troops in the buffer zone.

More Information on Ethiopia and Eritrea


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