Global Policy Forum

Eritrea Accepts OAU Plan to End Horn War

August 9, 1999

Nairobi - Eritrea has officially accepted detailed proposals drawn up by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to end the 15-month border war with Ethiopia, the Eritrean foreign ministry said on Sunday.

A statement faxed to Reuters from the ministry in Asmara said: "President Isayas (Afewerki) informed the OAU delegation, led by Algerian special envoy Ahmed Ouyahia, of Eritrea's acceptance in a meeting yesterday (Saturday) evening.

"Eritrea has also pledged its full co-operation with the OAU and the United Nations in implementing the three agreements -- the framework agreement, the modalities, and the technical arrangements -- as the sole basis for resolving the dispute."

Ouyahia was expected to ask Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to also formally accept the peace proposals, handed to Meles in Addis Ababa on Friday.

Ouyahia, a former Algerian prime minister, left Asmara on Sunday for the OAU headquarters in Addis Ababa. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is the current OAU chairman.

The Eritrean ministry statement added: "The envisaged next steps are a formal signature of all three documents, a cessation of hostilities, redeployment (of troops), the installation of civilian administrations and (border) demarcation within specific time frames."

The OAU plan was drawn up after a week of negotiations in Algiers attended by delegations from both Horn of Africa countries. It calls for each side to withdraw to positions held before the border fighting broke out in May l998. Negotiations on disputed areas along the 1,000-km (600-mile) border would follow.

Despite their acceptance in principle of the OAU plan last month, both countries have remained on a war footing, with each expressing doubt about the other's commitment to peace.

More Information on Ethiopia and Eritrea


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