New York, 7 April: Four options for the future of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) were presented to the Security Council in a special report of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today.
Mr. Ban warned that all of the options involved risks and would not resolve the current impasse. One of the options, to end the Mission following Eritrean fuel restrictions and the temporary relocation of peacekeepers from the Temporary Security Zone to their home countries, could result in a return to open hostilities, he warned.
The report of the Secretary-General outlined the options as follows:
- For the mission to resume unchanged, so long as Eritrea lifts all restrictions, resumes fuel supplies to UNMEE and allows it to perform the tasks envisaged in the cessation of hostilities agreement in 2000 that ended the last border war;
- To terminate the mission altogether;
- To deploy a small observer mission to the border area in an attempt to defuse tensions between the armed forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
- To establish liaison offices in the two capitals, Addis Ababa and Asmara, so that the UN could remain available to help the parties implement the Algiers Peace Agreement of 2000, including demarcation of the border.
Mr. Ban said he would submit a further report to the Council before 31 July, when the current mandate of UNMEE is due to expire.