New York, 22 April – Following a closed Security Council meeting today, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, told reporters that Ethiopia and Eritrea are primarily responsible for settling their border dispute and must follow up on the commitments they made under the Algiers Agreement in 2000. Mr. Guéhenno said that peacekeeping could only make a difference when countries honored their political commitments.
Eritrea has announced that it no longer supports the presence of UNMEE in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) that separates the two countries and Mr. Guéhenno told reporters after the Security Council met today, that the UN was "reaching the end of what peacekeeping can achieve" in the present situation.
In a special report to the Security Council earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, presented four options for the future of the peacekeeping operation, including the possibility of closing UNMEE, because of restrictions imposed by Eritrea on its side of the disputed border. A decision was made in February to temporarily move UN peacekeepers and equipment out of Eritrea after the authorities failed to reinstate diesel fuel supplies. UNMEE's fuel supply was cut in December 2007, eventually paralysing its operations in the TSZ.