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Security Council ends UN mission monitoring Eritrea-Ethiopia border
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10:36, July 31, 2008

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The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to terminate the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), after restrictions placed on the peacekeeping operation by Eritrea have undermined its ability to carry out its mandate.

The 15-member body emphasized that the termination of UNMEE, which will be effective Thursday, is without prejudice to the obligations of the two countries under the Algiers Agreement, the 2000 accord which ended their border war, according to reports posted on the UN websites.

The UN decided in February to temporarily move its personnel and equipment out of Eritrea after the country cut off fuel supplies to UNMEE, paralyzing the operation on that side of the border with Ethiopia.

In the adopted resolution, the Council demanded that the two Horn of Africa neighbors "comply fully with their obligations under the Algiers Agreements, show maximum restraint and refrain from any threat or use of force against each other, while avoiding provocative military activities."

The Council requested UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to further explore with Ethiopia and Eritrea the possibility of a UN presence in the two countries to help maintain international peace and security.

The Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Ethiopia/Eritrea Azouz Ennifar praised the work of members of UNMEE over the past seven and a half years.

About 320 military personnel remain on the Ethiopian side, but they are expected to leave by the end of August after four remaining observation sites are dismantled. The mission currently has some 130 civilian staff in Ethiopia and 250 in Eritrea.


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