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|Thursday, March 29, 2001, updated at 08:28(GMT+8)|
UN, Ethiopia Sign SOFAThe United Nations and the Government of Ethiopia have signed a Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA) concerning the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), the United Nations said Wednesday.
The SOFA, signed last Friday at the U.N. headquarters in New York, outlines the rights, privileges and obligations between the UNMEE mission and the host country within a legal framework, the U. N. said.
As part of the agreement, the freedom of movement for all UNMEE military and civilian staff is guaranteed, and taxes for locally purchased goods for official use also will be waived under the SOFA, the U.N. added.
In June 2000, after two years of fighting in a border dispute, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a cessation of hostilities agreement following proximity talks led by Algeria and the organization of African Unity.
In July, the United Nations Security Council set up the UNMEE to maintain liaison with the parties and established the mechanism for verifying the ceasefire. In September, the council authorized deployment within UNMEE of up to 4,200 military personnel to monitor the cessation of hostilities and assist in ensuring observance of security commitments.
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