8 December 2005
Security Council Presidential Statement Condemns Eritrea's Expulsion of United Nations Peacekeepers, Demands Government Reverse Decision
NEW YORK, 07 December (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this afternoon condemned the decision by the Government of Eritrea to request some members of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to leave the country within 10 days, effective 6 December, and unequivocally demanded that Eritrea immediately reverse that decision without preconditions.
In a statement read out by its President, Emyr Jones Parry (United Kingdom), the Council noted that the Eritrean Government's decision was inconsistent with its obligations to respect the exclusively international nature of the peacekeeping operation. The Council would be consulting on how to respond to that "completely unacceptable" action by Eritrea.
Deeply deploring Eritrea's continued imposition of restrictions on UNMEE's freedom of movement, the Council adopted resolution 1640 of 23 November, demanding that the Government reverse, without further delay or preconditions, its decision of 4 October to ban UNMEE helicopter flights, as well as additional restrictions on the Mission's operations, and provide it with the access and protection required for the performance of its duties.
Today's meeting began at 1:32 p.m. and adjourned at 1:35 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2005/59 reads, as follows:
"The Security Council condemns the decision of the Government of Eritrea to request some members of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to leave the country within 10 days, effective as of 6 December 2005, which is inconsistent with the obligations of the Government of Eritrea to respect the exclusively international nature of the peacekeeping operation. In this regard, the Security Council unequivocally demands that Eritrea immediately reverse its decision without preconditions.
"The Security Council recalls that by resolution 1640 (2005), it demanded that the Government of Eritrea reverse all restrictions imposed on the operations of UNMEE.
"The Security Council will be consulting on how to respond to this completely unacceptable action by Eritrea."
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