1 June 2006
Security Council Extends UN Mission in Ethiopia, Eritrea until 30 September, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1681 (2006)
NEW YORK, 31 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this evening extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) for another four months -- until 30 September -- and authorized the reconfiguration of its military component, approving the deployment within the Mission of up to 2,300 troops, including up to 230 military observers within the existing mandate, as stipulated in resolution 1320 (2000) and further adjusted in resolution 1430 (2002).
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1681 (2006), the Council demanded that the parties provide UNMEE with the necessary access and protection required to perform its duties, including to assist the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) in the expeditious and orderly implementation of the delimitation decision, and demanded that any restrictions be lifted immediately.
The Council also demanded that the parties fully comply with resolution 1640 of 23 November 2005, in which the Council had demanded that the Eritrean Government reverse its decision to ban Mission helicopter flights, as well as additional restrictions on its operations, and provide UNMEE with the access and protection it required. It had also demanded that Ethiopia accept fully and without delay the final and binding decision of the Boundary Commission and take immediate concrete steps to enable it, without preconditions, to demarcate the border completely and promptly.
Calling on both parties this evening to cooperate fully with the Boundary Commission, in order to resume the demarcation process, the Council stressed that the parties had primary responsibility for implementing the Algiers Agreements. It called again on the parties to implement completely and without further delay the Commission's decision and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation to proceed expeditiously.
In his last report on the situation, dated 6 March, the Secretary-General had urged the parties to advance the peace process, deeming that the protracted stalemate between the two countries was a source of great concern. He warned that any miscalculation by them could result in a rapid escalation with unpredictable consequences for the two countries and for regional stability. He said that the impasse in the peace process had become increasingly untenable.
The Council last took action on the situation on 15 May, when it extended UNMEE's mandate until 31 May, by unanimously adopting resolution 1678 (2006). Also by that text, it decided to take further action by month's end to adjust the mandate and troop level, if it determined that the parties had not fully complied with resolution 1640.
The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. and adjourned at 7:07 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1681 (2006) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements pertaining to the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea (hereinafter referred to as "the parties") and the requirements contained therein, including in particular resolutions 1320 of 15 September 2000, 1430 of 14 August 2002, 1466 of 14 March 2003, 1640 of 23 November 2005 and 1678 of 15 May 2006, as well as the statement of its President of 24 February 2006 (S/PRST/2006/10),
"Stressing its unwavering commitment to the peace process, and to the full and expeditious implementation of the Algiers Agreements, and the importance of prompt implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (S/2002/423) as a basis for peaceful and cooperative relations between the parties,
"Reaffirming the integrity of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) as provided in the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 18 June 2000 (S/2000/601) and recalling the objectives of its establishment and the commitment of the parties to respect the TSZ,
"Stressing further that the full demarcation of the border between the two parties is vital to lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as in the region, and recalling that both parties have agreed to accept the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) as final and binding,
"Welcoming the convening of the EEBC meetings on 10 March and 17 May 2006 in London and supporting the ongoing EEBC process,
"Reaffirming its strong commitment to ensure that the two parties, as agreed by them, permit the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to perform its duties and provide UNMEE with the necessary access, assistance, support and protection required for the performance of these duties,
"Commending the role of UNMEE and expressing once again its deep appreciation for the contribution and dedication of the troop-contributing countries to the work of UNMEE, despite the immense difficulties which they are facing,
"Welcoming the Secretary-General's intention to keep the operations of UNMEE under close review continuing to take into account developments on the ground and the views of the parties, and to revert to the Council with recommendations as appropriate for further adjustments to UNMEE's mandate, force levels and concept of operation as soon as warranted,
"Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General of 3 January 2006 (S/2006/1) and of 6 March 2006 (S/2006/140) and the options on the future of UNMEE contained therein,
"Noting paragraph 4 of resolution 1678 (2006),
"1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMEE for a period of four months, until 30 September 2006;
"2. Authorizes the reconfiguration of UNMEE's military component and in this regard approves the deployment within UNMEE of up to 2,300 troops, including up to 230 military observers, with the existing mandate, as stipulated in resolution 1320 (2000) and further adjusted in resolution 1430 (2002);
"3. Demands that the parties fully comply with resolution 1640 (2005);
"4. Calls upon both parties to cooperate fully with the EEBC, in order to resume the demarcation process, stresses that the parties have primary responsibility for the implementation of the Algiers Agreements and calls again on the parties to implement completely and without further delay the decision of the EEBC and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation to proceed expeditiously;
"5. Demands that the parties provide UNMEE with the necessary access, assistance, support and protection required for the performance of its duties, including its mandated task to assist the EEBC in the expeditious and orderly implementation of the Delimitation Decision, in accordance with Resolutions 1430 (2002) and 1466 (2003) and demands that any restrictions be lifted immediately;
"6. Calls on Member States to provide continued support for UNMEE and contributions to the Trust Fund, established pursuant to Resolution 1177 (1998) and referred to in Article 4 (17) of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea on 12 December 2000, in order to support the demarcation process;
"7. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council closely and regularly informed of progress towards the implementation of this resolution;
"8. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
* *** *