Press Releases

    9 September 2002


    Resolution 1434 (2002) Adopted Unanimously

    NEW YORK, 6 September (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), at unchanged levels of troops and military observers, for six months ending 15 March 2003.

    By unanimously adopting resolution 1434 (2002), the Council further decided to keep under review the progress made by the parties in the implementation of their commitments pursuant to the Algiers Agreements, including through the Boundary Commission and other entities. It also decided to review any implications for UNMEE, including those that concern the process of territorial transfers during the boundary demarcation as outlined by the Secretary-General in his report of 10 July.

    [Security Council resolution 1320 (2002) set the deployment level for UNMEE at 4,200 personnel, including 220 military observers.]

    The meeting, which started at 12:59 a.m., was adjourned at 1:02 p.m.


    The full text of resolution 1434 (2002), contained in document S/2002/980, reads as follows:

    "The Security Council,

    "Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements pertaining to the situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia, notably the requirements contained therein, including in particular resolution 1430 (2002) of 14 August 2002,

    "Further reaffirming its unwavering support for the peace process and its commitment, including through the role played by the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) in the implementation of its mandate, to the full and expeditious implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by the parties on 12 December 2000 and the preceding Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 18 June 2000 (S/2000/1183 and S/2000/601, respectively, hereinafter referred to as the "Algiers Agreements"), the Delimitation Decision by the Boundary Commission of 13 April 2002 (S/2002/423) embraced by the parties as final and binding in accordance with the Algiers Agreements, including the Orders issued on 17 July 2002 (S/2002/853), and the ensuing binding Demarcation Directions,

    "Welcoming the recent confirmations by both parties to implement fully their commitments under article 2 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and in so doing, welcoming the recent release and repatriation by Eritrea of 279 prisoners of war (POWs) and strongly encouraging Ethiopia to follow through on its pledge relating to the release and repatriation of its POWs and civilian internees, and calling upon both parties to continue to clarify the cases of any remaining POWs and to resolve all other remaining issues in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),

    "Expressing concern regarding reported incidents of cross border harassment and abductions of civilians on both sides, referred to in the report of the Secretary-General of 30 August 2002 (S/2002/977), and calling on both parties to ensure an immediate end to such incidents and to cooperate fully with UNMEE investigations in this regard,

    "Having considered the report of the Secretary-General (S/2002/977),

    "1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMEE at the troop and military observer levels authorized by its resolution 1320 (2000) until 15 March 2003;

    "2. Further decides to review frequently the progress made by the parties in the implementation of their commitments pursuant to the Algiers Agreements, including through the Boundary Commission, and to review any implications for UNMEE, including with regard to the process of territorial transfers during the demarcation as outlined by the Secretary-General in his report of 10 July 2002;

    "3. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

    Report of Secretary-General

    As the Security Council met this morning to consider the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, it had before it a Progress report of the Secretary-General on that situation (document S/2002/977), as well as the text of the draft resolution contained in document S/2002/980.

    The Secretary-General's report provides an update since his last report of 8 March on developments in the political, military, humanitarian and human rights areas, as well as the deployment and activities of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), including support to the Boundary Commission.

    The report states that, during the period under review, the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) remained generally calm. Both sides continued efforts to relocate heavy military equipment to rear areas; however, there had been an increase in accusations and counter-accusations over abuse of local populations which had their origins, according to UNMEE, in disputes over grazing lands.

    The UNMEE's freedom of movement across the southern boundary of the TSZ had been restored, according to the report. However, tightening of immigration formalities by Ethiopian authorities and security searches continue to cause delays. On the Eritrean side, there has been a decrease in restrictions in the area adjacent to the TSZ, primarily due to preparations for the rainy season. No progress has been made in the establishment of direct, high-altitude flight route for UNMEE aircraft between Asmara and Addis Ababa.

    The report states that no meeting of the Military Coordination Commission has been held or requested by the parties since 22 April. It calls regrettable the fact that the Government of Eritrea has not signed the status-of-forces agreement with the United Nations, leaving the model status-of-forces agreement in effect.

    There have been no major changes in the force deployment of UNMEE, according to the report. The Secretary-General deems the Mission's logistical structure generally adequate, with improvements progressing. To provide greater safety for observers in the TSZ, 28 mine-protected vehicles were delivered to UNMEE early in August.

    In the report, the Secretary-General states that he is encouraged by the fact that the parties remained fundamentally committed to the peace process in the period under review. He reiterated his appeal to the two Governments to extend to UNMEE and the Boundary Commission all necessary cooperation for expeditious border demarcation. The United Nations would remain committed to its role through the demarcation phase, the report stated, recommending that the mandate of UNMEE be extended for six months, until 15 March 2003.

    As progress in the peace process allows the parties to focus increasingly on reconstruction and development tasks, the Secretary General also calls on donors to continue assist them in those efforts. Emergency assistance due to the drought was required, and at the same time support was needed for confidence-building measures to achieve lasting reconciliation between the two States and normalization of their bilateral relations.

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