18 April 2006

Security Council Extends UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea until 15 May, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1670 (2006)

In Event of Parties' Non-Compliance with Previous Council Demands; Review of Mandate, Troop Levels Likely

NEW YORK, 13 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) for a period of one month, until 15 May, demanding, among other things, that Eritrea reverse its decision to ban the Mission's helicopter flights, and that Ethiopia accept the final and binding decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1670 (2006), the Council affirmed its intention, in the event that the parties had not demonstrated full compliance with the Council's demands, as expressed in resolution 1640 (2005) (see Press Release SC/8561 of 23 November 2005), to review the mandate and troop levels of UNMEE, with a view to possible adjustments of the Mission, including a transformation into an observer mission.

The current mandate had been established by resolution 1661 (2006) of 14 March.  (See Press Release SC/8659 of that date, which also contains a summary of the underlying Secretary-General's report, document S/2006/140.)

The meeting started at 10:07 a.m. and adjourned at 10:10 a.m.


The full text of resolution 1670 (2006) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements pertaining to the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the requirements contained therein, including in particular resolutions 1640 (2005) of 23 November 2005 and 1661 (2006) of 14 March 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,

"Stressing further that lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea (hereinafter referred to as "the parties") as well as in the region cannot be achieved without the full demarcation of the border between the two parties, and recalling that both parties have agreed to accept the determinations of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) as final and binding,

"Reaffirming its strong commitment to ensure that the two parties permit the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to perform its duties without restrictions and provide UNMEE with the necessary access, assistance, support and protection required for the performance of these duties, and in this regard stressing that demarcation of the border cannot proceed unless UNMEE is allowed full freedom of movement throughout its area of operations,

"Welcoming once again the successful convening of the meeting of the Witnesses to the Algiers Agreements on 22 February 2006 in New York, as well as the convening of the EEBC meeting on 10 March 2006 in London and looking forward to the next EEBC meeting,

"Stressing that the unacceptable restrictions on UNMEE, which must be lifted, have drastically reduced the operational capacity for the Mission and could lead to serious implications for the Mission's future,

"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,

"Mindful of 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,

"1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMEE for a period of one month, until 15 May 2006;

"2. Demands that the parties fully comply with resolution 1640 (2005), in particular paragraphs 1 and 5;

"3. 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;

"4. Affirms its intention, in the event it determines that the parties have not demonstrated full compliance with resolution 1640 (2005) by the beginning of May 2006, to review the mandate and troop level of UNMEE by 15 May 2006, with a view to a decision on possible adjustments of UNMEE, as outlined in the Secretary-General's report dated 3 January 2006 (S/2006/1), including inter alia a transformation into an observer mission;

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

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