Expressing grave concern at the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea and its implication for the region, the Security Council this afternoon urged the two States to exhaust all means to achieve a peaceful settlement of their border dispute.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1177 (1998), the Council condemned the use of force and demanded that the parties refrain from its further use and to immediately cease hostilities. It welcomed their commitment to a moratorium on the threat of and use of air strikes.
The Council called upon the parties to avoid any steps which would aggravate tensions, such as provocative actions or statements, and to take steps to build confidence between them, including guaranteeing the rights and safety of each other's nationals.
It expressed strong support for the decision of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 10 June 1998 to dispatch a mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (embodied in document S/1998/494), and called upon the two countries to cooperate fully with the organization. The Council urged the OAU to follow up as quickly as possible. (By that decision, the OAU Assembly dispatched a delegation of heads of State and government of the member States of the Central Organ of OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, led by the current OAU Chairman, to Ethiopia and Eritrea for talks on the conflict.)
By other terms of today's resolution, the Council asked the Secretary- General to make available his good offices in support of a peaceful resolution of the conflict and said it stood ready to consider further recommendations to that end. The Secretary-General was also to provide technical support to Ethiopia and Eritrea to assist in the eventual delimitation and demarcation of their common border. Towards that end, the Council established a trust fund and urged all Member States to contribute to it.
The meeting, which was called to order at 12:40 p.m., was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
The text of the resolution is as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Expressing grave concern at the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, its political, humanitarian and security implications for the region, and its effect on the civilian populations there,
"Affirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Eritrea,
"Affirming the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes and stressing that the use of armed force is not acceptable as a means of addressing territorial disputes or changing circumstances on the ground,
"Noting that the official statements by the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Eritrea pledging to discontinue the threat of and use of air strikes in the conflict have contributed to the continuation of the efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict, reduced the threat to the civilian populations as well as the economic and social infrastructure, and enabled the resumption of normal economic activity, including commercial transportation,
"Noting the strong traditional ties between Ethiopia and Eritrea,
"Welcoming the official statements by the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Eritrea that they share the ultimate goal of delimiting and demarcating their common border on the basis of a mutually agreeable and binding arrangement, taking into account the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), colonial treaties, and international law applicable to such treaties,
"Noting the resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers of the OAU in special session on 5 June 1998 (S/1998/485),
"Commending the efforts of the OAU and of others, in cooperation with the OAU, to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict,
"1. Condemns the use of force and demands that both parties immediately cease hostilities and refrain from further use of force;
"2. Welcomes the commitment of the parties to a moratorium on the threat of and use of air strikes;
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6535 3895th Meeting (PM) 26 June 1998
"3. Urges the parties to exhaust all means to achieve a peaceful settlement of the dispute;
"4. Expresses its strong support for the decision of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the OAU on 10 June 1998 (S/1998/494) as well as for the mission and efforts of the Heads of State of the OAU and urges the OAU to follow up as quickly as possible;
"5. Calls upon the parties to cooperate fully with the OAU;
"6. Also calls upon the parties to avoid any steps which would aggravate tensions such as provocative actions or statements and to take steps to build confidence between them including by guaranteeing the rights and safety of each other's nationals;
"7. Requests the Secretary-General to make available his good offices in support of a peaceful resolution of the conflict and stands ready to consider further recommendations to this end;
"8. Requests the Secretary-General to provide technical support to the parties to assist in the eventual delimitation and demarcation of the common border between Ethiopia and Eritrea and, for this purpose, establishes a Trust Fund and urges all Member States to contribute to it; and
"9. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
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