Expressing grave concern about the risk of armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea over their border dispute, the Security Council this afternoon strongly urged Eritrea to accept an Organization of African Unity (OAU) Framework Agreement for its settlement.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1226 (1999), the Council expressed its strong support for the OAU's mediation efforts and for the Framework Agreement, affirming that the Agreement, already accepted by Ethiopia, provided the best hope for peace between the parties. The Council stressed that it was of primary importance that the Agreement be accepted and fully implemented without delay.
The Council strongly urged Ethiopia and Eritrea to maintain their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the border dispute, and, in the strongest terms, called upon them to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from taking any military action.
They were also urged to work for a reduction in tensions by adopting policies leading to the restoration of confidence between their Governments and peoples, including urgent measures to improve the humanitarian situation and respect for human rights.
The Council welcomed the Secretary-General's continued engagement in support of the OAU peace process and endorsed his decision to send his Special Envoy for Africa, Mohamed Sahnoun, to the region in support of the OAU efforts.
The meeting, which began at 1:20 p.m., was adjourned at 1:25 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1226 (1999) is as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 1177 (1998) of 26 June 1998,
"Expressing grave concern over the risk of armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the escalating arms build-up along the common border between the two countries,
"Noting that armed conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea would have a devastating effect on the peoples of the two countries and the region as a whole,
"Recognizing that the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of both the Ethiopian and Eritrean Governments during the last eight years have given hope to the rest of the continent, all of which would be put at risk by armed conflict,
"Commending the efforts of concerned countries and regional bodies aimed at facilitating a peaceful solution to the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea,
"1. Expresses its strong support for the mediation efforts of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and for the Framework Agreement as approved by the Central Organ Summit of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, and Resolution on 17 December 1998 (S/1998/1223, annex), and affirms that the OAU Framework Agreement provides the best hope for peace between the two parties;
"2. Endorses the decision by the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy for Africa to the region in support of OAU efforts;
"3. Stresses that it is of primary importance that the OAU Framework Agreement be accepted, and calls for cooperation with the OAU and full implementation of the Framework Agreement without delay;
"4. Welcomes the acceptance by Ethiopia of the OAU Framework Agreement;
"5. Welcomes Eritrea's engagement with the new OAU process, notes the fact that the OAU has responded to Eritrea's request for clarifications of the Framework Agreement and, in this regard, strongly urges Eritrea to accept the
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6636 3973th Meeting (PM) 29 January 1999
Framework Agreement as the basis for a peaceful resolution of the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea without delay;
"6. Calls on both parties to work for a reduction in tensions by adopting policies leading to the restoration of confidence between the Governments and peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea, including urgent measures to improve the humanitarian situation and respect for human rights;
"7. Strongly urges Ethiopia and Eritrea to maintain their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the border dispute and calls upon them in the strongest terms to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from taking any military action;
"8. Welcomes the Secretary-General continued engagement in support of the OAU peace process;"
"9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
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