17 May 2000


Press Release
SC/6863



COUNCIL CALLS ON STATES TO PREVENT SALE, DELIVERY OF ARMS TO ETHIOPIA, ERITREA; DEMANDS IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES

20000517

Members Ask OAU to Seek Resumption of Peace Talks, Set Provisional 12-Month Limit on Arms Suspension Measures

The Security Council tonight strongly condemned the continued fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia and demanded that both parties immediately cease all military action and refrain from the further use of force. It further demanded that both parties withdraw their forces from military engagement and take no action that would aggravate tensions.

As it unanimously adopted resolution 1298 (2000), the Council also demanded the earliest possible reconvening, without preconditions, of substantive peace talks, under Organization of African Unity (OAU) auspices, on the basis of the Framework Agreement and the Modalities and of the work conducted by the OAU as recorded in the 5 May communique issued by its current Chairman, which would conclude a peaceful definitive settlement of the conflict. It also requested that the current Chairman of the OAU consider dispatching urgently his Personal Envoy to the region to seek immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of peace talks.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council decided that all States shall prevent the sale or supply to Ethiopia and Eritrea by their nationals or from their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related matériel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territory.

Also by the text, the Council decided that all States shall prevent any provision to those two countries by their nationals or from their territories, of technical assistance or training related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the above items.

It decided also that the measures imposed by the current resolution shall not apply to supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian uses, as approved in advance by the committee established by the current resolution.

The Committee will consist of all the members of the Security Council and will report its observations and recommendations to the Council and undertake tasks, including the following: -- to seek from all States further information regarding the action taken by them with a view to implementing effectively the measures imposed, and thereafter request from them whatever further information it may consider necessary;

-- to consider information brought to its attention by States concerning violations of the measures imposed, and to recommend appropriate measures in response thereto;

-- to make periodic reports to the Council on information submitted to it regarding alleged violations of those measures, identifying where possible persons or entities, including vessels and aircraft, reported to be engaged in such violations; and

-- to promulgate such guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the measures.

By another provision of the text, the Council decided that the measures are established for 12 months and that, at the end of this period, the Council will decide whether the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia have complied with the conditions set out above, and, accordingly, whether to extend those measures for a further period with the same conditions.

The Council also decided that the measures shall be terminated immediately if the Secretary-General reports that a peaceful definitive settlement of the conflict has been concluded.

Further by the text, the Council requested the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia and other concerned parties to establish appropriate arrangements for the provision of humanitarian assistance and endeavour to ensure that such assistance responds to local needs and is safely delivered to, and used by, its intended recipients.

The meeting was called to order at 11:40 p.m. and adjourned at 11:45 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1298 (2000), which was sponsored by Bangladesh, Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States, reads, as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its resolutions 1177 (1998) of 26 June 1998, 1226 (1999) of 29 January 1999, 1227 (1999) of 10 February 1999 and 1297 (2000) of 12 May 2000,

“Recalling in particular its urging of all States to end all sales of arms and munitions to Eritrea and Ethiopia contained in its resolution 1227 (1999),

“Deeply disturbed by the continuation of fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia,

“Deploring the loss of human life resulting from the fighting, and strongly regretting the negative impact the diversion of resources to the conflict continues to have on efforts to address the ongoing humanitarian food crisis in the region,

“Stressing the need for both parties to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict,

“Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Eritrea and Ethiopia,

“Expressing its strong support for the efforts of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict,

“Noting that the proximity talks held in Algiers from 29 April to 5 May 2000 and reported in the OAU Communiqué of 5 May 2000 (S/2000/394) were intended to assist the two parties to arrive at a final detailed peace implementation plan acceptable to each of them, which would lead to the peaceful resolution of the conflict,

“Recalling the efforts of the Security Council, including through its Mission to the region, to achieve a peaceful resolution of the situation,

“Convinced of the need for further and immediate diplomatic efforts,

“Noting with concern that the fighting has serious humanitarian implications for the civilian population of the two States,

“Stressing that the hostilities constitute an increasing threat to the stability, security and economic development of the subregion,

“Determining that the situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia constitutes a threat to regional peace and security,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Strongly condemns the continued fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia;

“2. Demands that both parties immediately cease all military action and refrain from the further use of force;

“3. Demands further that both parties withdraw their forces from military engagement and take no action that would aggravate tensions;

“4. Demands the earliest possible reconvening, without preconditions, of substantive peace talks, under OAU auspices, on the basis of the Framework Agreement and the Modalities and of the work conducted by the OAU as recorded in its Communiqué issued by its current Chairman of 5 May 2000 (S/2000/394), which would conclude a peaceful definitive settlement of the conflict;

“5. Requests that the current Chairman of the OAU consider dispatching urgently his Personal Envoy to the region to seek immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of the peace talks;

“6. Decides that all States shall prevent:

“(a) the sale or supply to Eritrea and Ethiopia, by their nationals or from their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related matériel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territory;

“(b) any provision to Eritrea and Ethiopia by their nationals or from their territories of technical assistance or training related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items in (a) above;

“7. Decides also that the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above shall not apply to supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian use, as approved in advance by the Committee established by paragraph 8 below;

“8. Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council, to undertake the following tasks and to report on its work to the Council with its observations and recommendations:

“(a) to seek from all States further information regarding the action taken by them with a view to implementing effectively the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above, and thereafter to request from them whatever further information it may consider necessary;

“(b) to consider information brought to its attention by States concerning violations of the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above and to recommend appropriate measures in response thereto;

“(c) to make periodic reports to the Security Council on information submitted to it regarding alleged violations of the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above, identifying where possible persons or entities, including vessels and aircraft, reported to be engaged in such violations;

“(d) to promulgate such guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above;

“(e) to give consideration to, and decide upon, requests for the exceptions set out in paragraph 7 above;

“(f) to examine the reports submitted pursuant to paragraphs 11 and 12 below;

“9. Calls upon all States and all international and regional organizations to act strictly in conformity with this resolution, notwithstanding the existence of any rights granted or obligations conferred or imposed by any international agreement or of any contract entered into or any licence or permit granted prior to the entry into force of the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above; “10. Requests the Secretary-General to provide all necessary assistance to the Committee established by paragraph 8 above and to make the necessary arrangements in the Secretariat for this purpose;

“11. Requests States to report in detail to the Secretary-General within 30 days of the date of adoption of this resolution on the specific steps they have taken to give effect to the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above;

“12. Requests all States, relevant United Nations bodies and, as appropriate, other organizations and interested parties to report information on possible violations of the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above to the Committee established by paragraph 8 above;

“13. Requests the Committee established by paragraph 8 above to make information it considers relevant publicly available through appropriate media, including through the improved use of information technology;

“14. Requests the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia and other concerned parties to establish appropriate arrangements for the provision of humanitarian assistance and to endeavour to ensure that such assistance responds to local needs and is safely delivered to, and used by, its intended recipients;

“15. Requests the Secretary-General to submit an initial report to the Council within 15 days of the date of adoption of this resolution on compliance with paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above, and thereafter every 60 days after the date of adoption of this resolution on its implementation and on the humanitarian situation in Eritrea and Ethiopia;

“16. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above are established for twelve months and that, at the end of this period, the Council will decide whether the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia have complied with paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above, and, accordingly, whether to extend these measures for a further period with the same conditions;

“17. Decides also that the measures imposed by paragraph 6 above shall be terminated immediately if the Secretary-General reports that a peaceful definitive settlement of the conflict has been concluded;

“18. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

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