13 October 2008 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has transmitted to the Security Council the last report issued by the independent commission on Ethiopia and Eritrea’s common boundary.
In 2002, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission handed down a final and binding decision awarding Badme, the town that triggered fierce fighting between the neighbouring Horn of Africa nations, to Eritrea. But the two countries have since been at an impasse on that demarcation.
The report notes that the body’s mandate has been fulfilled and that all administrative issues connected to its termination have wrapped up.
The Commission has given both sides a deadline of 26 November 2007 in which to place pillars on the boundary.
In a letter sent to the two countries in June, it wrote that “as there has been no communication from the parties, the Commission must now reach the conclusion that… no further activity on its part is called for, and that it should therefore take the few final steps involved in winding up its operations,” including returning resources to the United Nations.
The final report said that it received a response from Asmara, but none from Addis Ababa.
In July, the Security Council voted unanimously voted to terminate the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, known as UNMEE, after restrictions placed on the peacekeeping operation by the latter country undermined its ability to carry out its mandate.
As such, Mr. Ban said in his recent letter to the 15-member body that he will no longer provide regular reports on the situation between the two nations.
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