SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN AT DECISION OF ERITREA TO RESTRICT FLIGHTS OF UN MISSION HELICOPTERS

4 October 2005
SC/8519

SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN AT DECISION OF ERITREA TO RESTRICT FLIGHTS OF UN MISSION HELICOPTERS

04/10/2005
Security Council
SC/8519
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5276th Meeting (Night)

SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN AT DECISION OF ERITREA

TO RESTRICT FLIGHTS OF UN MISSION HELICOPTERS

Action Said to Threaten Ability of UNMEE to Carry Out

Mandate; Presidential Statement Calls for Immediate Reversal

The Security Council tonight called upon the Government of Eritrea to reverse its decision to restrict all helicopter flights of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) within Eritrean airspace or coming to the country, effective tomorrow, and to provide the Mission with the access, assistance, support and protection needed to perform its duties.

In a statement read out by the Council’s President, Mihnea Ioan Motoc (Romania), the Council emphasized that Eritrea’s decision, which would have serious implications for UNMEE’s ability to carry out its mandate and for the safety of its staff, gravely contravenes the Council’s call to that effect in its resolution 1312 (2000), as well as the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities signed by the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2000 in Algiers.

The Council further underlined the need to implement the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission without further delay, enabling UNMEE to fulfil its mandate.

Reaffirming that both parties bear the primary responsibility for implementing the Algiers Agreement and the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, the Council also called on both parties to show maximum restraint and to refrain from any threat of the use of force against each other.

The meeting began at 6:20 p.m. and adjourned at 6:24 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/2005/47, reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the decision of the Government of Eritrea to restrict all types of United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) helicopter flights within Eritrean airspace or coming to Eritrea, effective as of 5 October 2005, which will have serious implications for UNMEE’s ability to carry out its mandate and for the safety of its staff.

“Recalling all previous resolutions and statements of its President regarding the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Security Council emphasizes that the aforementioned decision of the Government of Eritrea gravely contravenes the Council’s call in Resolution 1312 (2000) on the parties to provide UNMEE with the access, assistance, support, and protection required for the performance of its duties, as well as the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities signed in Algiers on 18 June 2000 between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea (S/2000/601).

“The Security Council further underlines the need for implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission without further delay, which will enable UNMEE to fulfil its mandate.

“The Security Council reaffirms that both parties bear the primary responsibility for the implementation of the Algiers Agreements and the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.

“The Security Council calls upon the Government of Eritrea to immediately reverse its decision and to provide UNMEE with the access, assistance, support and protection required for the performance of its duties.  It also calls on both parties to cooperate fully and expeditiously with UNMEE in the implementation of its mandate.

“The Security Council also calls on both parties to show maximum restraint and to refrain from any threat of use of force against each other.

“The Security Council reiterates its call upon both parties to achieve a full normalization of their relationship including through political dialogue between them for the adoption of further confidence-building measures and to consolidate progress achieved so far.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.