UN chairs meeting with military officials from Ethiopia and Eritrea

Participants at the twenty-second Military Coordination Commission (MCC) reached agreement on a framework and timetable to establish Sector Military Co-ordination Commissions which will be responsible for addressing security issues at the local level and investigating any security incidents occurring along the southern boundary of the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ).The Force Commander of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), Major-General Robert Gordon, who chaired the meeting, welcomed the recent appointment of Ambassador Lloyd Axworthy as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy. He added that since the last MCC meeting in December 2003, the international community had intensified its diplomatic efforts to move the peace process forward.Turning to the military situation in the Mission’s area of responsibility, General Gordon said that while the atmosphere in the border areas remained politically tense, the situation was militarily stable. Eritrean Brigadier-General Abrahaley Kifle disagreed with this assessment, saying there was no military stability on the border between his country and Ethiopia while Ethiopia continued to occupy parts of Eritrea. On the issue of demarcation of the border, he stressed that Eritrea did not have any differences with Ethiopia because a decision had already been made by the Boundary Commission. Brigadier-General Yohannes Gebremeskel of Ethiopia expressed appreciation for UNMEE’s efforts in trying to bring the peace process to a satisfactory conclusion. He said that Ethiopia supported any diplomatic activity which would achieve this end and reiterated that his country was keen to find a lasting solution to demarcation.The Commission is slated to meet again on 15 March in Nairobi. read more