The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to extend the mandate of the UN mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) by six months until January 31 next year.
In a resolution, the 15-member council urged the parties concerned to maintain their full commitment to a ceasefire agreement and to de-escalate the situation by avoiding provocative military activities.
It urged Eritrea to immediately pull out its troops and heavy military equipment from the "Temporary Security Zone" (TSZ) and called on Ethiopia to reduce the number of additional military forces recently introduced in certain areas near the TSZ.
The council also repeated its demand that Eritrea reverse all restrictions on the movement and operations of the UNMEE and provide the UNMEE with necessary cooperation, access, protection and support.
Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993 but relations between the two neighbors remained tense. A border war erupted in 1998, costing about 70,000 lives.
In June 2000, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a ceasefire agreement after proximity talks led by Algeria and the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union).
In July, the UN Security Council set up the UNMEE to maintain liaison with the parties and establish a mechanism for verifying the ceasefire. In September 2000, the Security Council authorized deployment within UNMEE of up to 4,200 military personnel to monitor the cessation of hostilities and to help ensure the observance of security commitments.
As of June 30, the UNMEE had 1,684 military personnel, 148 international civilians, 209 local civilians and 61 UN volunteers.
Last Mod: 31 Temmuz 2007, 15:28