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Ethiopia Accepts Boundary Commission's Ruling on Shared Border


After more than a year, the Ethiopian government has indicated it would accept "in principle" a ruling by an independent commission on the exact location of the countries' shared border.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told parliament that although the independent Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's ruling is, "unjust and unfair," it is not worth going to war over.

He said his country should start talking to Eritrea as soon as possible to implement the commission's ruling.

Mr. Meles said Ethiopia's acceptance of the ruling should put the mind of the international community at ease and assure them war is not imminent between the two countries.

Ethiopia and Eritrea had waged a bitter conflict over their border from 1998 to 2000, during which some 70,000 people were killed.

Under a peace agreement signed in 2000, the independent Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was created to mark the 1,000-kilometer border, while more than 4,000 U.N. peacekeepers were dispatched to ensure the stability of the border.

Last year, Ethiopia rejected the boundary commission's ruling that an area called Badme belongs to Eritrea, effectively stopping a demarcation exercise and keeping the exact location of the border in limbo.

Eritrea had avoided subsequent negotiation efforts, saying that the onus was on Ethiopia to accept the commission's legal and binding ruling.

Since then, U.N. officials, analysts, and others have urged the two countries to come to an agreement over the border so as to avoid another war.

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