Accessibility links

Ethiopia, Eritrea, Await International Boundary Ruling - 2002-04-12

The international boundary commission on Ethiopia and Eritrea plans to issue its ruling Saturday laying out the border between the two Horn of Africa rivals.

In a joint statement (Thursday), the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity again called on the two countries to respect their pledges to abide by the ruling.

Saturday's decision by the Hague-based commission will come 16 months after the end of two years of armed conflict between the two countries in which tens of thousands died. The war broke out in May 1998 after Ethiopia accused Eritrean forces of moving into three Ethiopian-controlled border towns.

While both governments have pledged to abide by the decision, analysts have warned of possible domestic troubles in Ethiopia if the ruling is viewed as being unfavorable.

The U-N boundary commission was established after the two governments signed a formal peace deal in December 2000. U-N peacekeepers have been patrolling the border zone since and officials say they will remain until physical demarcation begins.