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Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Process in Crisis, Warns Ethiopian PM - 2003-09-24

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has warned the United Nations that the peace process with Eritrea is in crisis.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Mr. Meles urged the world body to create an alternative mechanism to draw the border of the two Horn of Africa neighbors. The twice-delayed physical demarcation of the border is set to begin in October.

The Ethiopian president said the work of the border commission is in "terminal crisis," and added its ruling is a recipe for continued instability and recurring wars.

Last year, the Hague-based Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission decided on the border between the two nations, granting the key contested town of Badme to Eritrea. Although both countries have promised to abide by the decision, Ethiopia has challenged the commission's ruling repeatedly.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a two-year border war which cost at least 70,000 lives. The war ended in 2000 with a cease-fire.