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Vol 49 No 7

Published 28th March 2008


Eritrea

The border deadlock

The UN is casting around for big ideas to end the dangerous stalemate of the future of the border - but none have emerged yet

Next week, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to deliver a report on the Ethiopian-Eritrean border dispute which Ethiopia hopes will break the logjam and deliver a diplomatic victory, perhaps even sanctions, against Eritrea. On past form, Addis Ababa's diplomats will probably be disappointed, although UN sentiment has turned in their favour since Eritrea effectively made it impossible for the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to operate in the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ), the 25-kilometre strip of land which separates the two sides along the border. Eritrea barred UNMEE from using helicopter surveillance and then from importing fuel for its vehicles, effectively ending its patrols. The UN was therefore forced to announce a 'temporary' relocation of UNMEE from Eritrea.

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