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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Ethiopian official wants border clarification
Badme
Dusty Badme spawned the Ethiopia-Eritrea war
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By Nita Bhalla
BBC Ethiopia correspondent
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A senior Ethiopian official has called on a independent commission, set up to settle the disputed border with Eritrea, to clarify where exactly the disputed village of Badme lies.


"Some say (Badme) is on the line, some say it is west of the line and some say it is east of line. Where does it lies?

Solomon Inquai
The western frontier village of Badme was the source of the two-and-a-half-year war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, in which tens of thousands died.

Although an independent boundary commission based in The Hague has this month decided who gets what along the 1000 km border (600 miles), the issue of Badme is far from clear.

Both countries claim that the village has been awarded to them.

'Emotional attachment'

Solomon Inquai, Parliamentary speaker in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, says the ruling has confused villagers in the border regions.

Dr Solomon Inquai
Inquai wants the commission to spell things out
Mr Inquai, who is also a central committee member of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, says the Boundary Commission's report "could have been much more clearer by specifying areas and certain points on either side of the line".

"Some say (Badme) is on the line, some say it is west of the line and some say it is east of line. Where does it lies? I guess we are waiting for the cartographers to tell us exactly where Badme is on the map".

Mr Inquai added that among Ethiopians there was "emotional attachment" to Badme.

"The Eritreans invaded Badme and a lot of people have been killed there," he says.

Personal opinion

In the commission's rules of procedure, there is a provision that both governments have 30 days to ask the commission for clarifications.

Badme residents
The villagers say Badme has been in Ethiopia for generations
Mr Inquai says the authorities in Addis Ababa should do so in order to "put the people's minds at rest."

Mr Inquai says he has no doubt that Badme belongs to Ethiopia.

But he argues that having this confirmed by the commission would put an end to the confusion of those who "every night" hear on Eritrean TV that Badme has been awarded to Eritrea.

Mr Solomon, however, said he was not speaking on behalf of the government, but giving his personal opinion.

See also:

22 Apr 02 | Africa
Badme: Village in no man's land
14 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea accepts border ruling
13 Apr 02 | Africa
Eritrea-Ethiopia border defined
24 Feb 02 | Africa
UN envoys upbeat after Horn tour
06 Feb 02 | Africa
Ethiopians await border results
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