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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 13:49 GMT
Peace 'undermined' by Ethiopia
Badme village
Dusty Badme spawned the Ethiopia-Eritrea war

Ethiopia has been accused of trying to hinder the peace process with Eritrea.

Both Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to abide by the Hague-based Boundary Commission's demarcation of the border when they signed the Algiers peace agreement in December 2000 ending a bitter war.

But in a report to the UN Security Council, the independent team tasked with establishing the common border accused Ethiopia of seeking variations to the border in an attempt to "undermine" final and binding decisions taken last April.

The Ethiopian authorities are known to be extremely concerned that the symbolically important village of Badme could end up in Eritrean territory.

Concern

The boundary commission report said that both sides had been asked to give technical comments on the final border map submitted to them in December, but Ethiopia's response went far beyond that.

"The main thrust of the Ethiopian comments is that the boundary should be varied so as to take better account of human and physical geography," the report stated.

The boundary commission reiterated that it could not change the decisions already and change the border.

It also expressed concern at Ethiopian comments to the effect that it would only accept the demarcation process if changes could still be made.

Tens of thousands died in the two-and-a-half year war that started when Eritrean forces occupied Ethiopian-administered Badme in May 1998.

The 5,000 Ethiopian residents of Badme are unlikely to know officially if they are in Ethiopia or Eritrea until boundary pillars are placed along the border.




SEE ALSO:
Eritrea-Ethiopia border defined
13 Apr 02 |  Africa
Border a geographer's nightmare
12 May 00 |  Africa
Q&A: The Horn's bitter war
12 Apr 02 |  Africa


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