Chronology of Events


July 2008

On 30 July, the Security Council adopted resolution 1827 which terminated the UN mission to Ethiopia/Eritrea as of 31 July. Earlier, on 29 July, the Secretary-General informed the Council that the UN had consulted Ethiopia and Eritrea about possible options for a follow-on UN presence after the expiration of the mandate of UNMEE. The Secretary-General indicated that both Ethiopia and Eritrea responded that they would not accept any option. 

June 2008

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki wrote a letter to the Council on 18 June stressing that the most important issue for Eritrea was Ethiopian withdrawal from its territories, adding that the UN cannot have legal authority to legitimise occupation. Ethiopian Minister Meles Zenawi said in a letter on 17 June that Ethiopia was open to a UN presence, providing it did not imply or signify a “continuation whatsoever of UNMEE under a new arrangement.”

14 May 2008

Council members discussed the future of UNMEE, regarding the possibility of terminating the mandate of the mission and starting a new UN mission in the region with an appropriately modified mandate to deal with the current situation. 

30 April 2008

The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2008/12) stating that it will “in the light of consultations with the parties, decide on the terms of a future UN engagement and on the future of UNMEE.”

10 March 2008

In a letter to the president of the Council (S/2008/172), Eritrea disputed the Secretary-General’s contention that it had obstructed UNMEE’s relocation.

15 February 2008

The Council condemned Eritrea’s lack of cooperation with UNMEE and stated that it held Eritrea responsible for the safety and security of UNMEE.

11 February 2008

The Secretary-General decided to start relocating UNMEE by land from Eritrea to designated sites in Ethiopia.

1 February 2008

The Secretary-General informed the Council that he had not received a response to his letter to President Afwerki of Eritrea and indicated that if fuel supplies were not reinstated by 6 February he would be compelled to begin relocation of UNMEE from Eritrea to ensure the mission’s safety.

30 January 2008

The Council extended the mandate of UNMEE until 31 July and demanded that the government of Eritrea immediately remove restrictions on fuel supplies to the mission (S/RES/1798).

25 January 2008

The Secretary-General’s Acting Special Representative for UNMEE, Azouz Ennifar, in a report, recommended extending UNMEE’s mandate for only one month in view of the stoppage of fuel supplies.

21 January 2008

The Secretary-General alerted the Council in a letter, indicating that, as a last resort, he would send a letter appealing to Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to intervene personally to ensure reinstatement of fuel supplies.

1 December 2007

Eritrean authorities froze fuel deliveries to UNMEE.

30 November 2007

The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) dissolved itself and considered the boundary between the two countries finalised – marked by co-ordinates and not by placement of actual pillars on the ground.

1 October 2007

The foreign minister of Eritrea called on the UN to ensure implementation of the final border decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) and said that Eritrea had learned of a letter from Ethiopia indicating that it intended to renounce the Algiers Agreements. In response, Ethiopia’s representative dismissed the accusations as “baseless”, while counter-accusing Eritrea of being an obstacle to the full implementation of the Algiers Agreements and the EEBC decision. 

25 September 2007

Reports surfaced of an Ethiopian notification to Asmara, declaring Eritrea in material breach of the 2000 Algiers agreement pursuant to which the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) was established; subsequently, Ethiopia said this allowed it to terminate or suspend the agreement.

6 September 2007

The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) was moved to the Hague after objections by Ethiopia. It was convened to advance the demarcation process but failed to make any progress.

15-16 June 2007

The Council mission visited Addis Ababa. 

April 2007

Eritrea denounced Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia and the deployment of an AU mission (AMISOM) and suspended its membership in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional bloc also comprising Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya.

28 November 2006

Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) decided to give Ethiopia and Eritrea one year to reach agreement on border demarcation.

20 November 2006

Having rejected Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission proposal, both Ethiopia and Eritrea boycotted the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission meeting, which was attended by the Witnesses to the 2000 Algiers Agreement (the UN, the EU, the US and Algeria).

November 2006

The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission announced that because of serious impediments in fulfilling its mandate, it planned to demarcate the border on maps leaving it to the two countries to establish the physical boundary.

19 October 2006

Ethiopia said that it would not react militarily to what it considered a minor provocation.  Eritrea on the other hand rejected the Council’s call to withdraw its troops from the Temporary Security Zone.

16 October 2006

Eritrea moved 1,500 troops and 14 tanks into the Temporary Security Zone, and seized one of UNMEE’s checkpoints.

29 September 2006

The Council adopted resolution 1710 extending the mandate of UNMEE for four months and expressing its intention to transform or reconfigure UNMEE if the parties showed no progress towards border demarcation.

19 September 2006

Eritrean soldiers and military vehicles entered the Temporary Security Zone limiting UNMEE’s ability to patrol the area.

31 May 2006

The Council took the decision to downsize UNMEE.

December 2005

Eritrea expelled UNMEE’s North American and European staff. The Council agreed to a temporary relocation of certain the UNMEE personnel. The Claims Commission issued the ad bellum decision.

23 November 2005

The Council adopted resolution 1640 demanding that Eritrea lifts the restrictions imposed against the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea and that both parties redeploy their troops.

6-9 November 2005

The Council sent Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan to the region.

October 2005

Eritrea introduced limitations on the movement of UNMEE personnel.

February 2005

The Boundary Commission closed down Field Offices.

September 2004

The UNMEE downsized.