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ERITREAN-ETHIOPIAN BORDER DISPUTE RESOLVED

ADDIS ABABA, AFRICAN UNION
14 April 2002

Eritrea and Ethiopian have both accepted the ruling issued on Saturday 14 April 2002 by the independent Boundary Commission, established under the terms of the Algiers peace agreement. The two sides fought a bitter two-year war, triggered by a border dispute in May 1998. Both sides accepted that the decision would be final and binding when they signed the Algiers peace accord of December 2000.

The countries fought a bloody two-year war, triggered by a border dispute in May 1998 which claimed tens of thousands of lives. But after a peace agreement signed in December 2000 they agreed that the Boundary Commission would finally rule where the disputed 1,000 km border should lie.

Currently, some 4,200 peacekeepers are on high alert in the region. They are patrolling a 25 km buffer zone between both countries. Eritrea and Ethiopia have maintained a ceasefire since June 2000. The border now has to be physically demarcated by erecting stone pillars. But before that happens tens of thousands of mines which were laid by both forces have to be removed.