Press Statement
U.S. Department of State
Richard Boucher, Spokesman

Washington, DC
May 11, 2004

Ethiopia: Incursions into Temporary Security Zone; Eritrea: Restrictions on United Nations Mission

The United States is disturbed by reports that Ethiopian militia have entered the Temporary Security Zone between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The United Nations Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) monitors the Temporary Security Zone and any probing from Ethiopia is considered a provocative action. We ask the Government of Ethiopia to prevent further incursions into the Temporary Security Zone in accordance with the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities.

The United States is also concerned about reports that the Government of Eritrea has limited the movement and activities of the United Nations Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE). We call on the Government of Eritrea to allow full freedom of movement and to immediately lift without any preconditions any and all restrictions on and impediments to the work of UNMEE.

Both Ethiopia and Eritrea accepted as final and binding the decision April 2002 made by the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission. We call on Ethiopia and Eritrea to allow the United Nations to physically mark the border in accordance with that decision.


Released on May 11, 2004