Eritrea OKs Plan To End War
Aug. 08, 1999
ASMARA, Eritrea (AP) _ The Eritrean government has accepted the Organization of African Unity's plan for ending the bloody 15-month border war with Ethiopia, a government statement said Sunday.
Eritrea pledged ``full cooperation with the OAU and the United States in implementing the three agreements,'' which include the framework agreement, procedures and technical arrangements.
The two Horn of Africa nations, which have been at war since May 1998 over areas along their 620-mile shared border, had already accepted an OAU peace plan drafted last year, as well as an OAU update drafted in July.
But they disagreed over terms of implementation, and over which areas of their undemarcated border were actually in dispute.
President Isaias Afwerki made the unconditional offer for cooperation during a meeting with a representative of the OAU chairman, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, on Saturday, the statement said.
Bouteflika's envoy, Ahmed Ouyahya, presented the proposal to Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Friday, but Ethiopia had not yet responded.
Ibrahim Dagash, an OAU spokesman, said Friday that the two African countries were expected to send formal replies to Bouteflika. Details of the proposal have not been made public.
The war started when Eritrean forces occupied territory along the border, which was never officially demarcated after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
The fighting has claimed tens of thousands of lives, mostly soldiers, and driven almost half a million people from their homes.