Erythrea – Ethiopia – UNMEE




The conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia began in May 1998, following a territorial dispute.

Despite the efforts of the U.N. Secretary General, the armed conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia broke out again, on the 12th of  May 2000. Following the 1297 U.N. Resolution, dated on the 12th of May 2000, the U.N. Security Council expressed its concern about the new armed conflict and stressed that the new outbreak of violence would have heavy civilian casualties on both sides. Following the 1298 U.N. Resolution, dated on the 17th of May 2000, restriction measures were imposed, regarding sales and supply of arms, ammunition, military vehicles, equipment and spare-parts as well as provision of technical support or training for construction or use of arms.

Since March of 2000, it is estimated that more than 370.000 citizens in Eritrea and 350.000 in Ethiopia have been affected by the war. The situation in many parts of Ethiopia got worse due to draught, which led to a wide shortage of food, affecting a population of almost 8 million people.

Following the No. 1312 U.N. Security Council, Resolution dated on the 31st of June 2000, a U.N. Observers Unit was established, UNMEE, consisting of 100 military observers and adequate number of civil personnel, on the borders between the two states, to act as a liaison between the two conflicting parties, establish a verification mechanism to monitor cease-fire and pave the way for the development of a Peacekeeping Mission.

Following No. the 1320 UNSC, dated on  the 15th of September 2000,  a decision was taken to increase the strength of UNMEE to an amount of 4077 military and 490 civil personnel. The UNMEE assumed the following tasks:

  • To monitor the cease fire and the termination of hostilities, and to investigate the reports on armistice violations.
  • To ensure that security obligations, agreed by concerned parties, are implemented.
  • To control re-allocation of the forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the areas where conflicts had taken place.
  • To monitor the temporary security zone, to ensure compliance with the Agreement on hostilities cessation.
  • To coordinate and provide technical assistance for humanitarian activities and to de-mine temporary security zone and the areas around it.


The following countries have allocated personnel to UNMEE: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Benin, B-H, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Rep., Denmark, Finland, France, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia Fed., Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa ,Spain , Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania , Tunisia, Ukraine, the U.SA., the U.K., Uruguay, and Zambia.

Since the 6th of March 2001, Greece has allocated three (3) cadres (two (2) from Navy and one (1) from the Air Force) to the Mission.