Analysis Brief

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Prepared by: Esther Pan
January 13, 2006


The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, proposes sending a high-level team of Americans to the Ethiopia/Eritrea border to help settle the simmering border conflict there (BBC). Eritrea objects to the mission, questioning its legality and saying it would only accept rulings that forced Ethiopia to accept a border agreed to in peace talks after the last war (SAPA-AFP). Periodic border clashes between the neighboring countries, explained in this CFR Background Q&A, have raised fears the two countries could revert to war. Past peacekeeping operations in Africa have a mixed record, as this CFR Background Q&A shows. The International Crisis Group presents a report on preventing war in the region, as well as a history of the conflict. Author Michela Wrong analyses the animosity between the neighbors (BBC), and Michael Clough of Human Rights Watch testifies before Congress in May 2005 about the human rights situation in the two countries.

Related link: UN Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission

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