Full UN Peacekeeping Force in Horn by Mid-January
All 4,200 soldiers of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) will be deployed along the border between the two countries within a fortnight, a UNMEE spokeswoman said Wednesday.
"The 4,200 will be in the mission area by mid-January," Angela Walker told AFP.
Walker noted that the precise boundaries of the so-called temporary security zone (TSZ) in which the peacekeepers will be deployed have not yet been delineated.
"Negotiations are continuing and we are confident that they will be resolved sooner rather than later," she said.
The creation of the TSZ, a 25-kilometer (16-mile) wide strip of land hugging the length of the Eritrean side of the border, is part of a deal signed in June to halt two years of war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
But the border itself was never properly defined when Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and resulting territorial disputes served as a catalyst for the war, which broke out in May 1998.
The June cessation of hostilities pact was followed in December by a comprehensive peace accord, which both sides signed in Algiers.
Under the peace deal, once the peacekeepers are deployed in the TSZ, Ethiopian troops stationed there since their northward offensive launched in May will redeploy into Ethiopia -- ADDIS ABABA (AFP)