UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on the international community Friday to provide generous support for Eritrea and Ethiopia as they prepared formally to end their war in the Horn of Africa.
"I appeal to the international community to assist and to give, and give generously," Annan told a press conference in the Ethiopian capital two days after declaring that the border conflict, which broke out in May 1998, was over.
"Now that the war is over, we should begin the urgent task of reconstruction and economic and social development both in Ethiopia and Eritrea," Annan said, before leaving for the Eritrean capital Asmara.
The UN chief added that he will attend the signing of a comprehensive peace treaty between the two countries on Tuesday in Algiers and called the accord a "very positive step for both sides and for all of Africa."
A cease-fire between Eritrea and Ethiopia was brokered in mid-June by the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Algeria had then held the rotating presidency of the pan-African organization, which went to Togo in July.
The first of around 4,500 UN blue berets armed with a peacekeeping mandate began to deploy in November for what the UN hopes will be a successful mission on a continent where the international body has suffered several setbacks -- ADDIS ABABA (AFP)
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