Ethiopia / Eritrea - EP 1

Episode
(1)
Duration: 17-May-2000 to 16-May-2001

After Ethiopia launched an offensive to break the stalemate in early May 2000, the Security Council passed UNSCR 1298 on 17 May 2000, imposing a one-year arms embargo on both states, demanding an immediate ceasefire and a return to peace talks. Ethiopia effectively won the war eight days later, capturing all the contested territory. After Eritrea declared its intention to withdraw from the Ethiopian territory it still occupied along the border, Ethiopia formally declared the war over on 25 May. Ethiopia effectively occupied 25% of Eritrean territory and had displaced an estimated 650,000 people. Both countries accepted the terms of the OAU sponsored Algiers Agreement of 18 June 2000 that established a temporary security zone along the disputed border, called for troop withdrawals, forwarded the dispute to the Hague Boundary Commission, and laid the basis for a UN PKO (UNMEE). A formal peace agreement was signed on 12 December 2000, and on the eve of the scheduled termination of the sanctions, a Presidential Statement declared the Council's decision not to extend the arms embargo after 16 May 2001.


Coerce

Coerce the governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia to agree to a ceasefire and resume peace talks.

Constrain

Constrain both from escalating the war.

Signal

Signal support for OAU efforts to mediate the conflict.


Mandatory

Arms imports embargo to Ethiopia and Eritrea (government forces).


Sanctions were imposed for a limited time period (1 year). Sanctions Committee created, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Enforcement authorities not specified.


Coercion

Ineffective

Policy outcome

A ceasefire and peace agreement were agreed to by the end of 2000.

Sanctions contribution

UN arms embargo was imposed only eight days before Ethiopia declared military victory; changes on the ground were most significant to the outcome.

Constraint

Ineffective

Policy outcome

No discernible constraints were experienced by the targets before the cessation of the conflict.

Sanctions contribution

Given the limited amount of time to implement the arms embargo.

Signaling

Ineffective

Policy outcome

Support for OAU mediation clearly signaled, and both countries clearly encouraged to engage in OAU mediated talks.

Sanctions contribution

Military changes on the ground were most significant to the outcome (agreement to OAU mediation).


17-05-2000

Substantive

  • Imposes arms imports embargo to Ethiopia and Eritrea (1 year) and specifies humanitarian exemption.

Procedural

  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Requests Committee to make information it considers relevant publicly available.
  • Requests MS reporting.

31-07-2000

Substantive

  • Adds UNMAS exemption to UNSCR 1298 arms imports embargo.

Procedural

  • Establishes UNMEE (6 months) and specifies its mandate.

15-09-2000

Substantive

  • Adds UN exemption to UNSCR 1298 arms imports embargo.

15-05-2001

Substantive

  • Terminates UNSCR 1298 arms imports embargo on 16.05.2001.