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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ADDISABABA4044
2005-12-07 13:33:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

ERITREAN UNMEE EJECTIONS: THE VIEW FROM ADDIS

Tags:   PREL  KPKO  MARR  ET  ER  EE  BORDER 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L ADDIS ABABA 004044 

SIPDIS

AF FOR DAS YAMAMOTO, USUN FOR EMILY BRUNO FROM CHARGE
HUDDLESTON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2015
TAGS: PREL KPKO MARR ET ER EE BORDER
SUBJECT: ERITREAN UNMEE EJECTIONS: THE VIEW FROM ADDIS

REF: ASMARA 01171

Classified By: Charge Vicki Huddleston for reason 1.4 (b,d)



1. (C) On December 7, NATO ambassadors met to review with
UNMEE deputy Amb. Ennifar the Eritrean decision to order the
withdrawal of US, Canadian, European and Russian staff from
UNMEE within ten days. Amidst considerable hand-wringing,
there was consensus that -- as per reftel -- the
international community should "do no harm." There was also
consensus on the Indian ambassador's point that it was
essential to keep UNMEE in place as a buffer between the two
military forces. Most of those present remained convinced
that neither nation wants war. Ennifar said that he had met
with State Minister Tekeda who again promised that Ethiopia
would not start a conflict.



2. (C) The French ambassador wondered if there was some way
the international community could communicate to Isaias they
would be unable to "save" Eritrea as they had in the past, as
Ethiopia would march into Asmara. I said that while we in
the field would likely have limited influence on the UNSC's
response to Eritrea's actions as they had much wider
ramification than just the Eritrea and Ethiopia, I would
certainly urge that the UN proceed cautiously given that
there remains space for a resolution of this conflict.



3. (C) I spoke separately Dec. 7 with Director of Europe and
North America Grum, who said that he wouldn't be surprised if
Isaias decided to allow UNMEE to return to full operations 24
hours prior to the sanction deadline. Isaias' rationale for
ordering Westerners out, according to Grum, was to force
Ethiopia to suspend plans to withdraw troops as ordered by
the UNSC, and thus force the UN to sanction Ethiopia. When
asked if this meant that the GOE was still committed to
re-deploying its troops to their December 2004 positions,
Grum's answer was that Ethiopia would not be caught in
Isaias' game.



4. (C) COMMENT: My recommendation is that we continue with
the diplomatic initiatives outlined by DAS Yamamoto during
his recent visit to Addis Ababa. END COMMENT
HUDDLESTON