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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ADDISABABA2810
2006-10-17 15:52:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Addis Ababa
Cable title:  

ETHIOPIA: UNMEE SAYS ACTION NECESSARY TO PREVENT

Tags:   MOPS  PREL  PTER  ER  ET 
pdf how-to read a cable
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OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2810/01 2901552
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O 171552Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 7008
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2939
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002810 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

AF FOR DAS YAMAMOTO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2016
TAGS: MOPS PREL PTER ER ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: UNMEE SAYS ACTION NECESSARY TO PREVENT
"IRREVERSIBLE" ERITREAN OCCUPATION OF TSZ

REF: ADDIS ABABA 2739

Classified By: CHARGE VICKI HUDDLESTON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002810

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

AF FOR DAS YAMAMOTO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2016
TAGS: MOPS PREL PTER ER ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: UNMEE SAYS ACTION NECESSARY TO PREVENT
"IRREVERSIBLE" ERITREAN OCCUPATION OF TSZ

REF: ADDIS ABABA 2739

Classified By: CHARGE VICKI HUDDLESTON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).


1. (C) Summary. The United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and
Eritrea (UNMEE) Deputy Special Representative Ambassador
Azouz Ennifar invited representatives of the United Nations
Security Council permanent members to a briefing October 17
to discuss Eritrea's movement into the temporary security
zone (TSZ). Ennifar reiterated the UN Secretary General's
call for the Eritrean government to withdraw its troops from
TSZ immediately and to cooperate with the UN in restoring the

SIPDIS
ceasefire agreement. He reported that the Eritrean Defense
Forces (EDF) had move approximately 1,500 troops and 14 tanks
into the TSZ, but as of 1000 hrs (0300 hrs Washington) no
further movements had been detected. Ennifar said that the
Eritreans movement into the TSZ was likely a move to
reestablish sovereignty over its "occupied" territory. He
feared that if the international community did not react with
a "serious response" to the incursion, Eritrea's presence in
the TSZ would likely be reinforced and ultimately
irreversible. End Summary.


2. (SBU) Ambassadors and representatives from the United
Kingdom, France, Japan, Russia, and Norway met October 17
with Deputy Special Representative Ambassador Azouz Ennifar
and UNMEE Deputy Force Commander via teleconference.
Ambassador's special assistant was notetaker.

ERITREAN MOVEMENTS REPORTED BY UNMEE
--------------


3. (C) Ambassador Ennifar reported that shortly before 0800
hrs October 16, Eritrean militia notified UNMEE personnel at
a checkpoint in Sector West that it has declared an emergency
situation and ordered them to return to their barracks.
Ennifar explained that UNMEE "law and order" regulations
stipulate that UNMEE personnel must comply with militia
instructions during a declared emergency situation. After
the takeover of the checkpoint, Ennifar noted, two incursions

by the Eritrean military into Sector West of the TSZ: one
movement initiated at 0800 hrs October 16 from Karakesh
towards Shambiko and the other initiated at 0830 hrs October
16 from Maluba towards Om Hajer .


4. (C) Ennifar reported that 0800 movement towards Shambiko
consisted five tanks, one possible air defense artillery, a
bulldozer, two jeep vehicles carrying an unspecified number
of EDF soldiers, and 400-500 EDF soldiers armed with AK47
rifles on foot. He said the 0830 movement towards Om Hajer
consisted of an armed army battalion (approximately 1000
soldiers) on foot, 10 tanks, RPGs, BKM machine guns and one
rocket launcher. Ennifar noted that as of 1000 hrs (0300 hrs
Washington) October 17 no further movements had been detected.


5. (C) Ennifar said Eritrea has imposed restrictions on its
activities in Sector West and UNMEE's current monitoring
capability in the area is severely limited.

POSSIBLE MOTIVATIONS
--------------


6. (C) Ennifar stated that these two military movements from
the Eritrean government is the first of its kind since the
Algiers Agreement and establishment of the TSZ. He posited
that there were two possible motivations for such action.
Ennifar explained that the traditional harvesting season may
have triggered such a movement but rhetorically asked why
tanks were necessary to harvest crops. According to Ennifar,
a second, more likely, motivation for the incursion in the
TSZ was Eritrean's desire to reestablish sovereignty over its

SIPDIS
"occupied" territory and collapse the security zone
altogether. Ennifar said that the Government of Eritrea
views UNMEE as an instrument of the Government of Ethiopia to
occupy its territory by proxy.


7. (C) When asked by Charge if Eritrea's military movements
along the border might be a provocation, Ennifar said that
while these actions were clearly meant to be "seen" as they
occurred in broad daylight, it was unclear what the true
motivations might be. The French Ambassador asked if these
actions might be a mechanism to test the Ethiopian military.
Ennifar responded by saying that Eritrea's actions would
certainly have an impact on the entire region.

ADDIS ABAB 00002810 002 OF 002



UNMEE RECOMMENDATION
--------------


8. (C) Ennifar said that if the international community did
not react with a "serious response" to the incursion,
Eritrea's presence in the TSZ would likely be reinforced and
ultimately irreversible. He suggested that the international
community condemn Eritrea's actions and compell Eritrea to
uphold the ceasefire agreement. Ennifar added that Eritrea's
latest actions were an example of why the UNMEE mandate must
be renewed and maintained at its current level. Ennifar said
that UNMEE will continue to keep the border as well
controlled as possible, but cautioned that without UNMEE,
these events might have been "dramatic."
HUDDLESTON