Letter: End a futile war

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Patrick Gilkes ("The biggest conflict in the world", 22 June) is right to stress that a negotiated settlement of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia requires international pressure.

UN Security Council Resolution 1227 of 10 February emphasised that the OAU Framework Agreement (FA) is the basis for peaceful resolution of the conflict, and demanded an immediate end to the hostilities.

Eritrea accepted the FA in a letter of 27 February to the UN Secretary- General.

The chair of the OAU, President Blaise Compaore, sent a mission to Asmara at the end of April, and the Eritreans reiterated their commitment to the FA. Out of the blue on 10 June the Eritrean Mission to the UN was handed a letter from President Compaore, dated 20 May, endorsing Ethiopia's demand that Eritrea must withdraw from "all occupied Ethiopian territories".

The delineation of the boundary between the two states is a matter for an international commission, and cannot be settled now on the basis of Ethiopian claims.

It is urgently necessary that the Security Council takes a more active role in stopping this destructive and futile war. Perhaps the Secretary- General could visit Asmara and Addis Ababa, and appeal for the immediate implementation of the ceasefire demanded by the Security Council in February.

ERIC AVEBURY

(Lord Avebury)

House of Lords

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