This month is the anniversary of the of the 2002 decision by the Eritrea – Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC). The EEBC ruled on April 13, 2002 ((http://www.pca-cpa.org/showfile.asp?fil_id=1968)) delimiting the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The Commission’s authority to rule on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia was based on the mutual agreement of Eritrea and Ethiopia in the Algiers Agreement of 2000.
The Algiers Agreement of 2000, in Article 15 states that the decision of boundary commission would be “final and binding.” ((http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/ER%20ET_001212_AgreementEritreaEthiopia.pdf)) Since the “final and binding” decision of the EEBC, Ethiopia has called for variances which have been soundly rejected by the Commission owing to the “final and binding” nature of the decision. ((http://www.pca-cpa.org/upload/files/Statement%20271106.pdf)) Ultimately the Boundary Commission grew so frustrated with the intransigence of the parties in allowing the physical demarcation, that they discharged their duties using the method of “virtual demarcation.” ((http://www.pca-cpa.org/showfile.asp?fil_id=1023))
Until such time as the boundary is finally demarcated, the Delimitation Decision of 13 April 2002 continues as the only valid legal description of the boundary.” ((http://www.pca-cpa.org/showfile.asp?fil_id=1023)) Since this virtual demarcation, it is abundantly clear where the boundary between the two countries lie. Ethiopian troops continue to occupy lands belonging to Eritrea, raising tensions throughout the region and complicating any rapprochement.
In a unique bid to raise awareness for the border demarcation and the ongoing occupation of Eritrea, twenty-five cyclists from ten different countries (Eritrea, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) will cycle more than 1700 km from Sweden to Switzerland. Cyclists also ask the end of the sanctions on Eritrea, which can be an added value that will strengthen peace and stability back around the horn of Africa. ((http://www.tesfanews.net/solidarity-from-the-italian-cycling-federation-f-c-i/#f29LjJCmK6mlYpH9.99))
To understand the conflict, it may be helpful to understand the events that immediately led to the conflict.
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