No official commitment to sign peace agreement

The Ethiopian government says it has agreed to send a delegation to Algeria on 12 December in connection with ongoing peace negotiations with Eritrea, at the invitation of Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika. However, diplomatic sources told IRIN that there was no stated commitment on the part of Ethiopia to sign a peace agreement. UN sources also say there has been no official confirmation of Ethiopia’s commitment to sign.

Since the cessation of hostilities accord, signed by Ethiopia and Eritrea on 18 June, the two sides have held inconclusive “proximity talks” - which involve facilitators shuttling between representatives from the two sides in different rooms. However, a military meeting held in Nairobi by the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) on Saturday, saw military leaders from the two countries agree on key issues.

The Eritrean government said on Monday that it had accepted the invitation to participate in the signing ceremony in Algiers, which would be attended “by senior officials from the US, the European Union, the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity”.