Military delegations meet in Nairobi

The Military Coordination Commission (MCC), which brings together military leaders from Ethiopia and Eritrea, met in Nairobi on Wednesday after an eight-month gap, the UN announced.

The 14th MCC meeting, chaired by Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, the head of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), discussed the peace process between the two countries following their 1998-2000 border war.

Participants focused on the military situation in the buffer zone between the two countries, known as the Temporary Security Zone (TSZ).

They discussed coordination issues and ways of "preventing and responding to potentially disruptive incidents" on the border areas and inside the TSZ, the UNMEE statement said. They also held discussions on the demining process ahead of the physical demarcation of the new border, due to start next year.

Ethiopia’s military delegation was led by Brigadier-General Yohannes Gebremeskel, and Eritrea’s by Brigadier-General Abrahaley Kifle. The new UNMEE force commander Major General Robert Gordon was also formally introduced at the meeting.

Legwaila commended the two parties on the progress achieved to date in the peace process and urged them to "bend their energies toward the culmination of that process", the UNMEE statement added.

The MCC will reconvene for its next meeting on 29 January 2003 in Nairobi.