Home > Chronology of Events > 2000

February 22-March 8, 2000-- United States special envoy, Anthony Lake, and Personal Representative of the OAU Chairman, Ahmed Ouayahia, shuttled between Asmara and Addis Ababa to get an agreement on a new document referred to as the "non-paper".
Ethiopia's rejection of the Technical Arrangements had jeopardized the OAU peace plan. It was a document written by the United States and was basically based on Ethiopia's 14-page memorandum of November 1999.

April 1, 2000-- Ethiopia rejected Eritrea's offer to let the port of Assab be used for food aid to avert the famine that was threatening million's of Ethiopians. aid shipment.

April 29-May 3, 2000-- Eritrea and Ethiopia held proximity talks in Algiers but talks failed because Ethiopia refused to sign the two substantive documents of the OAU peace plan: the Framework Agreement and the Modalities of Implementation. Ethiopia also rejected a cease-fire agreement, which was the first and key provision of the OAU peace plan.

May 8-9, 2000-- The United Nations Security Council sent seven of its ambassadors to Ethiopia and Eritrea as a "last-ditch attempt" to avert war. But the delegation's effort bear no fruit because Ethiopia told the delegation that it had invested heavily on the war and wanted a quick return on it.

May 12, 2000 Ethiopia launched yet another offensive one Eritrea. By this act Ethiopia, as it threatened for months, chose the path of war.

May 23, 2000 Ethiopia launched yet another offensive on Eritrea. By this act Ethiopia, as it threatened for months, chose the path of war.
Eritrea stated its readiness to respond immediately and favourably to the two-point appeal of the Current Chairman of the OAU, namely the immediate cessation of the fighting and the resumption of Proximity Talks.

May 24, 2000 The OAU tabled a peace plan in order to bring about an immediate end to the hostilities.
Eritrea stated its readiness to respond immediately and favourably to the OAU plan and agreed to withdraw to pre-May 1998 positions. Ethiopia on its part responded by saying "We shall negotiate while we fight and we shall fight while we negotiate."

May 25, 2000 Eritrea completed withdrawing to pre May 1998 positions. However, President Bouteflika informed Eritrea that the Ethiopian government was asking that Eritrea redeploy from additional places referred to as Bada and Burrie. Bada and Burrie were territories that there was no Ethiopian presence prior to May 6, 1998. Eritrea nonetheless formally informed the OAU Chairman that it commits itself to re-deploy its troops from Bada and Burrie in order to deny Ethiopia any pretext.

May 26, 2000, Taking advantage of Eritrea's withdrawal and rearrangement of defense, Ethiopia proceeded to occupy Senafe and Tserona, areas that were not under dispute.

May 28, 2000, Ethiopian aircraft bombed the new power plant in Hirgigo incurring serious damage to the project. The power plant, which was near completion, was financed under a loan agreement with a consortium of international financiers including finance institutions from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Italy, OPEC and BADEA.

May 29, 2000, Ethiopia's warplanes bombed Asmara airport. The attack ignited a grass fire, and sent clods of dirt flying over the road. The attack came hours after delegations from Ethiopia and Eritrea flew to Algiers for new talks on resolving their resurgent conflict over the disputed border.

May 30, 2002, Ethiopia-Eritrea peace talks opened in ALGIERS-
Indirect peace talks between Ethiopia and Eritrea opened in Algiers Tuesday, three weeks after a resumption in fighting between the Horn of Africa neighbors. Ethiopia's Foreign Minister said that they "will see how the OAU peace plan can be adapted to the reality on the ground. There are some provisions which have been made irrelevant." He cited as an example the need for verification of the withdrawal of forces. "That is not now an issue ... fundamental changes have taken place on the ground." Eritrean presidential adviser Yemane Gebremeskel on his part said that "If they think their invasion should be rewarded it is outrageous… If they are throwing away this peace plan endorsed by the international community then that means more war.''

May 31, 2000, Ethiopia spurning UN appeal rejected calls to cease hostilities, saying it "will not abandon its campaign until it has met all its military objectives."

June 1, 2000 Prime Minister Meles Zenawi declared the two-year-old border war has ended, saying Ethiopia had recovered all its territory.

June 2, 2000 - A day after it declared the war is over Ethiopia carried a bombing raid near Assab.

June 3, 2000 Deploying two divisions, Ethiopia opened a fresh ground attack to take the port of Assab. The fighting was underway deep inside Eritrean territory forty kilometres from the port along a line to where Eritrean forces had withdrawn at the request of peace mediators. By the end of the day Eritrea announced that it has foiled the Ethiopian attack, decimating Ethiopia's 38th division and killing, wounding or capturing 3,755 Ethiopia troops.

June 4, 2000 Meles said that they "have proposed at the Algiers talks that the government in Asmara should sign an agreement that it would not again start war with Ethiopia and that the highland areas (within Eritrea) controlled by our defence forces be placed under international peace-keeping force when Ethiopian forces are evacuated,"

June 8, 2000 Ethiopia launched another attack on the Assab front. The attack involved three divisions or more than 20,000 troops.

June 9, 2000 The OAU presented its Proposal on Cessation of Hostilities and asked the two parties to reply within 24 hours. Eritrea announced that it had accepted proposal on the same day.

June 10, 2000 Ethiopia reported that it had opened another attack on all fronts: Guluj on the west, the Assab front and the Senafe area. Meanwhile OAU's deadline for reply to its proposal passed without Ethiopia's reply and the OAU extended the deadline by another week to accommodate Ethiopia. In a statement Ahmed Ouyahia said "We gave the two parties a one week deadline to attend a ceremony to sign the cessation of hostilities in Algiers."

June 12, 2000 Eritrea announced that it had foiled the large scale offensive on the Assab front. It said it had killed 4,125 soldiers (an actual body count), wounded 7,110 and destroyed 7 tanks. Ethiopian POWs captured in the battle invariably attested that their mission "was to capture Assab." On the Senafe front, Eritrean forces were also able to dislodge Ethiopian forces from strategic and commanding heights on the left side of the town after a daylong battle the day before. The fighting in the western part of the country between Om Hajer and Guluj continued all day on the 10th without any change in the relative positions of both sides.

June 14, 2000 Ethiopia said it accepted the OAU proposal for the cessation of hostilities.

June 18, 2000 Ethiopia and Eritrea Sign the OAU's cessation of hostilities
Proposal. The proposal calls for the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission, under the auspices of the OAU along a 25 km temporary security zone inside Eritrea and withdrawal of Ethiopian forces to their pre May 1998 positions.

June 30, 2000 The Security Council, by its Resolution 1312 (2000) established the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) consisting of up to 100 military observers and the necessary civilian support staff in anticipation of a peacekeeping operation subject to future authorization.

September 15, 2000 The UN Security Council by Resolution 1320 (2000)authorized the deployment within UNMEE of up to 4,300 troops.

December 12, 2000 A comprehensive Peace Agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea was signed. The Peace Plan called on the parties to "permanently terminate military hostilities between themselves" and to refrain from the threat or use of force against each other. The Agreement, among other things, required the establishment of a neutral Boundary Commission to "delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border", and a neutral Claims Commission which would decide on claims from either side, and calls for an independent investigation into the origins of the conflict.