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Statement by

H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty Natalegawa
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
At the UN Security Council Debate on the Agenda Item:
“Peace and Security in Africa”

New York, June 24, 2008


Mr. President,

Let me start by welcoming the Prime Minister of Djibouti, His Excellency Mr. Deleita Mohamed Deleita, and his delegation to the Security Council. I should also thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this meeting in a timely manner, in response to a request by a Member State that, under article 35 of the UN Charter, may bring any dispute to the attention of the Security Council. We appreciate the statements and explanations given by the representatives of Djibouti and Eritrea. We thank Mr. Joäo Honwana for his briefing.

The recent clash between Eritrea and Djibouti along their shared frontier deeply concerns us as it is a breach of international peace and security. Above all, we are also very troubled at the prospect of further aggravation to the already volatile situation in the Horn of Africa.

It may be that neither side has the intention to allow the situation to slide into a full-fledged conflagration. Notwithstanding their intentions, the situation could in fact develop in an unanticipated direction due to the chain of action-and-reaction and perception-and-misperception, and spiral towards wider confrontation.

The resort to military force is unacceptable and we view this situation as very serious and warranting our continued vigilance.

We strongly encourage the parties to resort to peaceful dispute settlement mechanisms, in accordance with article 33 of the UN Charter, which urges that the parties seek diplomatic and judicial approaches to dispute settlement, as well as the resort to regional agencies or “other peaceful means of their choice.”

Mr. President,

Security and sense of security is holistic and indivisible. Obviously there is an urgency to develop a sense of mutual security, both bilaterally and regionally, as one country’s security could not be achieved at the cost of other countries’ insecurity. Both Djibouti and Eritrea need to feel safe for security to be preserved.

We call upon both parties to move forward to resolve this dispute expeditiously, in accordance with international law, including the acceptance of third-party mediation as necessary. We are cognizant of the importance of finding a mutually-acceptable solution to this border conflict for both countries and recognize that their bilateral relations have been peaceful in the past. Therefore, there remains hope for a solution and all appropriate avenues should be pursued.

We appreciate and commend the role played by the African Union and the Arab League, as well as by third countries, as they assist in the conflict resolution and dispute settlement processes.

Mr. President,

Ultimately, peace and stability along the border must be maintained. This quest for peace is even more critical in light of the volatility of the Horn of Africa and the strategic value of the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.

Finally, my delegation wishes to reiterate the sentiments provided for in the Presidential Statement of the Security Council of 12 June 2008.

I thank you, Mr. President.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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