Sean D. Murphy
Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor of Law
George Washington University
Member, U.N. International Law Commission
forthcoming in International Law and the Use of Force: A Case-Based Approach (Oxford University Press, Olivier Corten &Tom Ruys, eds.)
- Facts and context
The Eritrean-Ethiopian War of 1998-2000 was a tragic conflict that resulted in a widespread loss of life, as well as other injury and damage, for these two developing countries in the Horn of Africa. A unique feature of this incident is that the December 2000 Algiers agreement ending the conflict provided for the establishment of an Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (claims commission), charged with deciding claims for loss, damage or injury resulting from a violation of international law committed by either country. One of Ethiopia’s claims was that Eritrea initiated the armed conflict by an illegal use of force. Thus, the facts and legal positions advanced by the two sides were formally litigated before, and decided by, a five-member arbitral commission of arbitrators of third-country nationalities, which concluded that Eritrea’s conduct at the outbreak of the armed conflict constituted a violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.1 .
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