Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission

Following the breakout of armed conflict between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (“Ethiopia”) and the State of Eritrea (“Eritrea”) in May 1998, the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea “permanently terminate[d] military hostilities between themselves” pursuant to an agreement signed in Algiers on 12 December 2000 (the “Algiers Agreement”).

 

Two commissions were established under the Algiers Agreement. Article 4 provided for the establishment of a Boundary Commission and Article 5 provided for the establishment of a Claims Commission.

 

The Claims Commission was established to “decide through binding arbitration all claims for loss, damage or injury by one Government against the other” related to the armed conflict and resulting from “violations of international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, or other violations of international law.” The Parties were entitled to submit claims on their own behalf and on behalf of their nationals (including both natural and legal persons), or in appropriate circumstances, persons of Ethiopian or Eritrean origin who were not nationals.

 

The Commission was seated in The Hague with the Permanent Court of Arbitration serving as registry.

 

Between July 2001 and August 2001, the Commission held hearings on significant questions related to jurisdiction, procedure and possible remedies. The Commission addressed these issues in Decisions 1-5, issued in August 2001.

 

In October 2001, the Commission adopted its Rules of Procedure following consultation with the Parties. These rules were based on the Permanent Court of Arbitration Optional Rules for Arbitration Disputes Between Two States.

 

The Parties filed their claims by 12 December 2001, addressing matters including the conduct of military operations in the front zones, treatment of prisoners of war, treatment of civilians and their property, diplomatic immunities and the economic impact of certain government actions during the conflict.

 

The Commission decided to bifurcate proceedings, dealing first with issues of liability and reserving the determination of damages for a later stage. The Commission heard: the prisoner of war claims in December 2002; the Central Front claims in November 2003; the Home Front claims in March 2004; and the remaining liability claims in April 2005. The Commission held two rounds of hearings on damages in April 2007 and May 2008.

 

In total, the Commission delivered 15 partial and final awards on liability and concluded its work on 17 August 2009, when it delivered its final awards on damages.

 


Case information

Name(s) of Claimant(s)
Name(s) of Respondent(s) ()
Names of Parties

Note: In the following, all Government representatives, counsel and consultants whose participation in the proceedings was recorded by the Claims Commission in one or several decisions are listed. A detailed list, which specifies the claims in relation to which each participant appeared, is available for download under “Other” attachments (below).

 

Representatives of the State of Eritrea:

 

Government of Eritrea

H.E. Mr. Mohammed Sulieman Ahmed
Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to The Netherlands

 

H.E. Ali Said Abdela
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Agent for the Government of Eritrea

 

Professor Lea Brilmayer
Co-Agent, Legal Advisor to the Office of the President of Eritrea; Howard M. Holtzmann Professor of International Law, Yale Law School

 

Ms. Lorraine Charlton
Deputy Legal Advisor to the Office of the President of Eritrea

 

Mr. Solomon M. Yacob

 

Mr. Michael T. Hagis

 

Counsel and Advocates

Professor James R. Crawford, SC, FBA
Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge; Member of the Australian and English Bars; Member of the Institute of International Law

 

Dr. Payam Akhavan

 

Mr. Robert Volterra
Latham & Watkins

 

Counsel and Consultants*

Major Giorgis Abraha
Ms. Georgia Albert
Ms. Semhar Araia
Ms. Hidat Berhe
Ms. Aurora Bewicke, Esq.
Ms. Megan Chaney, Esq.
Mr. Geoffrey Chepiga
Ms. Michelle Costa
Ms. Anne Eastman
Ms. Anna Engelmann
Ms. Helen Fisseha, Esq.
Ms. Hillary Forden, Esq.
Ms. Julie Frey
Ms. Chiara Giorgetti, Esq.
Ms. Diane Haar, Esq.
Mr. Abrham Tesfay Haile, Esq.
Ms. Jennifer Hanson, Esq.
Mr. James Hook
Ms. Amanda Costikyan Jones
Mr. Jeffrey Jordan
Ms. Johanna Klein-Kranenberg, Esq.
Ms. Priscilla Munoz
Ms. Megan Munzert
Mr. Brian O’Donoghue
Mr. Kevin T. Reed
Mr. Yohannes Sium
Mr. Yosief Solomon
Mr. Isaias Yemane Tasfalidet, Esq.
Ms. Lori Danielle Tully, Esq.
Ms. Cristina Villarino Villa, Esq.
Mr. Parker Wise, Esq.

 

 

Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia:

 

Government of Ethiopia

H.E. Ambassador Fisseha Yimer
Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations, Geneva

 

H.E. Mr. Seyoum Mesfin
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Agent

 

Mr. Seifeselassie Lemma
Minister, Permanent Mission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations, New York

 

Mr Habtom Abraha
Consul General, Ethiopian Mission in The Netherlands

 

Mr. Reta Alemu
First Secretary (Legal Advisor), Coordinator, Claims Team, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Mr. Girma Kassaye
First Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Mr. Ibrahim Idris
Director, Legal Affairs General Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Ms. Firdosa Abulkadir
Third Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Mr. Henok Mengistu
Third Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Mr. Addis Barega
Attaché, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Mr. Ephrem Bezuayhue
Attaché, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Mr. Yared Getachew, Esq.
Legal Advisor; Member of the State Bar of New Jersey

 

Ms. Tsegaye Demeke
Consulate of Ethiopia to The Netherlands

 

Counsel and Consultants*

Mr. Knox Bemis
Piper Rudnick LLP, Washington, D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States

 

Mr. John Briscoe
Briscoe Ivester & Bazel LLP; Member of the State Bar of California; Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States

 

Mr. Brian Burnor
Information Technology Consultant, Washington, D.C.

 

Professor David D. Caron
Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley; Member of the State Bar of California

 

Ms. Virginia C. Dailey
Hunton & Williams LLP, Washington, D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the State Bar of Florida

 

Ms. Donna Edmonds
Coordinator, Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP, Washington, D.C.

 

Ms. Christina Evans
Consultant, Piper Rudnick LLP, Washington, D.C.

 

Mr. Bijan Ganji
Consultant, Washington, D.C.

 

Mr. Won Kidane
Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, University Park, Pennsylvania; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the State Bar of Illinois

 

Mr. Don C. Lewis
Piper Rudnick LLP, Washington, D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the State Bar of Texas

 

Mr. David G. McConkie
Consultant, Washington, D.C.

 

Mr. Michael McDonald
Piper Rudnick LLP, Washington, D.C.

 

Ms. Leyla Meyers
Professional Assistant, Hunton & Williams LLP, Washington, D.C.

 

Professor Sean D. Murphy
George Washington University School of Law, Washington, D.C.; Member of the State Bar of Maryland

 

Mr. B. Donovan Picard
Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP, Washington D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States

 

Mr. W. DeVier Pierson
Piper Rudnick LLP, Washington, D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States

 

Ms. Elizabeth Rghebi
Professional Assistant, Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, Washington, D.C.

 

Mr. Edward B. Rowe
Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP, Washington D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the State Bar of Colorado

 

Mr. Amir Shafaie
Consultant

 

Mr. Thomas R. Snider
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, Washington D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the State Bar of Massachusetts

 

Ms. Anastasia Telesetsky
Consultant, Briscoe Ivester & Bazel LLP; Member of the State Bar of California; Member of the State Bar of Washington

 

Ms. Lynn M. Van Buren

Piper Rudnick LLP, Washington, D.C.; Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia; Member of the State Bar of Wisconsin

 

In alphabetical order

Case number 2001-02
Administering institution Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
Case status Concluded
Type of case Other proceedings
Subject matter or economic sector Claims commission
Rules used in arbitral proceedings - Other -
Treaty or contract under which proceedings were commenced

[Bilateral treaty]
Agreement signed in Algiers on 12 December 2000 between the Governments of the State of Eritrea and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Country A: Eritrea
Country B: Ethiopia


Language of Proceeding English
Seat of Arbitration (by Country) Netherlands
Arbitrator(s)

Professor Hans van Houtte (President)
Judge George Aldrich (appointed by Ethiopia)
Mr. John Crook (appointed by Eritrea)
Dean James Paul (appointed by Ethiopia)
Ms. Lucy Reed (appointed by Eritrea)

Representatives of the Claimant(s) -
Representatives of the Respondent(s) -
Representatives of the Parties
Number of Arbitrators in case 5
Date of commencement of proceeding 12 December 2000
Date of issue of final award 17 August 2009
Length of Proceedings More than 4 years
Additional notes -

Attachments

Award or other decision
Decision 6
Decision 7
Decision 8
Partial Award: Prisoners of War - Eritrea's Claim 17
Partial Award - Prisoners of War - Ethiopia's Claim 4
Partial Award - Central Front - Eritrea's Claims 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 22
Partial Award - Central Front - Ethiopia's Claim 2
Partial Award - Civilians Claims – Eritrea’s Claims 15, 16, 23 & 27-32
Partial Award - Civilians Claims – Ethiopia's Claim 5
Partial Award - Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims - Eritrea's Claims 1, 3, 5, 9-13, 14, 21, 25 & 26
Partial Award - Western and Eastern Fronts - Ethiopia's Claims 1 & 3
Partial Award - Diplomatic Claim - Eritrea's Claim 20
Partial Award - Diplomatic Claim - Ethiopia's Claim 8
Partial Award - Loss of Property in Ethiopia Owned by Non-Residents - Eritrea's Claim 24
Partial Award - Economic Loss Throughout Ethiopia - Ethiopia's Claim 7
Partial Award - Jus Ad Bellum - Ethiopia's Claims 1-8
Final Award - Pensions - Eritrea's Claims 15, 19 & 23
Final Award - Ports - Ethiopia's Claim 6
Final Award - Eritrea's Damages Claims
Final Award - Ethiopia's Damages Claims
Decision 1
Decision 2
Decision 3
Decision 4
Decision 5
Press Release
Press Release
Other
Progress Report of the SG on Ethiopia and Eritrea- UN Doc. S/2003/858
Algiers Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia
Progress Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea - UN Doc. S/2001/608
Progress Report of the SG on Ethiopia and Eritrea- UN Doc. S/2003/858
Progress Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea - UN Doc. S/2001/608
Rules of Procedure
List of Representatives, Counsel and Consultants

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