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.
|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
H.E. Ali Said Abdela
Professor Lea Brilmayer
Ms. Lorraine Charlton
Mr. Solomon M. Yacob
Mr. Michael T. Hagis
Counsel and Advocates
Professor James R. Crawford, SC, FBA
Dr. Payam Akhavan
Mr. Robert Volterra
Counsel and Consultants*
Major Giorgis Abraha
Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia:
Government of Ethiopia
H.E. Ambassador Fisseha Yimer
H.E. Mr. Seyoum Mesfin
Mr. Seifeselassie Lemma
Mr Habtom Abraha
Mr. Reta Alemu
Mr. Girma Kassaye
Mr. Ibrahim Idris
Ms. Firdosa Abulkadir
Mr. Henok Mengistu
Mr. Addis Barega
Mr. Ephrem Bezuayhue
Mr. Yared Getachew, Esq.
Ms. Tsegaye Demeke
Counsel and Consultants*
Mr. Knox Bemis
Mr. John Briscoe
Mr. Brian Burnor
Professor David D. Caron
Ms. Virginia C. Dailey
Ms. Donna Edmonds
Ms. Christina Evans
Mr. Bijan Ganji
Mr. Won Kidane
Mr. Don C. Lewis
Mr. David G. McConkie
Mr. Michael McDonald
Ms. Leyla Meyers
Professor Sean D. Murphy
Mr. B. Donovan Picard
Mr. W. DeVier Pierson
Ms. Elizabeth Rghebi
Mr. Edward B. Rowe
Mr. Amir Shafaie
Mr. Thomas R. Snider
Ms. Anastasia Telesetsky
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
|Administering institution||Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)|
|Type of case||Inter-state arbitration|
|Subject matter or economic sector||Claims commission|
|Procedural rules||- Other -|
|Treaty or contract under which proceedings were commenced||
|Language of Proceeding||
|Seat of Arbitration (by Country)||Netherlands|
|Arbitrator(s), Conciliator(s), Other Neutral(s)||
Professor Hans van Houtte (President)
|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|