Operation Safe Border: The Ecuador-Peru Crisis
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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In January 1995, the hemisphere was shocked by an outbreak of fighting between Ecuador and Peru over a long-festering border dispute. During a six-week period, more than 100,000 men were mobilized, fleets were deployed, air forces capable of striking the respective capitals of each protagonist were repositioned, and both sides suffered as many as 300 casualties in fierce combat in the upper Cenepa Valley. Coming in the wake of the December 1994 hemispheric Miami summit, the conflict posed a serious threat to regional stability. Rapid, effective responses by guarantors of the 1942 Protocol of Rio de Janeiro--Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the United States--helped to stop hostilities and created conditions for negotiating a diplomatic solution to a complex and highly emotional problem of long standing. The Military Observer Mission, EcuadorPeru MOMEP may become an historic example of effective multinational peacekeeping. This operation was successful because of unprecedented cooperation between political and military representatives of the guarantors and the strong desire of the belligerents to end the hostilities quickly. The roots of the conflict lie in a dispute between the two countries over the delimitation and demarcation of the border along an isolated stretch of jungle highlands characterized by extremely difficult terrain and continuous cloud cover. Although the dispute extends back to the colonial period, the consequences of a war between these countries in 1941 was particularly relevant to the observer mission. In that year, Peru invaded southern Ecuador and forced a settlement under the 1942 Rio Protocol.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics