Eritrea: Axworthy’s fantasy and magical thinking


04 Jan 2004


In an AP report on 04 Jan 2004, of course released from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy expressed his “hopes” to “arrive in the Horn of Africa by the end of the month in a bid to revive the stalled peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea”. And that, just a couple of days later after Eritrea categorically, in no uncertain terms, and officially rejected Axworthy’s involvement in the peace process if the premise of his mission is any thing less than enforcing the EEBC ruling as decided and in its entirety, in accordance with Algiers Peace Agreement, and the most recent and still standing UN resolution!


Fantasy and magical thinking that befalls humans in a state of denial has never been reported in the pertinent scientific journals or anywhere else as being contagious. But apparently, Mr. Axworthy seems to have contracted this psychological disorder for his hopes are based on some surreal and magical power to go around the reality of the irreversible EEBC’s border ruling of 13 April 2002 that has already settled and resolved the border dispute once and for all. Mr. Axworthy’s talks about “reviving the stalled peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea” is gutter absurdity because there is no “stalled peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia”. That process started in july of 2000 and ended on April 2002 with a legally binding and final verdict, which Eritrea accepted in accordance with the peace agreement, while Ethiopia is defying the verdict blatantly and in utter contradiction with peace agreement, to say the least. Thus, what is stalled is the enforcement of the internationally guaranteed verdict. And recalcitrant Ethiopia is the sole and only culprit for that. Hence, Mr. Axworthy’s mission, if there ever is one, can only be to break Ethiopia’s defiance of the rule of law as stipulated by the Peace Agreement to remedy such instances.


By his own admission, “The United Nations has not officially announced Axworthy's appointment”. There he is not lying because Anan never mentioned his name let alone his appointment in his most recent progress report to UNSC on 19 Dec 2003. Furthermore, Axworthy adds `I think the secretary general wants to have a representative; a perspective in place and to see what else can be done.'' So, Mr. Axworthy thinks he is the one and only to fill that position, ‘representative’, and all he is doing is to try to sell himself into it, otherwise he is and remains whoever he is until and unless the UN officially announces his employment. Mr. Axworthy, there is one and only one thing that can be done: Think of a conceivable language which Ethiopia rulers might comprehend and instill the final and binding nature and the inevitability of the implementation of the EEBC ruling into their brain and bring them into compliance with a plain and simple rule of law. Eritrea is and has always been all about that and is ready and prepared to just do it. And unless dear Mr. Axworthy wants to convert Eritrea to join Ethiopia in defying the border ruling, there is nothing else to talk Eritrea about, sir.


Axworthy’s Sunday, 4 Jan 2004 pronouncements to AP included the following as well: “Axworthy said there was no intention to set up a new mechanism to resolve the dispute.” Well if that were the case, then he must declare unequivocally that the purpose and intention of the job that he so badly is striving for has to be to break Ethiopia’s defiance and to enforce the EEBC ruling in accordance with the peace agreement and in sink with what the UNSC has been calling for?


``I know the Eritreans have reacted against the idea to mediate, but this is more to start a kind of a dialogue, to represent the concerns of the international community and those that the UN expresses,'' he said. Dear Mr. Axworthy, there is no need for linguistic acrobatic or semantic twisting here. There is no difference between mediation and dialogue for the objective and purpose is the same: Resolve a problem? And there is no problem between Eritrea and Ethiopia that needs resolution. What is there is Ethiopia’s blatant defiance of every thing that the international community stands for, which must be broken and for which there is a way that Ethiopia rulers themselves called for and has been made part of the peace agreement. And that is and must be the concern of the international community, for Eritrea has been compliant with anything and every thing the international community stands for.


More of Axworthy’s fantasy was also exposed in the following exchange with IRIN:

Q: How do you resolve a situation where Eritrea has said we don’t need dialogue until the border decision has been implemented?

A: I guess the key question there is how do you get to that stage where it can be implemented. This is not something that is simply axiomatic; it is something that has to be worked at. Clearly both governments have a stake in this issue.
The boundary commission’s decision needs to be developed. I am not making any suggestions at this point, because I haven’t been engaged. I think there is a different kind of process that may be helpful.”


I guess the key question there is how do you get to that stage where it can be implemented… it is something that has to be worked at.”

There you have it: Axworthy in fantasyland and magical thinking. Unless Axworthy wants to discredit the work of the EEBC and its sole authority to implement the border decision, that stage started already on 13 April 2002 and as we speak all systems are go but can’t proceed because of Ethiopia’s blatant defiance of the border decision. And unless he wants to tamper with demarcation order, there is nothing that has to be worked at but abiding by the orders of the EEBC and UNSC.


The boundary commission’s decision needs to be developed” This is an audacious and shameless hint to tamper with the Boundary Commission’s decision in blatant violation of its sanctity and in violation of the Algiers agreement. Mr. Axworthy, this is beyond fantasy and magical thinking, it is criminal because it constitutes an attempt to undue a peaceful border settlement, which can lead to a fratricidal war. Well, what do you care? You need the job and you will do whatever it takes to get it, regardless. What a shame.


The highest and most decisive organ of the international community, the UNSC, solidly supports and stands by the EEBC and its border ruling that it has unequivocally expressed in languages understandable to the very layman of any nation in its successive resolution in this regard. Mr. Axworthy’s mission cannot be different than that unless the world community reverses itself and denounces the rule of law? That is fantasy and magical thinking.


There is no stalemate or deadlock

Ethiopia’s defiance is the only talk


Mr. Axworthy, that is the only realistic way to approach the mission you are wishing to accomplish in the Horn of Africa and not fantasizing about “what else can be done”, for the recipe has already been provided by the Algiers peace agreement.