Debt Relief neither effects nor prevents Demarcation
Commentary by TED
Ironically, “No Demarcation, No Debt Relief” cannot be bad news to Ethiopia because given that option, Ethiopia rulers would certainly opt for the former and rather remain in debt and maintain the status quo than to submit to Demarcation. With that, I wanted to point out that denial of Debt Relief does not effect (bring about) demarcation. And conversely, granting debt relief does not prevent demarcation: Debt relief and demarcation do not constitute cause and effect. The one and only thing that is stalling demarcation is Ethiopia’s defiance of EEBC ruling. Moreover, the world bank and IMF do not have policies in place that would preclude them from granting financial relief/aid to either Eritrea or Ethiopia that is contingent upon full acceptance of EEBC’s decision? As a matter of fact, even the guarantor nations and other major players in the peace process like GB don’t have such policy yet! It was only last week that Britain urged Ethiopia to accept the new border with Eritrea but ruled out linking its massive aid to Ethiopia with full acceptance of EEBC’s decision or its expressed concern about ethnic clashes in western Ethiopia “International development secretary Hilary Benn also said Britain was concerned about ethnic clashes in western Ethiopia and announced a tripling of annual aid to $100 million.” BBC 16 Feb 04.
Having said that, the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute was a purely legal dispute that has been settled legally and conclusively. Like all legal verdicts, the EEBC verdict is now in the hands of the Enforcement Agencies: Notably UN, USA, EU, which must be called upon and constantly urged to rise up to their solemn commitment and responsibility to enforce the law. Hitherto, Ethiopia has remained resistant to all peaceful means to comply with the border ruling. Denying Ethiopia Debt Relief is not going to change that. But calling for an ultimatum to end Ethiopia’s defiance will certainly deliver tangible results because that is what the international community is calling for without calling it by name.