Eritrea-Ethiopia: USA declares boundary ruling sacrosanct




In a succinct but covering all aspects and strongly worded press release on 21 January 2004, the USA stated firmly and unambiguously that the Algiers Agreement that ended the border dispute must, yes must, be respected without qualification and the boundary decision is there to stay.


Accordingly, the US called for the enforcement of the boundary decision in its entirety and as decided by the EEBC and urged for its full, peaceful, and expedited physical execution. Absent that, “The United States is concerned about the possibility of renewed hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia.” for “only the full implementation of the Algiers Agreement will lead to sustainable peace” (01 Oct 2003 letter of UN Security Council).


With that in mind and as a premise, the US stresses the need for reestablishing direct

communication between the two countries in view of consolidating

the peace so attained and to restore relations that normally would exist between neighboring countries. Further, the statement reiterated that “The USA is committed to helping the two nations realize the political freedoms and economic prosperity that their peoples deserve.” Peace is a sine qua non “for achieving these goals” concludes the statement.


With that, the US is sending a strong signal to Ethiopia, which has remained adamantly defiant even following the most recent high level diplomatic efforts, that the border ruling is final and binding, that there is no alternative to EEBC and its ruling, that there is no such thing as partial acceptance of the ruling, and that the ruling will be enforced as determined, preferably peacefully.


As far as the international community is concerned, the US press release is a strong statement intended to preserve the integrity of international agreement, international court of arbitration, international commitment, the sanctity of international legal arbitration, and the rule of law in international relations.


The USA has now joined Britain and Germany in expressing its frustration with defiant Ethiopia and is sending a clear message that Ethiopia is running out of time and the world is losing patience.


All words with no deed are nothing but lip service indeed. Thus, verbal pronouncements must be followed by actions for credence’s sake. Ethiopia’s outright defiance of rule of law cannot go forever. International calls for expeditious enforcement of the border decision necessitate equally expeditious action. It is, therefore, mandatory that the international community issue an ultimatum to Ethiopia after which the international community must take matters in its hand and get the border demarcated as decided.





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