There is no “Acceptance in Principle” Deal,
Boundary ruling is final, binding, no appeal
13 Feb 04
Focusing on ‘L. Axworthy’s mission’, the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) posted a report that unblushingly attempts to hijack Axworthy’s clearly specified and limited involvement and turn it into a mandate to renegotiate the final and binding decision of the Boundary Commission in a stern contravention of the Algiers peace accord and in outright contradiction of (SC/7972[7 Jan 04]) and (SC/7997[30 Jan 04]) of the UN Security Council.
IRIN posted this report hiding under the bogus disclaimer: [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]. This “disclaimer” does not rule it out with any kind of certainty either. That, by way of pointing out the equivocation inherent in such disclaimers.
In a shameless and futile attempt to detour Axworthy’s assignment, the report fired a deceptive torpedo called “Acceptance in principle”, a nonsense that was first uttered by Britain’s C. Mullin following his recent exploratory mission to the region, and states that “If it (Ethiopia) accepts the ruling in principle, say diplomats, then it could regain some of the moral high ground held by Eritrea, which could then be urged to engage in "broad-based" talks with its former foe. This might be a starting point for Axworthy.”
Well, the ruling of the Boundary Commission is not a proposal, a suggestion, a compromise formula, an idea, etc., where first “acceptance in principle” is sought and the details are then negotiated with the hope of eventually achieving a mutually acceptable deal. To the contrary, the decision of the Boundary Commission is a strictly legal ruling that was achieved following a long legal arbitration. It is final, binding without appeal, which by request and agreement of the parties, the UN, USA, EU, and AU have obliged and committed to enforce as is, one way or the other. Further, once the border ruling is out, the one and only option either party has is to accept and abide by it as is: No negotiation, no brokering, no wheeling and dealing, or alternative mechanism. Non-acceptance for whatever reason constitutes consequential defiance. That is the salient and inviolable diktat of the Algiers peace accord.
In light of that, C. Mullin’s blabber about “acceptance in principle” not only defies the sanctity of the border ruling, it also violates the Algiers peace accord. Moreover, “acceptance in principle” is a gutter ploy to fake acceptance and renegotiate the decision for no other reason than to accommodate Ethiopia’s defiant call for its reversal, for Eritrea has no problem with the decision. Consequently, if “acceptance in principle” were the premise of Axwothy’s ‘mission”, then it is stillborn for he has no mission.
Quoting unanimous diplomats, the report adds that “..the focus is again gravitating towards a piecemeal demarcation where the agreed territories can be marked out, but placing disputed areas on the back-burner”. This is a blatant lie and wishful thinking. No one country in the world has wavered from the finality, binding nature, fate, and nature of the border ruling. To the contrary, the international community is persistently calling for the implementation of the border decision expeditiously, without qualification and in its entirety. Hence, “focus on” and “gravitation toward piecemeal/partial demarcation” is and remains fantasy and magical thinking. Moreover, there are no “disputed areas” because every inch of the boundary has been conclusively adjudicated and the verdict is out. To this effect, here is EEBC’s response “Ethiopia’s reference to “contested boundary” can only be understood as a reference to those parts of the boundary to which it alone and unilaterally takes exception: No part of the boundary is contested by both parties.”
Axworthy or not and regardless of the frequency and form of turning and rolling, the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission and its decision are there to stay. Yes, Ethiopia’s adamantly persistent defiance cannot go on for ever or until kingdom come, it is imperative to set time limit- Ultimatum.