The Fallacy of Axworthy’s Appointment, Cart before Horse

Just another sorry delay of Horn Peace



By Team EritreaDaily


It has been reported that Axworthy’s appointment was effected pursuant to UNSC’s support “for the Secretary General’s intention to consider additional measures to move demarcation and the peace process particular through good offices”. 

   Certainly Axworthy’s appointment constitutes additional measure but without any additional responsibilities, or assignments, not to speak of any mandate, than what the SRGS, Legwaila J. Legwaila, has been operating under for over three years without any success now only changing hands expecting to yield different result? Therein lies the fallacy of Axworthy’s appointment. And unless one believes in miracles and that the color of skin makes a difference, Axworthy’s “mission” is stillborn. That could be one reason why Axworthy, not known to be media shy, has not yet reacted to the official announcement of his appointment as others in that position would have done by holding a press briefing in order to express appreciation, lay out their duties and  responsibilities, and spell out their plan of action.

Axworthy’s silence is understandable because the UNSC has gutted his imagination of the role he wished to play as a special envoy to Eritrea and Ethiopia, leaving him with a clear assignment merely “to facilitate the implementation of the Algiers Agreement, the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, and the relevant resolutions and decisions of the Security Council, and to encourage the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two nations”, which is contrary to Axworthy’s wishes and expectancy: Clear mandate to deactivate the Boundary Commission and to renegotiate its final and binding decision, which would have destroyed a peaceful settlement and rekindled the border war.

Having said that, the int’l community is rightly very keen to see the Algiers peace accord that ended the border war succeed. The first and major step towards that effect has already been achieved and the border dispute has been settled conclusively in April of 2002 and the verdict (The decision of the independent Boundary Commission) is out. It is Equally right to focus on the physical execution of the Commission’s decision as the next immediate step toward realizing the peace accord. But it would be putting the cart before the horse to call for and be obsessed with the implementation of border demarcation, which has been determined by a decision that Ethiopia has refused to accept in outright defiance and violation of the Algiers peace accord.

Now, the answer to the cartoonist’s question “Can the cart move if the horse is behind it?” is a resounding NO because it defies any and every logic known to mankind. Just try it?

First comes acceptance of the commission’s decision without qualification then follows the implementation of the decision (border demarcation) as a direct consequence of accepting the decision.

Ethiopia refuses to accept the decision and as a result has prevented the scheduled and ordered demarcation forcibly thereby holding up the peace process. Consequently, it is Ethiopia’s persistently adamant defiance of the Commission’s decision that is the source of serious concern and not the stalled demarcation, which is only a consequence of that, contrary to the adventurous thought process of Legwaila J. Legwaila “..the stalemated process of demarcation of the border between the two countries is a source of serious concern”, 3 Feb o4, press briefing.

At this stage, where all peaceful means to bring Ethiopia into compliance with the Commission’s decision have failed and the int’l community (EU, GB, Germany) is calling for an end to Ethiopia’s recalcitrance, the next logical step and the only talk is then for the UNSC to issue an ultimatum for Ethiopia to comply with the Algiers peace accord and accept the commission’s decision without qualification or face the consequences.