UN: No exit or detour, Ethiopia must comply


Editorial: EritreaDaily.net

7 Jan 2004


The UNSC did not budge an inch from its hitherto unwavering support for the EEBC, its border ruling, and its only and sole authority over the matter . In a press release following its closed-door meeting on 7 Jan 2004, the UNSC made it clear to defiant Ethiopia rulers that there is no exit or detour, no fantasizing or magical thinking, Ethiopia must abide by and comply with EEBC’s border ruling and its demarcation orders without delay.


Members of the Council

  1. “reaffirmed the final and binding nature of the Boundary Commission’s decision and underlined the importance of an expeditious implementation of the decision within the frame of the Algiers Agreement.” (no exit!)
  2. “expressed support for additional measures, which they noted does not represent an alternative mechanism (no detour!) to move demarcation and the peace process forward and help overcome their differences”
  3. “also stressed the importance of dialogue between the two parties with a view to improve their relations (no fantasizing or magical thinking here!).
  4. “expressed their disappointment with Ethiopia for rejecting the border decision and refusal to fully cooperate with the Border Commission”
  5. “acknowledged the cooperative attitude of the Eritrean government towards the Border Commission”.


With that, the UNSC is basically echoing the words of EEBC Chairman, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, “There is no crisis, terminal or otherwise, which cannot be cured by Ethiopia’s compliance with its obligation under the Algiers Agreement, in particular its obligation to treat the Commission’s delimitation decision as final and binding(Article 4.15) and to cooperate with the Commission, its experts and other staff in all respect during the process of ..demarcation” (Article4.14)”. And that is an indispensable premise and basis for the establishment of any kind of channel of communication between the two countries for whatever purpose and intentions.


All things considered, today’s UNSC action constitutes a fatal blow to the fantasies and magical thinking of Mr. Axworthy, who was dreaming about deactivating EEBC, mutating its border ruling, and “developing its decision” to some thing that could kill the Algiers Agreement and rekindle the border war, and an unmistakable message to recalcitrant Ethiopia that the EEBC border ruling is there to stay despite and in spite of its defiant rulers. Furthermore, the UNSC has reiterated beyond any doubt that there is no alternative to EEBC and its ruling and repeated its call for its expeditious implementation as decided and in its entirety by none other than the EEBC. The UNSC again urged “dialogue” only as a means of opening standard diplomatic channel of communications and not as an “alternative mechanism” to reopen a legally settled matter, hence crushing defiant Ethiopia’s fantasizing attempt to abuse “dialogue” as a detour to go around the EEBC decision.


Should the international community succeed, as it must, to bring Ethiopia rulers into congruence with the words of the chairman of the EEBC mentioned above, then it wouldn’t pose a problem for Eritrea to mark the end of the border dispute ceremonially exactly the way it started if that makes the international community feel better.


Eritrea is, has been, and remains in full compliance with EEBC’s border ruling. It is now up to noncompliant and defiant Ethiopia to react.


Team EritreaDaily.net