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Eritrea: Badme query, good questions wrong address


25 Jan 2005


Kenneth Brahmer, you posed very important questions but Eritrea is the wrong addressee because the address of the only terrestrial location where people are raising hell and there are all kinds of dispute and unrest over Badme and the border decision is Meles’ land and country known as Ethiopia. Thus, it is appropriate and behooves you too to redirect your questions accordingly in order to make sense of it all, if any, and to get whatever answers you are looking for. This shouldn’t indicate any lack of answers from our end. We just don’t want to be caught wandering and speculating over matters beyond our control and reach, apology.


There is no qualm, dispute, ‘unrest’, or anything of that sort over Badme or the border decision in Eritrea. To the contrary, Eritreans have been eager to get the demarcation process started already the next day after it was rendered regardless of the outcome for the simple reason of bringing finality and closure to Ethiopia’s endless claims over Eritrea’s territorial and national sovereignty and to move on with their long overdue nation building. Even the boundary commission has declared that it was ready to start demarcation right then and there. But all these hopes were dashed when only 10 days later Ethiopia repudiated its initial acceptance of the decision and subsequently stopped the implementation of the decision by force and unilaterally leading to the stalling of the peace process to date only because the court’s decision did not go Ethiopia’s way for Badme fell on the Eritrean side of the shared border. That has made Ethiopia recalcitrant/defiant and the only talk today is what to do about and how to handle a friendly-turned-unruly nation Ethiopia.


The border decision did not go Eritrea’s way either, but Eritrea accepted the border decision unequivocally and correctly chose to live with it and not dwell on it not because of lack of things to dwell on but because in reverence for the international agreement it entered, in acknowledgement of the fact that no legal verdict let alone arbitration can make both sides happy, and because of all the benefits that can be achieved from peace and stability. That was a brief recap of the issue at hand for the purpose of keeping things in perspective. 


Now let me briefly take up issues with the little extras included in your query.


The border decision is a court’s verdict. It is final and irreversible. You, Mr. Brahmer, speak of bad chemistry between Isayas and Meles. So what? Right or wrong, that can never be a precondition to uphold the rule of law, or an excuse/justification not to abide by the rule of law, right? You speak of the socioeconomic inviability of what started it all. Again, so what? Right or wrong, that can never be a precondition to uphold the rule of law, or an excuse/justification not to abide by the rule of law, either, right? I presume, hopefully rightly, that you are peace loving and law-abiding person? Then, you agree with Eritrea that there is simply no substitute for the rule of law in international relationship? So, what is the purpose of your several questions, analysis, and comparisons when the answers to all of that are not going to make a dent in the reign of the rule of law and by extension the border decision? Doesn’t then our suggestion to redirect your queries about Badme at Ethiopia, a country that is having a serious problem with abiding by basic international norms, make sense?


The international community brought about the Algiers peace agreement as the only mechanism to ensure peace descends upon the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia and is working very, very hard to achieve that and has not missed one single opportunity to urge and call on the head of states of both countries to strictly adhere to this peace accord. Now who/what is preventing peace from descending upon the peoples of the two countries, sir? Unless, you, sir, have your brain circuit wired in reverse, the clear answer is Ethiopia’s defiant refusal to accept the border decision. Eritrea’s strict adherence to the Algiers peace even earned the praise of the UNSC in its statement of 21 December 2204, sir. Yet you sir equate Eritrea’s strict compliance with Ethiopia’s defiant non-compliance in a manner only attributable to mentally retarded people and swear outrageously “..that peace will not descend upon their (Eritrea/Ethiopia) peoples until they both (Isayas, Meles) are gone and their pride and justice in having fought is extinguished” only because you failed abysmally in your futile attempt to revise the Peace accord and renegotiate the border decision instead of getting Ethiopia into compliance for no other reason than your selfish drive to enrich yourself by ruining a solid peace agreement. You may want to see Isayas gone for not letting you have it your destructive way but not for his strict adherence to Algiers, which the international community has established as the only way for peace to descend upon the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Get some body to check the alignment of your brain cells, Mr. Brahmer.


Finally, going to war is a very serious political decision, which politician make knowing and accepting that it could make or break their political future. It is a calculated risk that politicians must be able to live with one way or the other but never an excuse to lay off, renegotiate, or not uphold the rule of law. There are many face-saving measures and steps to whitewash and make defeat palatable to the sore loser without prejudicing the rule of law?


And at least in the country you and I live, no one accepts the law "in principle" or with "buts and ifs. The law is a dogma. You do what the law tells you to do. If you attempt to defy the law, then they come and get you. And if they can't get you because you've gone under, they issue a global arrest warrant against you and send you the message that "you can run but can't hide" because you will be eventually caught. And when you are caught they have no problem listening to the 1001 reasons you have for not abiding by the law but they will make it clear to you in no uncertain terms that none of your 1001 reasons, regardless of how good and rational they may sound, justifies defiance of the law and escort you to your cell. Moreover, when a legal offender is sentenced to whatever is deserved, he has no right and they don't attempt to make the sentencing palatable by offering Limousine for transport to the dreaded legal destination but they put you in a blue van with only one small iron -grid window, if any, and you're gone. I am not sure, though, whether they would be against some body else's offer of a Limousine to transport a legal offender? I can't rule it out 100%. But that is a different thing. Can you envision applying all that to the legal offender known as Ethiopia? Just a thought. I say all that just to satisfy my academic ego, don't bother, Mr. Brahmer, I am just trying to have fun.


Let me close by quoting what one of the peoples from your camp wrote, “Violation of international agreement and practice is unacceptable”, not a novelty, but a serious reminder very much worth repeating to you. Can you Mr. Brahmer get Ethiopia to agree with that and accept the international peace agreement it signed in Algiers unequivocally? That would be the achievement of your life and you then deserve to capitalize on that for your personal advancement.


It is not about Badme, Mr. Brahmer. It is about defying the rule of law or a court's decision. It is not about whether there could be reasons for defying a legal verdict but whether any of those reasons could ever justify defiance of a lgal verdict, Mr. Brahmer?


That is basically the short, long, and final answer from our end. You are a bummer, Mr. Brahmer. Team EritreaDaily (TED)



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