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Ethiopia: UN nixes Partial Demarcation,

no Partial Acceptance



03 Dec. 04


Text Box:  
Ethiopia’s PM        

The Algiers Agreement that ended the Eritrea/ Ethiopia border war and the decision of the Boundary Commission that   settled the dispute legally and conclusively were so designed and crafted not only to Succeed but also crack-proof. Regardless, Ethiopia’s unrelenting attempts to crack the Agreement and the Boundary Commission’s decision, simply because it didn’t go its way, continue unabated.


Today, Friday, 3 Dec 2004, only a week after its  “acceptance in principle” tale, Reuters is reporting that Ethiopia is back to where it all started: Ethiopia’s PM is calling for Partial Demarcation (85%) and renegotiation of the Commission’s decision over remaining 15%. This is an old story! Partial Demarcation was what Ethiopia demanded when it first rejected the Commission’s decision on 19 Sep 2003 in a letter to UNSC and which the UNSC immediately nixed and called on Ethiopia to accept the decision in its entirety for it violates the sanctity of the decision (no partial acceptance) and the Algiers agreement.


At the time (3 October 2003), the then president of the Security Council, Sir Emory Jones Parry, wrote PM Meles: “Excellency, I am writing in reply to your letter to the President of the Security Council of 19 September 2003. This letter has been brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council, who have taken note of it.  The Security Council is clear that the framework for establishing a lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea was agreed by both parties in Algiers in 2000. Only the full implementation of the Algiers Agreements will lead to sustainable peace.


The members of the Security Council therefore wish to convey to you their deep regret at the intention of the Government of Ethiopia not to accept the entirety of the delimitation and demarcation decision as decided by the Boundary Commission. They note, in particular, that Ethiopia has committed itself under the Algiers Agreements to accept the Boundary Decision as final and binding.


The members of the Security Council, therefore, call upon the Government of Ethiopia to provide its full and prompt cooperation to the Boundary Commission and its field offices in order that demarcation can proceed in all sectors as directed by the Boundary Commission.”


Meles’ call to resolve the ‘dispute’ via dialogue (dialogue is Ethiopia’s euphemism for alternate mechanism) over remaining 15% of the border has also been nixed by the Security Council as inadmissible for both parties have conferred upon the Boundary Commission as one and sole authority to decide and determine demarcation.


Moreover, Reuters also reported that “Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s call for Partial Demarcation of most of the country's 1 000km border with Eritrea that could begin immediately raises hopes that a long-simmering border dispute could be resolved.” It is, unfortunately, to the contrary. Ethiopia’s relapse into its long and categorically nixed demand for partial demarcation and renegotiation of the Commission’s decision dashes the hope that Ethiopia might be one step closer to accepting the decision unequivocally, which most others have been duped into thinking by Ethiopia’s only 7 days old “proposal for peace with Eritrea – ‘’acceptance in principle” tale.   


Today, Ethiopia’s PM has ended the speculations and guesses about what ‘acceptance in principle’ might and might not entail and exposed what is behind it: Renaming of old and categorically nixed position. And Ethiopia’s “Five –point plan” was thus nothing but a repackaging of Ethiopia’s rejection of the Commission’s decision in a politically correct form called ‘acceptance in principle” and constitutes defiance in disguise. With that the prime minister has written the post mortem of his own proposal, which was actually already scripted on its day of unveiling.