|Horn Peace: It's still about Ethiopia; Eritrea is fully compliant |
6 Dec. 2004
The cause of the stalled peace process
between Eritrea and Ethiopia is Ethiopia's
defiant noncompliance not Eritrea's unequivocal
compliance with the legal ruling of the Eritrea-
Ethiopia Boundary Commission that settled their
border dispute conclusively.
Ethiopia formally rejected the ruling as "unjust" and illegal, called for reversal in its favor under threat of war, declared it null and void, stopped demarcation forcibly, and unilaterally dismantled the Boundary Commission sending it into oblivion to this date, simply because it did not go its way. And by Ethiopia's own admission, this Ethiopia's reckless action did not bode well with the international community and PM of Ethiopia got to hear about. To that effect, PM Meles said in his speach to parliament "the international community has been asking Ethiopia not to appear to be violating the decision of a court and not to seem to be defying international law, and demanding, in this regard, that Ethiopia declare its acceptance of the decision of the Commission". Well how does one express the rejection of some thing without appearing to reject it? No big deal. The international community gave PM Meles a politically deceptive tool to accomplish that: Use of politically correct phrase. Meles used the word 'accept' to fake acceptance and qualified it with the words ' in principle' in order not to rule out rejection. Thus, Meles came out declaring "Ethiopia accepts (fake acceptance), in principle (meaning not ruling out rejection), the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission Decision". So has Ethiopia rephrased its rejection in a 'politically correct form'.
Now that Ethiopia's patrons got what they want, those nations welcomed Ethiopia's move and called it one step forward because 'acceptance in principle' sounds better though not different than running around rejecting legal international verdicts and defying international law. Nothing more, nothing less. No one has ever called for a review or renegotiation of the Algiers Treaty and/or Boundary Commission's Decision and its final and binding nature.
Ethiopia's tale of "'acceptance in principle proposal' for peace with Eritrea" is, in addition to constituting a flagrant violation of the Algiers Agreement, which stipulates without equivocation that the decision is final and binding", indeed hollow for Ethiopia still rejects the border decision. The least Ethiopia can do to disprove hollowness of its proposal is to restate unequivocal acceptance of the Commission's decision, demonstrate respect for the decision by withdrawing its troops from sovereign Eritrean territory, and letting the Boundary Commission do its job. Absent that, Ethiopia remains defiant and it is all still about Ethiopia, Eritrea is and remains compliant.
The Algiers Agreement is a product of the international community. The highest organ of the international community, the Security Council, has concluded that "only the full implementation of the Algiers Agreement can lead to sustainable peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia". Is, therefore, calling for strict adherence to and respect for the Algiers Agreement too much to ask for? That is all Eritrea is asking for.