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Eritrea/Ethiopia: US sticks to Algiers, nixes Ethiopia’s sham plan




20 Dec 2004, EDNews - A report coming from Ethiopia said today that Ethiopia is concerned about US silence on the sham proposal that Ethiopia unveiled in barefaced contravention of the Algiers peace accord on 25 Nov 2004. “While Europeans expressed their support for the proposal right after the prime minister forwarded it, the Americans are yet to comment three weeks after its announcement. Apart from urging [the two countries] to resolve the problem in a peaceful manner, the UN, too, is yet to declare its position and take any move”, said the report further.


This is another case of Ethiopia trying to have it its way and yet another manifestation of Ethiopia’s refusal to accept ‘NO’ for an answer in whatever form.


First of all, Europeans were only cheering Ethiopia’s decision to at least respect international norms by accepting them in principle instead of running around overtly trashing decision of a legal court, flouting international law and defying rule of law, which they did not want to see Ethiopia doing by Ethiopia PM’s own admission in his speech to parliament. Beyond that, no one Nation (unless rogue nation) did or would support Ethiopia in its attempt to overtly renege on a binding international Agreement (Algiers Agreement) or to undermine the sanctity of a legal decision of an international court. Moreover, not one single nation has rescinded its support of the Boundary Commission or called for review of its decision, and no one nation has declared the Algiers peace Accord null and void or called for renegotiation of the agreement. As a matter of fact the EU presidency issued a statement on 2 Dec 2004 saying that the EU perceives “Ethiopia’s move as an indication of Ethiopia’s commitment to the Boundary Commission’s final and binding decision, which it added is “ the only basis upon which a lasting peace can be secured”. And France maintained the final and binding decision of the Boundary Commission and called for talks based on that only.


Unless Ethiopia is waiting to see US troops stationed in Eritrea, the US is not silent. It has spoken on two occasions and has dispatched high official to let Eritrea know that it is committed to the Algiers peace Accord thereby snubbing Ethiopia’s fraudulent proposal. And the Ethiopians did hear from the US directly, may be not as loud they (Ethiopians) wanted it to be but audible and comprehensible enough for them to get worried about it. Yet, Ethiopia won’t acknowledge that, simply because it refuses to accept ‘NO’ for an answer and because the message was not delivered Ethiopia’s way: Ethiopia wants the US to run around wildly condemning Ethiopia’s sham proposal and distributing leaflets and issuing statements instead of the US way of exercising diplomatic civility in conveying unfavorable message to a friendly country, Ethiopia. It is worth repeating that US unflinching support of the Algiers agreement neither favors Eritrea nor Ethiopia. It is a call for both countries to adhere to an international agreement that they signed and committed themselves to abide by. As a matter of fact, the US has stated in no uncertain terms that it considers both Eritrea and Ethiopia as friendly nations and that it will do every thing to help both countries to develop and prosper.


Soon after the “proposal” was unveiled, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto said “the US position remained the same on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border issue and that he wanted a decision of Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) to be implemented” when asked to comment on it.


On 6 Dec 2004, Yamamoto traveled to Eritrea to discuss Ethiopia’s proposal. He then told Eritrea’s president the same thing: “the US government remains firm on its last January statement on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute, which stated the boundary commission's ruling as final and binding and that it should be implemented without any preconditions”. Second indication that the US remains committed to the Algiers agreement, hence non-endorsement of Ethiopia’s proposal.


Last week, in a face to face meeting of Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister with Richard Armitage, Ethiopia got again to hear the same thing: Call for strict adherence to Algiers hence No to Ethiopia’s sham proposal.


The UN even studied and indeed researched Ethiopia’s sham proposal to only ditch it by issuing a generic statement that it is in support of any step that might bring peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Yet, Ethiopia won’t acknowledge that either because it refuses to take ‘NO’ for an answer and because the message was again not delivered Ethiopia’s way: Ethiopia wants the UN Security Council to deliberate on its sham proposal, pass resolution xyz, and issue statement, as if it really cared about, instead of UN’s civilized/politically correct way of declining the proposal of a member state (Ethiopia) without necessarily creating the impression it really did.


Ethiopia wants the US/UN to deliver the ‘NO’ to its sham proposal its way (in writing) not that it will then accept it but knowing that it will not happen because the world (except Burger King, where it can have its way) is not governed by what Ethiopia wants. And as long as that is not happening Ethiopia will keep talking about ‘US/UN silence’ and ride that excuse as far as it can take it only to keep its fraudulent proposal that is getting dead and deader by the day alive, hence delaying and preventing the implementation of the border decision in an outright violation of Algiers.


The international community designed and crafted the Algiers peace accord not to perpetuate a “no war, no peace” state but to bring closure and finality to the perpetual Eritrea/Ethiopia conflict and bring peace in the region. The guarantor nations are, therefore, obliged by treaty and owe it to the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia and to their own credibility to rebuff decisively not to entertain Ethiopia’s filibuster of the decision. La lotta continua, Eritrea will prevail