There is no dispute in the Horn
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Ethiopia seeks dialogue with Eritrea for the wrong reason


28 Dec 2004, Ednews – It’s been reported that both Eritrea and Ethiopia are ready for dialogue with each other. But there is dialogue and dialogue, as they say.


Eritrea’s overture for dialogue can only be understood as a genuine desire to create a cordial, amicable, and conducive ambience to facilitate the demarcation process as determined by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission in accordance with its decision of 13 April 2002, provided that Ethiopia complies with Algiers Agreement and restates its unequivocal acceptance of the border decision in words and in deeds. That is all what the entire international community is and has been calling for since the pronouncement of the boundary decision and that is all there is between Eritrea and Ethiopia. And when that happens, the issue of re-establishing of ordinary diplomatic relations with Ethiopia as it would exist between neighboring countries based upon the established international norms of mutual respect and recognition of each other’s territorial and national sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s affairs would be reduced to a mere matter of procedure and time only. That is the good purpose and intention of Eritrea’s readiness for dialogue with Ethiopia.


On the other hand, Ethiopia, which has adamantly refused to accept the border decision only because it did not go its way, is seeking dialogue with Eritrea for no other reason than to abuse it as a mechanism and a ploy to re-open the legally and conclusively settled border dispute and re-argue it dead or until it is reversed in its favor in flagrant violation of the Algiers peace Agreement, contrary to the call, will and wishes of the international community, and in blatant defiance of the rule of law in international relations.


Ethiopia has left no stone unturned towards that effect. Lately, Ethiopia unveiled its shameless “5-point plan” wherein it states that it accepts only 85% of the border decision and demanded dialogue with Eritrea to renegotiate the rest in an outright in-your-face violation of the Algiers Agreement, to say the least. To make things worst, Ethiopia dared the world and put the international community on notice that should its plan fail then Ethiopia will set the whole East Africa on fire. That is the ill purpose and intention of Ethiopia’s readiness for dialogue with Eritrea: To reverse the border decision in its favor, if not set East Africa on fire.


The only way out of this dialogue-game is for the international community, specially the Guarantor Nations, to assume its/their treaty obligation to ensure strict adherence to the Algiers Agreement by whatever means is provided under UN Charter, Chapter VII even if the defiant country is called Ethiopia. It is time to heed the recent call of UNSG Annan that “the rule of law must be enforced, and treaties and agreements must be implemented” lest the world as know it today ceases to be what it is. UNSG Progress Report on Eritrea Ethiopia, 16 Dec 2004.