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Eritrea/Ethiopia: Where there’s peace it can only be sabotaged



02 Jan 2005


When Eritrea and Ethiopia signed the Algiers peace agreement at the end of the year 2000, the world in general and the Horn of Africa in particular breathed a big thigh of relief because the Eritrea/Ethiopia conflict has been plaguing the region ever since Eritrea alone was denied its legitimate quest for national right to political independence at the end of colonialism in 1941.


In a mechanical sense, when something has been designed and established to work and function right, the only fear is that it might get disabled or dysfunctional for one or the other reason. When a computer program/file has been scripted and designed to function right, the only fear is corruption for one or the other reason. Certainly and in all such cases there is a mechanism to restore functionality.


In societal life, world nations maintain socio-political equilibrium between and among them, only fear is disruption and sabotage of this equilibrium. No one is oblivious of the barbarous events of September 11, 2001 when terrorism exposed its ugly mission to disrupt the global socio-political equilibrium and what the world is going through today in the global war to destroy terrorism in order to maintain international socio-political equilibrium.


By the same token, where peace has been established and where there is peace, it can only be sabotaged. There is no reason to be metaphysical about this. It is as simple as that. There is no other fear here as attested by the common expression “lets hope and pray it holds” that follows the signing of every peace agreement.


Case in point here is Ethiopia. The Algiers peace accord was professionally designed and crafted by the international community as the only mechanism for peace and stability between Eritrea and Ethiopia and in the region. Ethiopia even demanded and was granted guarantee to ensure strict adherence to the peace accord prior to agreeing to and signing it. Yes, this same Ethiopia that is today refusing to abide by the Algiers agreement demanded and got guarantee against any non-compliance with or sabotage of the so-attained peace! Sounds bizarre, but it is true.


Peace between Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the region has been, therefore, so defined, established, and secured (guaranteed) by the Algiers peace accord. Eritrea, Ethiopia, the int’l community, and every one else in the globe accepted that unequivocally. And when peace has been so established and accepted, there can’t be another peace but sabotage of the so-established peace in the name of peace because that is the only fear.


That is exactly what Ethiopia put forward in the name of peace on 25 Nov 2004 does:


Ø      In the name of peace, Ethiopia’s shameless and deceptively shrewd ‘5-point’ proposal manifestly and blatantly sabotages/violates the cardinal tenets of the Algiers peace accord on two counts (items #3 & #5).


Ø       In the name of peace, the title of the proposal “ 5-point peace plan to resolve the dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea” flagrantly denies the fact that the dispute has already been settled in outright defiance of the Boundary Commission’s ruling that settled the border dispute conclusively and irreversibly well in accordance with Algiers peace accord.


Ø      In the name of peace, Ethiopia put out “5-point peace proposal” with Eritrea not for peace because that has already been established and defined by the peace accord of Algiers that Ethiopia agreed to and signed only to abide by, but to negate and defy the so-established and accepted peace.


Ø      In the name of peace, Ethiopia is trying to sabotage peace established by Algiers in disguise by calling its plan “a proposal to resolve dispute with Eritrea via dialogue/negotiation instead of war” in an attempt to garnish blanket support. Certainly, nothing beats such a proposal and that’s why Algiers was signed to do and did just that. Moreover, unless the int’l community declares Algiers agreement and with it the border decision null & void, there is no dispute between those two countries that needs resolution regardless of how much support such a proposal might lure.


The Algiers peace agreement is a make, wish, and will of the international community. The int’l community put its credibility in all aspects of societal life and that what is maintaining global socio-political equilibrium – international law, the rule of law - on line when it accepted and agreed to ensure strict adherence to the agreement wherever the chips may fall. Consequently, the Algiers agreement is there to stay. The int’l community has expressed that in all of its hitherto pertinent resolutions and recently in the press release of 21 Dec 2004 wherein it is stated “Members of the Security Council reiterate the Council’s commitment to the peace process between Eritrea and Ethiopia in accordance with its relevant resolution”.


Thus, the peace that has been defined and established by the treaty of Algiers can neither be reneged on nor can it be defied because it has severe practical consequences as Ethiopia stipulated and was granted. And when peace that has been so established does not work Ethiopia’s way, only thing Ethiopia can do is to sabotage and undermine it as far as it can take it, so far with impunity. By its action, Ethiopia has probably become the first nation on earth to exemplify that where there is peace or has been established and accepted by treaty, it can only be sabotaged.


Therefore, there can’t be any talk of “peace initiative” and it is a shame to refer to what Ethiopia put out on 25 Nov 2004 as such when it is manifestly and even by Ethiopia’s own admission a 2-point plan designed to sabotage and undermine peace established by Algiers in the name of peace shrouded in 3 items from the Algiers agreement, which are treaty obligations that Ethiopia must have long met. 


While it is understandable why others are calling Ethiopia’s expressed readiness to pay its long overdue Commission fees and to appoint field liaison officers already a step forward when it has not yet happened as was disclosed by the letter of 8 Dec 2004 to Kofi Annan from the chairman/president of the Boundary Commission, Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, wherein he stated “the commission has not as yet received notice that either of the steps announced has been completed”, it is by no means an excuse or a legitimization to let Ethiopia continue filibustering, sabotaging, and undermining a binding international peace agreement or a justification, whatsoever, to re-open a matter that has been legally and conclusively settled and hence closed by treaty only because it didn’t turn out in Ethiopia’s favor as Ethiopia is calling for.


The question de jour is how long yet can the int’l community continue entertaining Ethiopia’s recalcitrance before things get out of hand and another carnage ensues?