Eritrea/Ethiopia: PM Meles reiterates defiance of border ruling
13 January 2005, BBC News
PM Meles Zenawi has told the BBC that his country's border with Eritrea must be
moved, in clear defiance of the ruling of an independent international
commission that has long settled the border dispute conclusively and
irreversibly. And that is the crux of Ethiopia’s “5 point peace fraud.”
He said that he accepted
"in principle" the border ruling by an independent boundary
commission but said "some adjustments" must be made.
When pressed by the BBC's
Talking Point programme on whether the key town of Badme was in Eritrea, as the
commission ruled, he refused to be drawn.
Tens of thousands of
people were killed in a two-year border war in the 1990s.
A large United Nations
peacekeeping force remains in a buffer zone along the disputed border.
In November, Mr Meles
reversed his earlier rejection of the border ruling.
But when asked whether he
now accepted Badme as part of Eritrea, he said:
"When it comes to
implementation we feel that it is necessary that we make adjustments here and
there with a view to coming up with a boundary that both sides can live
Further pressed on the
issue, he said:
"It would be
impossible for me to negotiate this issue in public on television, but the
point is, there has to be some give and take, there has to be some adjustments
on the basis of the boundary commission decision."
When asked to confirm that
in his view it was still up for negotiations, that it was not finally resolved,
he said: "Yes we have to address all of these issues together."
The disputed town of Badme
was attributed to Eritrea in a 2002 ruling by the boundary commission set up
under a peace treaty that both countries signed in Algiers in 2000.
After Mr Meles said that
he now accepted the border ruling, there were protests in the Ethiopian
capital, Addis Ababa.
The conflict started after
Eritrean troops invaded Badme, which was under Ethiopian administration.
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