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Eritrea/Ethiopia: PM at a loss to explain his defiant stance

13 January 2005, EDnews - Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi today voluntarily disclosed  the crux of Ethiopia’s “5 point peace fraud.” He told the BBC that his country's border with Eritrea must be moved. By all accounts, this constitutes blatant defiance of the ruling of an independent international commission that has long settled the border dispute conclusively and irreversibly.

When confronted by BBC’s “TalkingPoint” program, Ethiopia PM was totally at a loss to explain his defiant stance on the decision that resolved the border dispute with Ertrea.

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.

That is a liar’s excuse. Meles is on the record saying “no one in his right mind can accept a decision that puts Badme in Eritrea” and even in his November proclamation he left no doubt about Ethiopia’s non acceptance of the part of the border decision that puts Badme in Eritrea when he spoke of  rejecting only 15% of the decision and his insistence not to accept the ruling “as is”. So, the direct answer is a clear no but he won’t say it  because he wants to lie about it. Other than that, If Meles had accepted the border ruling, the right answer would have been clear, loud and unequivocal YES. How does Meles lie about it? By giving generic and confused answers to such inquiries as below:

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 with." But there is no new boundary to come up with. The Boundary Commission, upon which both countries conferred sole authority to come up with a boundary that must then be accepted unequivocally by both sides, has long come up with a boundary that  exists in the form of its decision of 13 April 2002, which decision, once pronounced, does not allow any adjustments by mutual agreement of the two parties. Both countries have apriori agreed to live with decision of boundary commission wherever the chips may fall? What is Meles blabbering about? Isn’t his Foreign Minster glob trotting duping every Head of state that Ethiopia has accepted the border decision? There can’t be any more talks but deeds once Ethiopia accepts the border ruling?

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."  But the basis of the boundary commission decision does not allow “some give and take” or any adjustments because the decision is final and binding as Ethiopia demanded and wanted it to be. What basis is Meles talking about? There is no other basis that would allow him have it Ethiopia’s way? Hasn’t Ethiopia reversed its position from rejecting to accepting the border decision? Or is Ethiopia saying accept, but?

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." Wait a minute. Wasn’t it only on 25 November 2004 that PM Meles said Ethiopia disputes only 15% of the decision and “the demarcation of the remaining 85% can start right away”? Today, PM Meles is talking about re-negotiation of the entire ruling? What is going on? Ethiopia’s PM at a loss to explain even what he stands for?  Where in the world does acceptance of a court’s ultimate decision mean renegotiating the entire decision? Don’t tell me Ethiopia, for that’s what makes Ethiopia recalcitrant and hence defiant.

Story from BBC NEWS: