There is no dispute in the Horn
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Eritrea/Ethiopia: Why seek a solution, when there’s already one?



By Dr. M. Filli A.

23 Jan 2005


When it comes to Eritrea, it has always been the same old story: No one wants and wanted to know what Eritreans rightfully want, wish, and aspire but what Eritreans should and even must want, wish, and aspire. And no one else expressed this eloquently but the then US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, who put this succinctly 52 years ago: From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless, the strategic interests of the United States in the Red Sea Basin and considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country (Eritrea) has to be linked with our ally, Ethiopia”, John Foster Dulles in 1952.


The people of Eritrea did not wage 30-years of bloody war without knowing what they are fighting for or simply because they were fond of war games? Eritreans were left with the only option of war after peaceful means failed to reverse the forcible denial of their legitimate quest for national independence. National independence was then the one and only solution to the war because that is and has always been the will, wish, and aspiration of the people of Eritrea. Yet, the rest others didn’t want to hear that not because there is anything wrong with it but because it didn’t bode well with their own interests (Dulles) and hence kept looking for a solution that Eritreans should or even must want, wish, and aspire. To that effect, the rest others floated solutions like Autonomy, Federation, and the then USSR even suggested a “Eritrea, Yemen, Ethiopia Confederation” when both Ethiopia and Yemen were then part of their hegomonial domain, during Eritrea’s struggle for national independence. Regardless, Eritrea’s legitimate quest for national independence prevailed and that is the reality since 1991.


That was then. Today, one Alex Y., presumably writing from Eritrea, is talking about political solution … in the making  . because there are political benefits to achieve.” in a warped reference to the now as fraud debunked Ethiopia’s “5 point peace plan” now also known as 5 Point Peace Fraud ‘ 5PPF ’ because it shamelessly prejudices the sanctity of the border decision and undermines the integrity of the Algiers peace accord, despite and in spite of the fact of the existence of a viable solution – the 13 April 2002 decision of the boundary commission, reminiscent of and in the fashion and pattern of the trends that prevailed some 52 years ago.


What is wrong with the decision of the boundary commission except that it didn’t go your protégé Ethiopia’s way, Alex Y? In that, your protégé is totally alone for no one else disputes neither the sanctity of the decision nor the integrity of Algiers peace accord, a well founded reason to impose the decision and not to look for another one for it proves the rule of law?


You, Alex Y., seek another solution “ because there are political benefits to achieve.” Well, you posited, “Violation of an international agreement and practice is unacceptable”. You are damn right, God bless you, sir. How does then accepting and upholding international agreement and practice ( Eritrea's status), which is what the unequivocal acceptance of the decision of the boundary commission undoubtedly amounts to and is also the reason why the int’l community is calling for strict adherence to Algiers, preclude achieving political benefits and beyond? Isn’t the reverse that not living by the established and accepted modus operandi of the international community ( Status of your protégé Ethiopia ) closes the door tight, indeed very tight for a lot of opportunities true, sir? Looking for a substitute to a solution that is perfectly in compliance with standards you, Alex y., yourself set, therefore defies any and every logic/rational and you are not making any sense, sir.


The biggest challenge has been for each side to find an honorable way out of the crisis while their impoverished populations grow more and more desperate and impatient with the political impasse.” By the standards you set, how does unequivocal acceptance of the decision of the boundary commission and strict adherence to international agreement and practice prevent an honorable way out of whatever you are calling “crisis” and “impasse”? Again, isn’t the reverse true: It is honorable, indeed very honorable, to live by international norms, sir? You are again not making sense, sir. Frankly, you, Aworthy alias Axel Y., need to look for a real honorable exit from the mess you dug yourself in, for you are operating with a completely reversed perception of the order of things in this planet in your ceaseless attempt to reverse the natural sequence of cause and effect.


“Prime Minister Meles's initial rejection of the Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Commission's ruling had not impressed his partners and friends in the West.” Axel Y., humans are forgetful and you have every reason to take a shot at their memory, but history and even records persist, they don’t lie, and bring memories back, don’t you think so? Thus, the first portion of your statement above is a blazing lie as a matter of fact, and in terms of real politics it is a white lie because PM Meles initially accepted the commission’s decision, a day earlier than Eritrea, then equivocated it 10 days later to ultimately reject it in writing and officially in September of 2003. Don’t take it from me, sir. Follow these links and check out the pictures below : Ethiopia hails 'victory' ruling 18/04/2002 BBC News, New Ethiopia-Eritrea border revealed Ethiopia welcomes a new border drawn by an international commission, but its claims of victory are strongly disputed by Eritrea. 13/04/2002l, and Ethiopian official wants border clarification The Addis government is urged to ask the border commission to spell out whether the village of Badme lies in Ethiopia or Eritrea. 23/04/2002  

International border disputes are necessarily legal disputes whose proper resolutions necessitate legal settlement in a court of law. However, since such disputes involve political entities, the legal settlement of such disputes has inherent political component that will never affect the settlement itself but may/could have adverse effects on the political fate of either head of states/party. That is a calculated risk that both partners take and accept when they enter into such a settlement and is then up to the people of either nation whether the respective head of state survives or becomes victim of his decision and can never be an excuse to defy a legal settlement or seek another one?   

                                                                                                                                      Poeple in Addis Ababa

                                                                                                                                       celebrated the decision

Political considerations cannot substitute the rule of law because political repercussions of the rule of law are calculated political risks that politicians accept, know, and take and must be able to live with one way or the other, sir.


If the border war were about Badme, then PM Meles should have stopped after recovering it. Don’t you think so, Axel Y.? But Ethiopia went on conquering more cities, towns and villages Celebrations in Addis Ababa after the rulingand for your kind information, sir, most casualties were suffered in the battle for the Eritrean port city of Assab, no reason at all for Ethiopia to go there if it were all about Badme? No sir, you are misguided and ill informed there. The war was an attempt to undo Eritrea’s national and territorial sovereignty and Badme was a lame pretext, for Ethiopia did not stop after recovering it, as I said .


Encouraged by the Border Commission's favorable decision, Isayas has held a tough stance on Ethiopia, a position that has the support of the Eritrean public.”

                                                                                                  The war is over

What do you consider tough stance on Ethiopia, sir? Unless you consider Eritrea’s persistent call for strict adherence to what you correctly call “international agreement and practice” tough, Eritrea has no other stance on Ethiopia, beat me on that, Alex Y.? And if the call for strict adherence to “international agreement and practice” enjoys the support of the Eritrean public, as you wrote, wouldn’t you at least respect that, the opinion of the people of a sovereign state? It is bizarre for anyone to complain about that?


“On the other hand, with Badme under Eritrea's control and the border demarcated, President Isayas will have an easier task convincing his people that the war was justified. Indeed, Isayas and his compatriots will have to celebrate the demarcation as a national victory. It will be the last, most significant event in their long struggle to end Ethiopia's domination. No wonder, Isayas sees the border demarcation as a central feature of his legacy.”


Mr. Axel Y., the people of Eritrea do not need any convincing that the war was justified because as I explained above Badme was only a pretext to undo Eritrea’s sovereignty; and fighting for national and territorial sovereignty has been what Eritrea was all about ever since its establishment as a nation state for which Eritreans have never asked for or needed convincing, ever.


Mr. Axel Y., rest assured that Eritreans will certainly celebrate the demarcation as a national victory because they have been able to foil an attempt to undo their hard won national independence and also because, they hope, that demarcation will end Ethiopia’s endless claims over Eritrea’s national and territorial sovereignty and hallucination of possessing Eritrea.


It will be the last, most significant event in their long struggle to end Ethiopia's domination.” Nothing wrong with that, but I can only hope it is true because you are only guessing; you have no basis for that. Mr Axel Y., you may have an axe to grind with Isayas, but there is no reason to be disrespectful to the people of Eritrea. Spare them your sarcasm, sir. Thanks.


“the delay in reaching a settlement is hurting the two countries and is unwarranted. For the common people in Ethiopia and Eritrea there can be no good wars or bad peace. They ought to be given chance to find out and learn how to be good neighbors through free exchange of cultures, goods and ideas.” There is no delay but denial, by force, of a settlement that has long been reached but didn’t go your protégé Ethiopia’s way and exists in the form of the decision of boundary commission. Check that out with the rest of the world, Axel Y. 


War or peace, the common people in Eritrea and Ethiopia know that Eritrea has long opted for peace by accepting the border decision unequivocally. It is now for your protégé Ethiopia alone to make the choice between war and peace. To opt to live by “international agreement and practice” is an option for peace, check, Mr. Axel Y.? That is your standard?


“If Isayas and Meles are waiting for a perfect solution to be worked out for them by the US or Europe, they are ill advised. They should keep motives and pride aside and resolve the issues themselves. They have the opportunity to rise up as peacemaking statesmen in a sick and sad continent that is moving backwards because of debilitating wars and conflicts. No one is waiting for any solution and there are no issues to be resolved unless you deny the existence of the decision of the boundary commission and declare the Algiers peace accord null and void, sir.

Talk about courting US and Europe, Axel Y. Wasn't it your protégé Ethiopia that sought audience with Mr. Armitage of the US Dept. of State twice within three weeks? Wasn't it Ethiopia's Foreign Minister and his deputy glob trotting seeking boost for their fraudulent peace plan? Wasn't it Ethiopia that was whining about what it called "US silence"? Wasn't it Axworthy that sought the chairman of the boundary commission to sway him in support of Ethiopia's peace fraud? Can you, Axel Y, mention one instance when Eritrean authorities last visited any US authority on border issue? As a matter of fact, it was to the contrary: The US felt the need to dispatch a high level US official, Mr. Yamamoto, to assure Eritrea of US firm committment to Algiers, am I lying, Mr. Axel Y.? Your reference to US and Europe clearly pertains to Ethiopia only because it is Ethiopia that is trying to win US and Europe's support for its peace fraud. Eritrea doesn't have that kind of urge for the international community continues to firmly stand behind the boundary commission and its decision and its committment to Algiers. Don't believe me, Mr. Axel Y.? Check that with newly designated French ambassdor to Ethiopia, Stephane Gompertz, at the following link:


Finally, the border dispute, the only dispute that was between Eritrea and Ethiopia (by the way, I care to follow alphabetical order when I list countries, have you ever thought about that Axel Y.?) has been settled ultimately and has been accepted unequivocally by the international community less Axel Y. and protégé Ethiopia. That makes Ethiopia defiant and Axel Y needs to prepare his protégé for the consequences of its defiance for there is no alternative to the rule of law. So, why seek a solution when there is already one solution that is beyond good enough to the rest of the world, Mr. Axworthy? You set the standard, Mr. Axel Y. “Violation of an international agreement and practice is unacceptable.” Well, can you get your protégé Ethiopia to live by your standard by convincing it to accept and abide by the international peace agreement it signed with Eritrea? That is the only solution. Thanks


For Team Eritrea Daily (TED)


Dr. M. Filli A

23 Jan 2005





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