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UN: Ethiopia must restate Unequivocal Acceptance of Ruling




28 Nov 2004


Every since the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission rendered its ruling that settled the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute conclusively and definitively on 13 April 2002, the world community, the UN, and the Security Council have been engaged (resolution after resolution- not less than a dozen) in fighting back Ethiopia’s incessant attempts to defy or circumvent the ruling: After baulking for 18 months, Ethiopia formally declared its defiance of the ruling by calling it unjust and illegal in a letter to the Security Council (19 Sep. 2003) and threatened war if the ruling were not reversed in its favor; and in October of 2003, Ethiopia declared the ruling of the Boundary Commission null and void, stopped demarcation forcefully, and unilaterally dismantled the Boundary Commission sending it into oblivion to this date. By prior mutual agreement, the ruling of the Boundary Commission is final, binding, and with no right to appeal or recourse.


Undeterred by and despite and in spite of Ethiopia’s reckless actions, the UN/UNSC continues to firmly standby and support the Boundary Commission and its decision and the Algiers Agreement. To this effect and this year alone, the Security Council passed two resolutions calling for the same thing: Ethiopia’s Unequivocal Acceptance of Boundary Commission’s decision.


On 12 March 2004: Expressing its concern about Ethiopia’s rejection of significant parts of the Boundary Commission’s decision, and its current lack of cooperation with the Boundary Commission, the Security Council passed resolution 1531 (2004) calling, inter alia, for the unequivocal restating of Ethiopia’s acceptance of the Boundary Commission’s decision [Security Council resolution 1531 (2004)  12 March 2004 The situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia]


On 14 September 2004: Again expressing its concern about Ethiopia’s ongoing rejection of significant parts of the Boundary Commission’s decision, and its current lack of cooperation [cooperation means for Ethiopia to do what is asked or required of it by the Boundary Commission] with the Boundary Commission and Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements pertaining to the situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the requirements contained therein, including in particular resolutions 1531 (2004) of 12 March 2004, the Security  Council passed resolution 1560 (2004) urging, inter alia, Ethiopia to show the political will to reaffirm unequivocally its acceptance of the Boundary commission’s decision, and take the necessary steps to enable the Commission to demarcate the border without further delay [Security Council resolution 1560 (2004)  14 September 2004 The situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia]


The UN’s repeated call for Ethiopia’s Unequivocal Acceptance of the Boundary Commission’s decision is neither arbitrary nor being imposed upon Ethiopia. It is dictated by the nature of the Decision: It cannot be reargued, reopened, renegotiated, no wheeling and dealing, no more talks, the case is closed and must and can only be accepted as decided and determined-unequivocally. That is how Eritrea and Ethiopia wanted it to be.


Thus, unless the world as we know it today ceases to exist, the UN has no other option but uphold the nature of the decision and call for Ethiopia’s unequivocal acceptance of Boundary Commission’s decision, a call that stands even as we speak. And unless the Algiers Agreement has been declared null and void and the Security Council reverses itself (from rule of law to rule of ‘might is right’ and anarchy) only because the ruling didn’t go Ethiopia’s way, it won’t be long before we write the post mortem of Ethiopia’s recent “acceptance in principle” ploy, which calls for more talks, give and take, simply because it constitutes flagrant violation of the sanctity of a legal ruling of an international court, the Algiers agreement, and defies UNSC resolutions 1531and 1560.  Here, what is at stake is the sanctity of binding international agreement, rule of law in international relations, integrity of international arbitration/court, and international law.


Ethiopia is the only country in the globe that is contending and contesting the decision of the Boundary Commission and the ball remains in Ethiopia’s court until it declares unequivocal acceptance of the border ruling and lets the Commission do its job or until the world as we know it today cease to exist and the UN/UNSC reverses itself.


The ball has no business in Eritrea’s court because Eritrea is not contending or debating any thing. Eritrea has been, is and remains in compliance with the decision without any condition and unequivocally.