“The EEBC mandate, as spelled out on the Algiers Agreement of 2000, is simple and clear. Both parties accept whatever decision reached by the commission as final and binding, another way of saying without ifs and buts.”
A Decade of Silence Tantamount to Endorsement of Illegal Acts of War: UNSC’s Incompetence
Its now been ten years since the Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC), handed down a verdict detailing the boundary lines between the two countries on the bases of pertinent documents and colonial treaties. April 13th, 2002 would have been the exact date the commission had reached this UN endorsed decision which both parties agreed to accept as final and binding.
Today, ten years after the verdict, the borders between the two countries remain demarcated only virtually due to Ethiopia’s defiance and refusal for physical demarcation. As a result, a significant part of Eritrea’s territories, including Badme, the flash point of the conflict, remains under Ethiopian occupation.
What must be underscored here is that Ethiopia’s refusal to abide by the EEBCs ruling has no legal bearing. Nor is it a reflection of the regime’s military capabilities to make might right. One could observe from get go that all of Ethiopia’s military misadventurism, including the unprovoked war of aggression of 1998 and the most recent (March 15th 2012) military incursion deep inside Eritrea, was and still is with the backing and blessing of the only super power country and one that influences UN decisions and actions rather heavily. Having African Union’s headquarter in Addis Ababa, where the representatives often keep silent when the Ethiopian regime is engaging in acts contrary to the charter of the organization, including occupation of Eritrean territories, invasion of Somalia and other gross human rights violations, can also be attributed as one factor to the regimes disregard to the international law.
Whats rather disturbing about this particular case is the pattern and consistency with which Eritrea has been victimized by the world body – the United Nations, for over 5 decades. The main objective for the establishment of United Nations some sixty years ago was for the realization of world peace and stability. There’s no exclusion criteria as to the size and political/economic ideology of a country. In the case of Eritrea, United Nations had and still has a strong moral and legal position to speak and act in defense of. Even going as far back as the colonial era, Eritrea’s case could have been easily solved, sparing us all the human loss and suffering, if it wasn’t for the involvement of American administration who, in order to serve their interest, complicated the situation resulting in 30 years of bloodshed. The unfortunate and unnecessary conflict of 1998 was also another example where the United Nations could have brought about a lasting peaceful solution, if not helped avoid. In both cases and with the US as mastermind, the United Nations failed to take any legal action against a party who has broken the international law. With a twist of irony, this same world body, again spearheaded by the US, is seeing in imposing a sanction against the victim on the basis of some bogus and unsubstantiated terrorism claims.
The EEBC mandate, as spelled out on the Algiers Agreement of 2000, is simple and clear. Both parties accept whatever decision reached by the commission as final and binding, another way of saying without ifs and buts. The commission had accomplished its tasks and called on UNSC on numerous occassions to carry out its responsibilities in finalizing the demarcation process. Unfortunately, the UNSC, which it clearly appears hijacked by one of its members, continues to ignore the call by a member state to fulfill its mandate and demand for the implementation of the EEBC ruling. Sadly, such inaction by the world body not only defies whats clearly spelled in the UN Chart, it will also serve as a precedent for others to follow, resulting in more human sufferings.
Lastly, all Eritreans, irrespective of their political persuasion, should continue to fight for the injustices perpetuated by the world body that is greatly contributing for the instability in the region. We should also call for the annulment of the illegal sanction against a nation that fought and continues to fight terrorism way before its accusers knew the definition of the word terrorism.