ERITREA: Another New Year, Another Wish For Peace
By: Adem Berhan
December 17, 2003
The rights of the entire populations of two countries, Eritrea and Ethiopia, to live in peace and harmony have been violated by the Ethiopian leaders who have explicitly refused to abide by the ruling of the independent Border Commission and contemptuously continue to do so. The attitude of indifference exhibited so far and failure to coerce the breaching Ethiopian leaders by the international community has been so obvious to hide. In the absence of any meaningful action on the part of the guarantors of the peace agreement the Ethiopian leaders will undoubtedly continue to be defiant thereby creating situations of uncertainty, hostility and instability. We shall never forget the silence maintained on this matter by some international rights groups too.
The peace loving people of Eritrea and Ethiopia yearn and pray for permanent peace all the time. Our prayers and resolutions for the years that have passed since the Ethiopian leaders declared their expansionist and deadly war on Eritrea in May 1998 have been peace-oriented. We Eritreans have sacrificed too many dear lives for the sake of peace, in repulsing and fighting for self-defense in wars declared on us by others. There is no single war that Eritreans have caused or would be blamed for. In all cases, as history and facts would show we were and have been the victims.
The rejection by the Ethiopian leaders of the border verdict has led to an atmosphere of uncertainty and dashed the prospects for peace which both the Eritrean and Ethiopian people have hoped to see in the current year. The government and people of Eritrea are in the midst of an intensive and extensive diplomatic campaign aimed at getting the demarcation done. In the mean time, I welcome the Eritrean cabinet of ministers' declaration that Eritrea will relentlessly continue with its diplomatic efforts and I hope that the guarantors will do their part in bringing to an end the demarcation process. I hope and pray that 2004 will be the year of demarcation and not just another wasted year.