If The Border Was The Real Cause
By: Adem Berhan
December 5, 2003
The Eritrean government had said it loud and clear to whoever could listen
that the motive behind the "border" war declared by Ethiopian leaders on Eritrea
was much more complex than it appeared. Events that have been transpiring since
seem to corroborate this assertion. One such event that glaringly stands out
and reveals the Ethiopian leaders' true colors is their refusal to cooperate
with the Ethio-Eritrean Border Commission, an independent body set up to delimit
and demarcate the border separating the two countries. It is a matter of public
record that Ethiopian leaders are quoted by various media outlets as saying
in certain terms that they will not abide by the ruling that the said Commission
made. If this fact does not provide a solid ground and rationale for sanctions
then, I wonder, what would?
Natural persons, organizations or governments are supposed to be treated equally and indiscriminately under the institution of law. It matters not whether the parties are perceived to be or actually weak, poor, small, strong or big. Any disparity in or deviation from this norm would lead to the domain of injustice.
The only way to right the wrong in this case is to do the right thing. The right thing to do legally and ethically is to help the Border Commission complete its final task of demarcation by providing the means. The means to be employed in the form of sanctions when and if one of the parties transgresses are explicitly stipulated in the Peace Agreement entered into and signed by the parties and guarantors. Hence, the guarantors must invoke those stipulations.
Any further passage of time will not alter the legal ruling if that is what the Ethiopian leaders think would happen. Given the Ethiopian leaders' intractable behavior a reasonable person would concur with the Eritrean government's assertion that the motive of the Ethiopian leaders goes beyond and above the pretext of the "border." Their actions indicate otherwise. It should now be clear to anyone concerned, most importantly the guarantors, that the Ethiopian leaders are obstructing justice and, hence, they must face the consequences of being a transgressor.