Guilty of Double Standard
By: Aster Iyasu
March 4, 2004

At the moment, what many Eritreans are raising the thorny question is: Would the UN be once again guilty of double standard as it did in the past? And also, it will be very interesting to see how Mr. Axworthy- as Mr Kofi Annan's special envoy- will interpret the EEBCs final and binding decision. It is not hard to know which is more important: to give the Ethiopian regime unequivocal message to be abide by the EEBC's ruling or to appoint Mr. L. Axworthy to engage into an endless and open dialogue. Here, the one thing that we can be sure is the light Mr. Kofi Annan sheds on his intentions by appointing M. Axworthy of accepting what the TPLF regime has been asking of alternative mechanism to solve the border conflict rather than implementing the EEBC's ruling. And this prove what the broadest majority Eritrean people feel the UN is hypocritical when it comes to the Eritrean case as it as guilty of double standard in the 1950's when the Ethiopian emperor had illegally annexed Eritrea as the countries 14th province.

The real question facing Mr Aworthy, as well as Mr. Kofi Annan is: Which one comes first the so-called dialogue or the immediate demarcation of the borders of the two neighbour countries? As the matter of the fact, it is not completely wrong to have a dialogue for the better relationship of the two neighbours, but the EBBC's decision must be implemented. When the fundamental problem can be only solved by demarcating the borders, there will be no successful implementation of the EEBC's decision by engaging into what it looks like an endless and open dialogue.

There has been much said about Mr. L. Axworthy's stillborn mission, but-what it sees to me- the question of what to do with the EEBC's final and binding decision is being overshadowed by the appointment of Mr. Axworthy. The very non seriousness of his appointment and his mission is what he keeps recalling the EEBC's decision "as final and binding" and also he shouted by saying; "I am not budging until there is peace". The puzzle here is how would be that possible.

It was and is hard to take seriously Mr. Axwothy's mission- with all due respect to his past experience and present status- because by putting aside the EEBC's decision from being implemented and to open an irrelevant dialogue will not change the situations of real conflicts and unresolved tensions in the region of the Horn of Africa. Most egregiously, if the UN does nothing to resolve the border issue based on the principle of the international law in general and on the ruling of the EEBC Decision in particular, wouldn't the Eritrean people-as well as the Ethiopian people- be once again the victims of another round bloody war just for a mistake of double standard? It is fairly obvious that many Eritreans are disturbed by the recent tendencies in the UN's Secretary General- Mr. Kofi Annan- to distance his own responsibility as one of the Algiers Agreement guarantors.

Mr. Kofi Annan needs to take full responsibility for his position for what he signed as one of the Algiers Agreement guarantors and should work genuinely to set the record straight. That's the very least what the Erirean people would like to expect from the secretary general of the UN.

It would be certainly true, if the UN dares to take inappropriate step to reverse the peace process, the likelihood of escalating the bloody conflict and the death of thousand innocent people of the Horn of Africa will be insurmountable.

There is no good opportunity as bright as the present time end the border conflict between Eritrean and Ethiopia. That is, if the UN and as well as the United Nations Security Council must tell Ethiopia that it could face serious consequences if it fails to comply the EEBC's border ruling.

Much ink has been spilled on the EEBC's ruling, including its being final and binding decision, but if any part fails to respect it then its serious consequences would be as dangerous as its egregious miscalculations.

International Law Must Be Respected

Aster Iyasu
The Nethelands