The Sound of Silence That Shame the UN
By: Eritrea Media Group, Holland
April 7, 2005

For the past three years, the international community, the UN and the UNSC have been showing a silence over the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea to warn the Ethiopian regime of the dangers of failing to be abided by what the EEBC's ruling is a final and binding.

It has been much said about the EEBC's ruling as being final and binding. But, if the UN hadn't remained silent or soft, the Ethiopian regime would have abided by the rule of law. The consequences of not saying enough is not only a serious problem but also very dangerous to the whole region. Failing to present clear, transparent and effective resolution on the Ethiopian regime -in order to be abided by the international law- will result an outbreak of hostility between the two nations. But the longer the UN- as well as the international community- remains silent towards the TPLF regime's non-compliance with the international law, the more uncertainty it will be to regain peace in the Horn of Africa.

Having said that it is not surprising that the Eritrean people in general and Eritreans in Diaspora in particular are still a little sceptical when it comes to see an effective resolution to put pressure upon the TPLF minority regime. Blaming both countries or urging both countries to cooperate with the Boundary Commission might seem a common course of action, but in our experience it is not the most effective one and also not the right course. We find it a disgusting character from the UNís side that when ever it issues a statement it blames both Ethiopia and Eritrea , while it is perfectly clear that the Ethiopian government is known for its non-compliance with the Boundary Commission's decision.

It is just a case of looking at what the core of the problem and assessing the ways in which it (the UN) can use it more efficiently to towards the final peace process. In this case, the core problem lies in the Ethiopian capital-Addis Ababa. The whole world knows that the Ethiopian regime has been rejecting the EEBC's ruling from time to time. With this in mind, what do we expect from the UN's reaction?  Is a genuine and an effective action or a hypocrisy one?

We have seen countries that are not obliged by law to adhere to the UNSC's resolutions, but are nonetheless accepting the same resolution as those that need to follow the UN law. A typical example is the recent Syrian case. Syria was urged to withdraw its troops from Lebanon . As a result of that Syria has promised to withdraw all its forces from Lebanon by the end of this month and will let a United Nations team verify the pullout. Wouldn't be easy (and legally justifiable) for the UN to do the same effective action in the Horn of Africa?  

Undoubtedly, a fairly international effective resolution can reduce risks and protect wars from out-breaking. Although, there is a stronger recognition of the EEBC's ruling as final and binding among the international community; sadly enough the UN is shifting its focus from implementing the demarcation process towards an endless open-dialogue. Although we don't support, we don't expect a fruitful result from a dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea unless the main problem is tackled i.e. to demarcate the border that separate them.

At this moment there is a renewed focus on the border conflict-whether the war will resume or not. However, the situation remains a highly vulnerable, unless the UN says enough is enough to the Ethiopian government.

It is important to repeat that if silence reigns; rather than forcing Ethiopia to compliance with the international law; then it would be too late to save lives when the conflict is re-ignited. Then the UN's conscious silence will be its shame.

Last but not least, we want press that the UN in general and Mr. Kofi Anan in particular to consider the following points and to take an effective action.

1-      To allow the Boundary Commission to start the demarcation process.

2-      To force Ethiopia to comply fully with the EBBC ruling.

3-     To force Ethiopia to withdraw its troops from the Eritrean territories.

4-     To call the Ethiopian government to stop redeploying troops near the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea .

Let's peace reign in the Horn of Africa

Eritrea Media Group Holland
April 2005