Meles and his Language of Bewitchment
By: Huriy Ghirmai
November 9, 2003

We have heard much about the ‘rule of arrogation and brigandage’ from the authority on the subject himself – Meles Zenawi – he who lives by the same rules. What’s more, Seyoum Mesfin, Meles’ loyal impish pal, has parroted the song, ‘rule of the jungle’ without – on the face of it – knowing what it really means. But never mind that anyway – a bit of jesting never hurt anyone. Meanwhile, in between his diatribe against the Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission during an interview with IRIN on 29 October, Meles confided in the interviewer that his government ‘does not believe that the Boundary Commission decision is proper and legal’. Then, said this Gobblean brigand, for Ethiopia, the bottom line was peace. How extraordinary!

The Ethiopian government has in no uncertain terms rejected the ‘final and binding’ decision delivered by the EEBC on April 13 2001. That is fact number one. Meles' letter to the UNSC back in Spetember of this year and the predictable follow-up letter by Seyoum Mesfin and various statements from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Disinformation is enough evidence.

The EEBC’s work and its decision is the very essence of the Algiers Agreements and Ethiopia, by rejecting the decision of the commission, has in effect violated the Peace Agreement – that makes it fact number two. In fact, instead of abiding by the principles of the Peace Agreement, the Ethiopian government seems to have opted for an incessant EEBC-bashing in full view of the world. I hope now that the world will take note of the excessive crassness of the Ethiopian government.

The Algiers Agreement is a binding agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Both countries are signatories to it. It then follows that the violation of the agreement through failure to implement it fully by either party is essentially a rejection of peace. In other words, Ethiopia has rejected the idea of peace in the clearest possible way – fact number three.

No amount of word mincing, least of all from Meles, can change these facts. Ethiopia is now at loggerheads with the world. The attitude of the Ethiopian government stands to violate every principle on which the international community hopes to build a better world. The Woyane have yet again rejected the idea that only a peaceful and legal settlement to the dispute with Eritrea is viable. Entrenched in thuggish drive, it is now preparing to solve by brute force a dispute best solved legally.

Like a defunct mimeograph, Club-Woyane keeps mimicking swindle-speak with an impressive straight face. (I don’t know how they manage it!) The Meles & Co. strategy is quite predictable – it is trickery with the old-dependable tool of the most dishonest sort: lying. Only, they seem to have perfected the strategy to such an extent that it has become second nature to them.

Ethiopia has enough problems to challenge it as it is. For the people, war is the last thing that they need. The country cannot be propped up with the benevolence of the international community forever. Even Ethiopia’s ‘perceived’ powerful and generous friends cannot extricate it from the miserable quagmire it finds itself in; most of all, being at the receiving end of endless handouts, the people of Ethiopia will never be able to regain their dignity this way. Should the Woyane decide to have another one of their destructive adventures, only a gloomy prospect awaits the Ethiopian people.

Anything short of the implementation of the Peace Agreement to the letter would pose a dangerous situation not only for Eritrea but also – and more so – Ethiopia.

The incident at Fawlina inside the TSZ a few days ago in which an Eritrean was killed and another injured is an indication of things to come if the Ethiopian government is allowed to get away with the kind of behaviour it is carrying itself with. Contrary to the protestation of Meles, Ethiopia is more than capable of ‘shooting first’ and then naturally of course, denying ‘categorically any involvement’.
The UNMEE should go beyond ‘deploring any activity in the TSZ’ and investigate the incident thoroughly like it has promised it would. As far as most Eritreans are concerned, the handling of this incident will reflect on the resolve and competence of the UNMEE and particularly Mr. Legwaila Joseph Legwaila. In other words, all Eritrean eyes will be on the UNMEE.

The prospect of an unrestrained Woyane under an evidently reckless Meles is ominous for the Horn of Africa. The world and especially Eritreans cannot afford to be bewitched by Meles’ language of deception. Regardless of how often he says he supports the Peace Agreement, the simple fact is that he and his government are doing everything to impede its implementation. Anything that they do, including the recent fatal shooting in Fawlina, can only be seen within this context.