The hidden agenda
By: Mebrahtu Asfaha
December 1, 2004

These are times of joy and exaltation for the announcement of a new peace initiative but also times of anguish and fury for the Machiavellian maneuvering of their presentation. These are times of hope for a new promise of peaceful resolution and times of fear of another false and sinister promise for their implementation.

Changes to nations and institutions are made by people and any change must be considered with great care. There are makers of positive change and there are makers of negative change. Meles is a maker of change, malicious and paradoxical opposite changes. From an astute follower of the Albanian communist revolution he has become an instrument of domination and exploitation of the neo-colonial and neo-capitalistic hegemony rule for other governments (i.e. he is a head of the African Commission). From his infamous expression of prejudice, (i.e. extreme hatred of color of their eyes), to an advocate of brotherly and neighborly love. From total rejection to the EEBC's ruling to a formulation of a new and alternative mechanism of conflict resolution. From attempting to impose his will by way of threat, i.e. inter terrorem "if they start the war this time we do not know where to stop," to a negotiation of an open ended dialogue and an acceptance of Peace Initiative base on inference of 'in principle" and "give and take" propositions. Meles, constantly changing as xenophobic, peacemaker, and finally as learned jurist has given new meaning to extrajudicial linguistic application of logic of law.

Thus, in Parliament Meles declared, after a litany of platitudinous remarks that "Ethiopia Accepts, in Principle, the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission Decision". Then in a press conference to diplomats and journalists from his Menelik Palace - a symbol of oppression to most Ethiopians - he elaborated, like the medieval philosophers do, on good and bad and morals and the notion of pragmatism ad infinitum.
Most welcomed his peace initiative and marveled at his wisdom. Others heard, but knew there must be some hidden agenda that they did not yet know. Equipped with the insatiable curiosity that marks journalists and diplomats they wanted answers. Questions started to flow like a stream of the relentless river of knowledge and inquisitiveness that we know in the press conference.

Then, the wise Meles using symbols of inference as "in principle", and "give and take", and depriving or omitting the unequivocal application of the logic of law to the EEBC's ruling, has rendered clear the inner structure and the sheer meaning of the fundamental components of his proposition. However, when the outer shell of his speech has been peeled, the logical structure of his argument exposed, and pressed with real vehement about the substance and the intention of his Peace Initiative the unavoidable and inexorable course of 'Dialogue" surfaced as the quintessential argument of his Peace Initiative.

When the above line of reasoning is viewed with profound clarity, his platitudinous remarks and his sweet talk of peace have no novelty other than the novelty of terminology. Many points of the Peace Initiative statements, upon analysis, turned out to be nothing more than a compilation of the already existing original documents of EEBC's ruling. They are now included only to accompany the proposition "Dialogue" as a sugar coat, and as an arbitrary linguistic convention. Therefore, the repetition is nothing but tautologies and conventions of language.

The call, for example for 'Immediate Dialogue" on number five of the Peace Initiative, turns out, upon analysis, consistent and similar to the earlier proposition put forward by the Secretary General with the appointment of Lloyd Axworthy with the intention, allegedly, of an open ended dialog. The latter proposal was, of course, rejected by the government of Eritrea because the mediator lacked the mandate, and failed to disclose the nature of the discussion. In politics, as it is evident, it would be absolutely absurd to start negotiation from an ignorance which leaves all doors open. As in the past, many of the discussions of the current Peace Initiative will be complete waste of time, if the EEBC's decision is not preceded by border demarcation and the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Eritrean occupied territory, as per demand of Eritrea.
Similarly, now it is common knowledge among diplomatic circles, that Mr. C Mullin of Britain for being the architect for and the one who persuaded Meles to come with the so-called "in principle" to be inserted in number three of the Peace Initiative plan which is by definition outside the realm of law and not subjected to the rules of laws. The notion of "in Principle', viewed in the treaties of jurisprudence, is a strategy, used to provide a language that is fundamentally opposite to plain, literal, and precise, but rather, vague, and hypothetical that allows room for maneuvering.
Therefore, Meles is not a reliable maker of positive change. He is an old-fashioned politician that uses the language of practical diplomacy but really means something else or nothing at all. This is fundamentally dishonest politician who stretches the meaning of the words until they retain scarcely anything of their original sense by calling and adding to the original rulings some vague abstractions and hypotheses to suite his government's political agenda.
It is important that we should warn Meles that the masters of the world, and the dominators of the New World Order, and the major players of world economic system and neo capitalistic hegemony, as the Greek philosopher Herodotus would say " see and hear and talk through their slaves'.
Let us warn Meles against hypocrisy, and against a mere display of peacemaker when his record shows the opposite. Meles' initiative lies only on display performance privy of any tangible results or achievements. His inclination to accept and change theories uncritically without tangible evidence is rampant. Peace Initiative festooned with hypotheses, speculations, and with enormous deviations from the original agreement, tends to become suspicious and its authenticity is skewed enormously and is directly incongruent to the commission's adjudication.

The Eritrean people and government, in so far, have demonstrated singular intellectual gifts and wide knowledge of the law. Whether under international or interest groups pressure they have shown their concise and lucid judgments to the applications of logic of law and consistent reasoning. Throughout the duration of the adjudication, and hereafter they have remained steadfast to established logical law principles. Their articulate and well-crafted difference in key negotiation matters has demonstrated integrity into the legal life of this nation.

The rule of law is the basis of our freedom and shapes the common good. The true measure of our success as a country is to be found in the effort we make to achieve the idea of justice.

At the pinnacle of our legal process is the court of last resort, and we have reached it through the adjudication process of Eritrean Ethiopian Border Commission. Its judges are characterized by the independence, their competence, and their integrity of mind and their width of comprehension. The learned judges acted to the best of their abilities, individual and collective, to adjudicate causes before them according to the highest principles of the law. In so doing, their judgments have rendered justice and should be implemented according to the verdict.