It is becoming clear that Ethiopia is not really interested
By Naizghi Zekarias
October 23, 2003
The current regime in Ethiopia is trying desperately to make
the world believe that it would be the end of the world for it no to get Badme.
If Badme is so important to the TPLF then it is only because it thinks it should
be allowed to have it, not because it belongs to it but rather to steal it as
war booty like all the items it stole or wrecked during its incursion into western
The problem this regime has is not really with the outcome of the EEBC decision
either. Not only did it accept it, it celebrated the outcome in order to confuse
its internal audience in the now infamous victory march in Addis. This is very
confusing to everybody in the international community except the Ethiopian regime.
But then again why should it be confusing to anyone. The recent war it waged
against Eritrea was waged in the same fashion. It first claimed that Badme is
the reason for its war of aggression. When everyone started saying OK let us
talk about Badme, it suddenly modified its claim to include Zala Ambessa. Then
came Bure. As if this constantly changing position was not muddy enough, the
regime threw in the word environs to the mix so nobody would have any clue as
to what in the world it was talking about. What this meant was that the regime
came up with a constantly evolving dem! and that would waste every bodyís time
and resources. The result of course was a circus that had no way out with the
world throwing in the towel and leaving the Ethiopian regime to do as it pleased.
If the problem is not Badme and it is not the EEBC border decision, then what
is? The answer is simple. The regime is on shaky ground politically and it has
to find a reason to hang on to its mantle any way it can. One, you need a hostage
to silence your internal critics, and two; you need to behave irrationally to
blackmail your international audience. As usual, the hostage happens to be poor
Eritrea. The regime, like its predecessors, is telling the Ethiopian people
to shut up and send their sons to war against Eritrea. At the same time, the
regime is telling the international community it will be the bad boy in the
neighborhood if they donít turn a blind eye and allow it to do all kinds of
It is my hope that the ensuing diplomacy is not going to be like that of 1999
to 2000, which tried to answer a question that changed every time one tried
to answer it. The Eritrean people have suffered enough. They of all people in
the world know what war can do and they are the last people in the world who
would wish to go to war with any one. It is time to tell the Ethiopian regime
no more wars especially against the Eritrean people.
So the problem this regime has is not Badme. Neither is it the EEBC, UNSC, or
even Eritrea on whom the Ethiopian regime lays its endless blames. This is
about political survival and Eritrea is simply the means to achieve that.
It is time the world saw through this and gave Eritrea a brake so it can go
on with its life in peace.