For Immediate Release
December 8, 2004
OEA Alerts UN Security Council of Ethiopia's Attempt to Subvert the Border Commission's Final and Binding Decision
The Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) in a letter dated 7 December 2004 to the UN Security Council noted that the latest Ethiopian "Peace Initiative" is a violation of the Algiers Peace Agreement and risks plunging the two countries into another devastating war.
OEA highlighted Ethiopia's continued violations of international law, UN Security Council resolutions and in violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Conventions Ethiopia's continuing resettlements of Ethiopians on sovereign Eritrean territories including Badme. OEA alerted the Security Council that these provocative actions by Ethiopia only exacerbate an already volatile situation.
In light of Ethiopia's continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions, OEA called on the UNSC to take appropriate punitive deterrent actions against Ethiopia.
OEA re-iterated that lasting peace can only be achieved through demarcation of the border in accordance with the 13 April 2002 Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission's final and binding decision and the EEBC's demarcation directives, orders and procedures.
Here below is the full text of the OEA letter.
December 7, 2004
H.E. Mr. Abdallah Baali Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of Algeria to the United Nations
Dear Mr. President,
First, we wish to thank you and the rest of the members of the UN Security Council for remaining engaged in the Eritrean-Ethiopian border case.
However, we, Americans of Eritrean descent, are greatly concerned by Ethiopia’s endless shenanigans to subvert the Eritrean-Ethiopian Boundary Commission’s final and binding ruling on the case, in the form of requests for amplifications, reviews, questions, and now disguised as “a new peace initiative” after rejecting the ruling as “illegal, unfair and unjust”
This latest “initiative” calls for a partial implementation of the decision and holds the ruling hostage to factors outside of the Algiers Agreement. However, we recall that at the 4787th meeting of the Security Council, held on 17 July 2003 the President of the Security Council made the following statement clarifying the UN Security Council’s position: “The Security Council reaffirms the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Eritrea, and its support for the 13 April 2002 delimitation decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC)…The Council calls upon the parties to pursue any matters that may arise in connection with the implementation of the Boundary Commission’s delimitation decision within the provisions of the Algiers Agreement.” (Emphasis ours)
Further, we want to remind the UN Security Council that on 3 October 2003, the President of the Security Council responding to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s 19 September 2003 letter to Secretary General Kofi Annan had stated clearly that: “The framework for establishing a lasting peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea was agreed by both parties in Algiers in 2000. Only the full implementation of the Algiers Agreements will lead to sustainable peace…that Ethiopia has committed itself under the Algiers Agreements to accept the Boundary Decision as final and binding…call upon the Government of Ethiopia to provide its full and prompt cooperation to the Boundary Commission and its field offices in order that demarcation can proceed in all sectors as directed by the Boundary Commission” (Emphasis ours)
OEA also recalls that in Resolution 1560 (2004) adopted by the Security Council at its 5032nd meeting, on 14 September 2004, the UNSC called: “on the parties to cooperate fully and promptly with the Boundary Commission and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation to proceed expeditiously, including through the payment of Ethiopia’s dues to the Boundary Commission and the appointment of field liaison officers.”
UNSC Resolution 1560 also urged “Ethiopia to show the political will to reaffirm unequivocally its acceptance of the Boundary Commission’s decision, and take the necessary steps to enable the Commission to demarcate the border without further delay.” (Emphasis ours)
In further violations of UN Security Council resolutions and Article 49 of the Geneva Conventions, the Ethiopian government is resettling Ethiopians on sovereign Eritrean territories including Badme.
OEA recalls that on 21 October 2004 the United Nations Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) Spokesperson and Chief of Public Information, Gail Bindley-Taylor-Sainte admitted that the UN was aware of Ethiopia’s resettlement of Ethiopians in Badme, a sovereign Eritrean territory despite UN Security Council Resolution 1430 (2002) adopted by the Security Council on 14 August 2002, which called on the two parties to: “refrain from unilateral troop or population movements, including establishment of any new settlements in areas near the border, until demarcation and orderly transfer of territorial control has been accomplished, in accordance with article 4.16 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.”
OEA also recalls Security Council Resolution 1466 of 14 March 2003, operative paragraph 10 which: “calls on the Parties to refrain from unilateral troop or population movements, including establishment of any new settlements in areas near the border until demarcation and orderly transfer of territorial control has been accomplished, in accordance with article 4.16 of the Comprehensive Peace agreement.”
OEA strongly believes that Ethiopia’s continued belligerence and intransigence is undermining the UN’s efficacy and integrity. Ethiopia’s defiance of international law is directly related to the UN’s reluctance to take appropriate punitive actions against the regime in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s resettlements of Ethiopians on sovereign Eritrean territories are provocative and dangerous actions and the UN Security Council should not remain silent as Ethiopia openly flaunts the rule of law.
We therefore urge the UN Security Council not only to reject Ethiopia’s latest effort to subvert the EEBC ruling, but also to take appropriate actions to deter Ethiopia from further inflaming an already volatile situation. We also urge the Security Council to force Ethiopia to abide by the EEBC’s final and binding ruling and let the EEBC, the sole mandate to demarcate the Eritrea Ethiopia border, to implement the April 13, 2002, ruling so that the peoples of the two nations can begin to breath peace.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the resolution of this conflict, as the UN Security Council said repeatedly in its many resolutions, is in the full, unconditional and immediate implementation of EEBC ruling—not in partial and conditional measures or new initiatives designed to end run the original ruling.
Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA)
CC: Members of the UNSC
The European Union