For Immediate Release April 13, 2004
Boundary Ruling Reception Draws Many
A reception Tuesday marking the second anniversary of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Boundary Commission (EEBC) ruling of April 13, 2002, drew many participants from local and international organizations, including representatives of the diplomatic corps, political and grassroots groups, congressional staff, as well as the media.
The two-hour program, organized by the Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA), a non-profit grassroots organization, was held at the Eritrean Community & Culture Center.
In the opening remark, the President of OEA, Dr. Asgede Hagos, after welcoming the guests, stressed the significance and importance of this date [April 13] as an historic day in the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict, and also the verdict as the only way to end the suffering for the peoples of both countries.
Tom Johnson, who was one of the lawyers that represented Eritera at The Hague, spoke eloquently about the importance, and also the ramifications, of a legal decisions that has been agreed to be "Final and Binding" by the two parties. In the case of Eritrea, Johnson said, ìdespite the fact that we [Eritrea] did not get what we litigated for, Eritrea accepted the ruling quietly.î Johnson also said that Ethiopia has no legal ground to reject the ruling and that the International community, particularly the UN and US, must step up their efforts to enforce the ruling rather than push for a dialogue. He said, ìAs far as Eritrea is concerned, there is nothing to dialogue.î
Dr. Gidewon Abay Asmerom, a member of the OEA, read a statement titled, ìApril 13 Decision is One Pillar Upon Which a Lasting Peace Can Rest.î In his statement, he listed a chronology of the verdict from the first day Ethiopia appeared to have greeted the decision enthusiastically to the day it rejected it emphatically. Dr. Ghidewon criticized the guarantors, and particularly the US for ìchoosing to remain indifferent and standing by doing virtually nothingî while the peace process is on the verge of a collapse. He urged the international community to take ìmeaningful punitive actionsî against Ethiopia, and also urged the guests to push for the speedy passage for the Bill HR-2760 introduced to Congress in July of 2003.
The remarks were followed by a short video that highlighted Ethiopiaís bogus commitment to the EEBC ruling and exposed its intransigence on the conflict.