Kofi Annan: The Weakest Link at the United Nations
By: Ogbazgy Abbay Asmerom
November 3, 2005
Vice repeated like the wandering wind, blows dust in others’ eyes - Shakespeare
When one of the various interdependent links in a chain is broken or when there
is a weakest link in between, the desired task that was planned to be performed
could not be accomplished.
It is unfortunate that in the psyche of the Eritreans and government, Kofi Annan is considered the weakest link in the chain of the United Nations, where important political tasks should have been accomplished.
At the end of the bloody border war of 1998-2000, the Eritrean government entered into a good faith agreement with the Ethiopian government in Algiers in December 2000 and signed a treaty that was agreed upon to be final and binding.
Mr. Kofi Annan, you were one of the witnesses who signed the accord. Do you not remember that day? What does your memory tell you about the occasion? Please check your memory lane and reflect on the occasion!
The United States, The European Union, and another weakest Link, The African Union, did the same thing. So far, all of them seem to show a sign of indifference! What is the matter here? Ethiopia has reneged on what it has agreed to uphold! It has rejected the Boundary Commission’s Decision of April 13, 2002. Hence, there is no forceful condemnation against Ethiopia that has been labeled or uttered by any of the above-mentioned entities!
St. Augustine, many years ago, noted, “He who conceals a useful truth is equally guilty with the propagator of an injurious falsehood.” At this time, you have taken sides with the Ethiopians. You have been duped, bamboozled, tricked, and deceived by the Ethiopians to do their dirty work! You have concealed the truth! You are not an honest broker! You are distorting the truth! You are doing your best to implement the needs of the Ethiopians. It appears you are a hired gunner for the Ethiopians!
In one way or another, in clear diplomatic terms, you are the weakest link who cannot perform any noble task that would satisfy the needs of the Eritreans!
Ethiopia has snubbed the world community and has rejected the Decision of the Eritrea- Ethiopia Border Commission [EEBC]. You know that the decision was not issued only to be rejected! You know that there is a consequence for rejecting it! Do you seem to care? Do you seem to be concerned?
In a dubious matter you seem to be concerned about the safety of 3,000 United Nations’ [UN] soldiers and not about the fate of 4 ½ million Eritreans. The UN helicopter flight ban over Eritrean territory and the restricted movement of UN soldiers after 6 pm that were recently imposed by the Eritrean government on the so-called peacekeepers seem to have unnerved you a little bit! Reverse that logic and consider for how many years the Eritrean government and people have been unnerved by your weakest link and position at the UN! In the language of human decency, the safety of a UN soldier is not important than the safety of an Eritrean civilian or soldier! The value of a human being is the same, wherever you find them!
The so-called UN peacekeepers that are in Eritrea are not real peacekeepers! Some are spending vacation time over there! Their countries are getting money from the UN. Some are having fun! Some are perpetrators of evil! In many places of the world, there are so many ineffective and useless UN peace- keepers! They have not kept the peace nor have brought any stability to any region. Let me cite some examples. Think in terms of what is going on in Cyprus [since March 1964], in Palestine [since June 1948], in the Golan Heights [since June 1974] and in India and Pakistan [since January 1949]! There is no peace in those places!
Now you are talking about grave consequences of another war! You do not know the consequences of war! The Eritreans do! The Eritreans do not want any war! What they want is the respect of their national and territorial integrity!
President Isaias Afewerki has correctly told you in his two recently written letters, the last one addressed to you and the Security Council on October 28, 2005, indicating that you do not have any moral acumen or stature to criticize or condemn Eritrea for its actions. For the last five years the Eritrean government and people have been appealing to you to show some form of leadership and to be candid in your approach to resolve the demarcation impasse. You remained a patrician and tried to please your Ethiopian interlocutors! Shame on you, son of Africa!
There is none that can be discerned from your diplomatic musings! You are listening to a different musical beat and a different drummer! It is time for you to be candid and show some good qualities of leadership. Do not use sugarcoated words and pass your recommendations to the Security Council, where the 15 members pass useless resolutions repeatedly. The draft resolution in circulation has no value! It is the same and old garbage! Action, not resolution is needed to compel and force Ethiopia to accept the decision of the EEBC.
Mr. Annan, please call a spade, a spade and work for a durable legal solution! Enough diplomatic rambling! It s incumbent upon you to get the job done!
You have been dancing on the scale of justice for so many years! Your vacillation, wavering, and determination not to find a final solution to the Border Demarcation Impasse has a grave consequence. Your legacy is questionable! Your honesty is not pure!
It appears your credibility is hanging on the balance. You are the weakest link at the UN. Hence, no action has been taken to demarcate the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It has taken four fruitless years! You know that by now the border should have been demarcated, Eritrean civilians should have been returned to their homes and farmlands, and they should have led a normal and peaceful life. However, that has not been achieved because of your diversionary tactics! You have come up with unpalatable word called dialogue!
Many Eritreans have written to you, including this writer, appealed to you, and pleaded with you and sought your leadership to find a final solution to the demarcation impasse. Nevertheless, you did not seem to care and did not consider their pleas. In fact, you gave them a deaf ear. It should not be that way! Where is your accountability! To whom are you listening? Why have you remained as the weakest link at the UN?
The Eritreans want the border to be demarcated according to the ruling and timetable of the Border Commission. Outside of that arrangement, there is no incentive for the Eritreans to negotiate with the Ethiopians. The Eritreans do not negotiate on what they have already legally won! How do you expect the Eritreans to trust the Ethiopians? You speak of confidence building! Confidence building does not come in a vacuum! The Ethiopians have betrayed the trust of the Eritreans! How can you trust a thief not to rob you at night, when you clearly know that he has robbed you during the day?
Eritrean justice has been crying for 50 years. For years, no one gave it a listening ear! Alas, finally, the Eritreans earned their independence by the old-fashioned way, through blood, sweat, and tears; and in May 1991, they defeated the Ethiopian army. Hence, as of May 24, 1991, Eritrea, against all odds and against the wishes of the international community, became independent. That is irreversible! That is a fact and a realty that must be accepted. There is no “ifs or buts” about the reality of Eritrean independence!
Every sensible Eritrean knows how much has been sacrificed to attain national independence. Every Eritrean family has paid a price for the war of national independence! That has a deep meaning in the hearts and minds of all Eritreans. Hence, Eritrean Independence is not going to be un-done by the sinister and evil ways of the Woyanies and their supporters, including you.
Eritrean independence is the result of service and sacrifice. It is precious! It will not be traded in the open markets for the highest bidder, which one of them could be Tigray or Ethiopia!
You seem to care only for the safety of UN soldiers and personnel! Instead of recommending for negative steps against Eritrea, why did you not find a way to induce Ethiopia and make it comply with the ruling of the border commission’s decision? It is very clear that you have taken a silly step and wanted the mission get aborted! You are playing with African blood in the confines of your New York Headquarters! Did you not learn a lesson from the shameful and despicable atrocities that you brought upon Rwanda!
Why did you not recommend to the Security Council that Ethiopia be forced to comply? Is that recommendation too hard for you to swallow? It appears you have chosen to remain aloof. You do not care about saving African lives! Thus, your legacy is in jeopardy! Your integrity is questionable!
As far as the Eritreans are concerned, they do not want Badme to be the “modern day Kashmir of the Horn of Africa.” They are looking for a speedy resolution to the quagmire. India and Pakistan are at loggerheads over Kashmir! They have not gained anything out of that quagmire! Hence, Eritrea and Ethiopia will not gain anything out of the quagmire you are creating.
The Eritreans do not want you to be an agent of aggression and deception, who helps the Ethiopians achieve their dreams of getting an outlet to the Sea! If you are determined to save Ethiopia, you may need to change your strategy and tactics! You cannot put old wine in a new wine bottle and sell it at an exorbitant price! Eritrean independence is not for sale. It is here to stay. You cannot hatch a dove of peace out of the eggs of a snake and wish peace will simply come to the Horn of Africa. You have to be a man of real peace!
Right now, at this time, the Ethio-Eritrea Border Demarcation Impasse has, according to Eritrean accounts, reached a closed door! This is because of your position! You and your agents have created a mess out of the Border Demarcation Impasse! It is up to you to fix the mess you have created! You have to think twice before the door closes permanently! Fix the weakest link that is in your chain!
Let the demarcation begin immediately! Let it be implemented as it was outlined by the Border Commission! You need to work with the Ethiopians and make them realize their diplomatic quagmire. The Eritreans do not need anything else! They have accepted the verdict! They are not on the same scale like the Ethiopians!
Every sensible Eritrean believes that the Ethiopians are itching to start another war. You and the 15 members of the Security Council seem to encourage that! You and the 15 members of the Security Council think that another war will start! You seem to indicate that war is inevitable. I am not sure with what kind of clairvoyant you are consulting! It should not be that way! If it starts, it is because of the position you have taken, which is a position of appeasement and blindness! Your position is deplorable! It is a farce!
If another war starts, you and members of the Security Council will bear the ultimate responsibility of the carnage and its aftermath!
Why did the British invade the Falkland Islands and why did they fight against Argentina in 1982? Why did the USA invade Iraq? The actions taken by the two countries indicate that national security was an important aspect!
What about the national security and territorial integrity of Eritrea? Recently, at the behest of the British and American governments, Syria was forced out of Lebanon! The death of a single person, Rafiq Hariri, the late Prime Minister of Lebanon, was taken as the single reason to push the expulsion of Syria out of Lebanon! How about the lives of
4 ½ million Eritreans?
Eritreans believe in self-sufficiency, self-determination, perseverance, patience, and the rule of law! The supremacy of an international law must be respected. Ethiopia has violated an international law. In fact, it is the first nation in the Horn of Africa to do so! It has chosen a path of lawlessness. It has to pay the price for its defiant attitude! For how long is this going to continue? There has to be a “Stop Sign” on this madness!
The supreme goal of the Eritreans, at this time, is economic rehabilitation. They know that they have a daunting task to accomplish an economic take off. They know they will uplift the devastated Eritrean economy and will work to improve the lives of the common person. They know that they do not expect any salvation to come from any source. They will do it themselves! They will depend on their own ingenuity! They do not expect any handouts from anybody.
Know this; the Eritreans are not begging you to bring them eternal salvation! They only want you to do your job! They are seeking justice to be served! Let not any Eritrean blood be spilled because of your ineptitude!
In spite of your inconsistent approach, Eritrea will constantly remind you and the UN Security Council to do your job and to uphold the decision of the Border Commission. It will not slumber for a minute without reminding the world community of its responsibility. You and the UN Security Council have the moral obligation and the legal responsibility to implement the decision of the Border Commission. Do not consider Eritrea as the enemy of the UN!
All said and done, know this, Eritrea will always assert its sovereign right to defend its territorial integrity. It will stand up against any enemy that threatens its survival or violates its territorial integrity! It has the means to do that! It has a legal obligation to defend itself!
Eritrea will continue to remind the world community that an international law cannot unilaterally be trampled by a wretched land! What does Ethiopia have to offer to the world community? There is nothing that it can offer! The Red Sea basin will be safe when it is controlled by Eritrea! The threat of Al-Qaeda will be checked by Eritrea! Ethiopia has no access to the Red Sea! Thus, it relevance in combating International terrorism is questionable!
Mr. Kofi Annan,
In simple legal terms, if a convicted felon refuses to pay any restitution for the crimes he or she has committed, the local judge will issue an order or a warrant to have him or her arrested. Hence, the local sheriff will put the felon in prison. Thus, Ethiopia is a felon! In fact, it is a terrorist nation that has created havoc in the Horn of Africa. Thus, it must be locked up and be put in prison! It has to pay a higher price for its arrogance, defiant attitude, and constant poking at the Border Commission’s Decision.
Ethiopia needs to be tamed! It should not be allowed to continue for years without complying with the decision of an International instrument! Action against Ethiopia is needed. Following the law of the jungle must stop!
Mr. Kofi Annan, you must get out of the deep ditch of a political hole you have put yourself! It is time for you to fix the broken link or mend the weakest part in the chain at the United Nations! Do not squander the golden opportunity of bringing peace to the Horn of Africa! The principle of an international law must be maintained. Justice must be served! Eritrea deserves peace as all nations, including the Super Powers, do!
The moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last. J.A. Froude