Kofi Annan, UNSG, How Much Concerned are you about the Ethio-Eritrean Border Demarcation Impasse?
By: Ogbazgy Abbay Asmerom
October 4, 2004

This article has four parts:
Part I Part II PartIII Part IV

Part One

Men are born with two eyes, but with one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say. Colton

Reliable sources in Asmara, Eritrea, have expressed their disappointment by the recent trip you made to the Eritrean capital. Your fruitless visit showed that your intention was to force the Eritrean authorities to accept a political solution and not a legal solution to the Border Demarcation Impasse. That posture showed how gullible you have become. It also showed how much you have decided to endorse the position of the Ethiopian government. The Eritreans have told you repeatedly that the only solution to the demarcation impasse is the legal solution! You seem not to care for the legal solution! You seem not to be concerned by the gravity of the situation!

Do you not care about the more than 65,000 internally displaced Eritreans who could not go back to their original homes and farming places? Do you not care about the suffering children, women, and elderly Eritreans who have lived in makeshift tents for more than four years? Do you not care about the need of Eritreans to have a long-lasting peace with their southern neighbors, Tigray and Ethiopia? Does your conscience think of these problems and does it seek to alleviate the situation? From all indications, unfortunately, you seem to have lost the vision to bring a peaceful solution to the Ethio-Eritrean Border problem!

We know that the Ethiopian government, out of stupidity, arrogance, and disrespect of an international law, has unequivocally rejected the decision of the Border Commission. It has been more than a year since you received a letter from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, who advised you to come up with a special accommodation, a different mechanism, or an alternative solution. He told you flatly on your face that Ethiopia was not going to accept the decision of the Border Commission. He told you that the decision was wrong, illegal, and unjust! Is that rejection too difficult for you to understand? Do you not realize what the Ethiopians are cooking inside your office? What kind of a periscope do you have in your office? What kind of a microscope are you using?

Your dubious position was intended to dupe, bamboozle, betray, and deceive the Eritrean authorities. Unfortunately, worldly politics is full of deceit. It works on the premise of getting the maximum gain out of the most innocent nations. Hence, political deceit becomes a diplomatic coup d`etat!

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. 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? The United States, The European Union, and the 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! Hence, there is no forceful condemnation against Ethiopia that has been labeled or uttered by any of the above-mentioned entities!

Is that very hard to comprehend? Did the Queen's language not help you discern the difference between final and continuous? Does your training as a diplomat not help you to see the difference between binding and not binding? Did you not get the diplomatic training to see the difference between legal solution and a political solution? Have you deliberately decided to hoodwink the Eritreans and wanted to make them a sacrificial lamb on the altar of Ethiopian hegemony?

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 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!

The years you spent in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, working at The UN Economic Commission for Africa, may have created a sense of loyalty to the Ethiopian empire. If that is the case, your judgment has some Ethiopian twist to it! Ethiopia may have a place in your heart! In diplomatic circles, that is called preferential treatment!

In one way or another, in clear diplomatic terms, Ethiopia has snubbed the world community and has rejected the Decision of the Border Commission. 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? 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. 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!

To Be Continued.........