Remarks on the latest so-called "New Peace Initiative" of the TPLF regime
By: Sam Abrams
November 25, 2004

I read the text of Meles Zenawi's speech and the so-called "Peace Initiative" he presented to his rubber stamp parliament.

In his so-called "Peace Initiative" Meles Zenawi admits implicitly that he has been forced to swallow the bitter pill, but at the same time one should be aware that his speech, and the so-called "Peace Initiative" is a public relations stunt. A very careful examination of the "Peace Initiative" would show that he has been advised by his handlers and supporters to play this card, and they would, on their part, put pressure on Eritrea to accept "dialogue" and come to the negotiation table.

Eritrea and Eritreans should know that Eritrea's independence was gained and its sovereignty preserved through the blood and tears of its sons and daughters both at home and in diaspora.

No Eritrean in his right mind should entertain any kind of dialogue with a regime that committed untold atrocities and brought about sufferings on Eritreans equal to that experienced by victims of Nazism, and the Serbian and Rwandan ethnic cleansers and genocidaires.

If memberss of the international community want normalization and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and the wounds Meles and his TPLF minority regime inflicted on the Eritrean people to heal, they should do the following.

1. They should tell Meles that there is no need for issuing so-called "Peace Initiatives" every year. The only avenue to bring peace between the two countries is to implement the decision of the Boundary Commission without ifs and buts.

2. They should tell Meles to accept the actual demarcation of the border in accordance with the Boundary Commission's decision. There should be no ifs or buts here either. The letter and spirit of the decision should be respected. Meles should withdraw his army of aggression and occupation from sovereign Eritrean territories and dismantle the illegal settlements -- whether they happened one hundred years ago or one week ago. Meles should be told that the decision of the Boundary Commission and the demarcation of the border (which are inseparable) are not subject to any kind of negotiation and that delimiting and demarcating the border was and is the sole mandate of the Boundary Commission. They should tell him unequivocally that they have no power to interfere in the works the Boundary Commission -- it is illegal and a violation of the rule of law to do so.

3. They should tell Meles that he would face consequences in accordance with the stipulations of the Algiers Agreements, the United Nations Charter and International Law if he continues to obstruct the actual implementation of the Boundary Commission's decision.

4. They should tell Meles that the dialogue that he is seeking with Eritrea is a bilateral matter to be decided by both parties. No other power can force one party to enter into a dialogue with another just because one of the parties wants to have a dialogue. This is unthinkable and a violation of the sovereign rights of Eritrea and its people. Such kind of a dialogue is not even contemplated in family disputes (between a husband and wife) without the consent of both parties, let alone in inter-state disputes.

5. They should tell Meles that the Algiers Agreements provide for a mechanism to investigate the cause of the war. It is called the Claims Comission and has already started its investigation at the Hague. Thus, there is no need for him to suggest for the establishment of another mechanism/body to investigate the cause(s) of the war and address them.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that what Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his handlers have now come up with is the same old tactic (I would call it the same old poison coated with honey) -- to create a situation whereby they want to appear law-abiding and then claim that Erirea is not a willing partner to make peace, i.e., turn the tables against Eritrea and blame it for obstructing peace.

I am confident this tried and failed tactic will not work this time around -- it is bound to fail. However, we should not sit down with our hands folded while the TPLF minority regime's prime minister is playing this card. We should expose his tactic for what it is - A FRAUD.