April: Month of Victories and the Supremacy of the Law
By: Shabait Staff
April 27, 2004

Eleven years ago last week, the Eritrean people formally proclaimed national independence that was achieved through long unparalleled struggle. The birth of sovereign Eritrea was declared to the entire world. The Eritrean people did this first going to the polls for a referendum and vote for and freedom and national independence overwhelmingly. Another key event scored in the month of April is the issuance on13 April 2002 of the EEBC ruling on border delimitation that is final and binding. These two events are a clear manifestation of the supremacy of law, aggression and lawlessness.

When Haileselassie annexed Eritrea by dismantling the Federation set up between Eritrea and Ethiopia by the United Nations, the Eritrean people expressed their opposition to this unlawful act through peaceful means. But, the call of the Eritrean people was met with deaf ears. The only response they got from the aggressor was the logic of force.

Subdued by the errant interests of super powers, the United Nations did nothing when the Federation set up by it was openly violated. Backed by those who sympathized with their dreams, the Haileselassie and Derg regimes strove hard for long to suppress the right of the Eritrean people for self-determination. However, truth and justice cannot be vanquished through brute of force and conspiracies forever.

Although the Eritrean people won their independence by remarkable armed struggle, they opted for legitimate national sovereignty. Out of their free will, they conducted a free and fair referendum observed by the international community, including the United Nations. The result of the referendum was a resounding vote of: 99.8 percent for independence. In this manner, the Eritrean people put a legal culmination to their protracted armed struggle for freedom and national independence.

The referendum was expected to be a lesson for Ethiopian rulers that nothing is above the supremacy of the law. Blinded by dreams of expansion, however, the TPLF regime was far from adhering to this fundamental principle of the law. The regime, which assumed power after the fall of the Derg, inherited the legacy of its predecessorís lawlessness and aggressive character and belief in sheer force. However, the TPLF regimeís efforts bore no fruits. Once again, it was proved that the supremacy of the law could not be subdued by the logic and use of brute force. The regime was thus eventually forced to accept international legal mediation.

But when the process of mediation upheld justice, the expansionist TPLF regime was not ready to accept the ruling. What is worse, however, is that some of the members of international community, in their zeal to entertain and encourage Ethiopian regimeís lawlessness, are once again committing a grave historical mistake. Even at this stage, the supremacy of the law cannot be trampled on and will eventually reign supreme. And any attempt to escape the verdict of competent international court of justice is but futile. Ultimately, whether the aggressors concede or not, the rule of law will prevail over lawlessness.