Security Council calls on Ethiopia to Accept the Border Commision's Decision
By: Sophia Tesfamariam
March 15, 2004


"Destiny is no matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved" William Jennings Bryan

Resolution 1531 (2004) was adopted by the Security Council at its 4924th meeting, on 12 March 2004. For Eritreans, it was just another meaningless collection of carefully worded statements which have been repeated in about a dozen or so resolutions since the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict began. Melles Zenawi on the other hand must be sighing with relief that the UNSC will not only continue to allow him to act with utter belligerence, but that the UNSC is also willing to foot the bill for his lawless behavior indefinitely.

In another attempt to appease Melles Zenawi's apartheid regime, in its latest toothless resolution, the UN Security Council called on the parties:

".to cooperate fully and promptly with the Boundary Commission, and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation to proceed expeditiously, including through the unequivocal restating of Ethiopia's acceptance of the Boundary Commission's decision, the appointment by Ethiopia of field liaison officers, and the payment of its dues to the Boundary Commission;

What the UN Security Council should have called for is, Melles Zenawi's unconditional acceptance of Eritrea's sovereignty over Badme and all the other territories deemed Eritrean by the EEBC. Next, the UNSC should have called on Melles Zenawi to vacate from sovereign Eritrean territories. The UNSC should have called for immediate resumption of the demarcation process without entertaining pre-conditions and threats from the deceptive Prime of Minister Ethiopia. Whether Melles Zenawi accepts the decision or not, he is treaty bound to abide by it. The UNSC has to stop giving Melles and the apartheid regime in Ethiopia the notion that it has a does not!

The UN Security Council knows that Melles Zenawi's apartheid regime has rejected the Boundary Commission's decision and that in his letter to UNSG Kofi Annan, the Ethiopian Prime Minister had arrogantly insulted the Border Commission calling it "totally illegal, unjust, and irresponsible". The UNSC also knows that this belligerent and lawless leader of the minority regime had the audacity to tell the Ethiopian parliament that the Border Commission was "null and void". The fact of the matter is that the decision is final and binding and that Melles Zenawi can abide by the ruling and allow demarcation to proceed or else face punitive actions.

The Border Commission in its 11th report to the UN Security Council stated that:

".Eritrea notified the Commission and Ethiopia of the appointment of its field liaison officers, submitted a proposal for security arrangements for the boundary demarcation work and paid its contributions to the expenses of the Commission as required by the terms of the Algiers Agreement. Despite reminders from the Chief Surveyor and Secretary to the Commission, Ethiopia has yet to respond on these Matters."

It would have been helpful if the UNSC was able to separate the culprit, which is Ethiopia, from the party that has fulfilled all of its obligations, which is Eritrea, by addressing issues pertaining to each side separately. If the UNSC had done that, there would not be a need for resolution after resolution calling for the same thing. If there was impartiality and honesty, we would have seen a just action being taken by the UNSC. The UNSC would have invoked Chapter 7 against Ethiopia, the party which has deliberately and dangerously obstructed the demarcation process from day one.

On the issue of direct flights, the UN Security Council urged:

".both parties once again to establish expeditiously a direct high-altitude flight route between Asmara and Addis Ababa to relieve the unnecessary additional cost to UNMEE and member States."

I don't understand why they did that, "urge both parties" that is, when it is perfectly clear that it is Melles Zenawi's apartheid regime that is denying UNMEE direct flights. The Progress report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea dated March 5, 2004 stated:

".While Ethiopia has indicated that it may now be willing to allow direct flights, it has not followed through with a decision or action to this effect"

It should be recalled that UNMEE had also reported on January 17, 2001 that:

"The Eritrean authorities have been willing to authorise UNMEE flights by the direct route between the two capitals used by commercial flights before hostilities began in 1998. The Ethiopian authorities have been willing to authorise UNMEE flights by a route requiring a diversion. The Ethiopian authorities remain unwilling to allow use of the direct route without diversion"

So here again, this "urging" applies only to Melles Zenawi's apartheid regime. Eritrea is already in compliance. If the UNSC is not interested in invoking Chapter 7 and enforcing its resolutions, then it should just stop issuing them.

Somewhere in its latest toothless resolution, the UNSC decided to express its:

". support for the initiative of the Secretary-General to exercise his good offices by appointing a Special Envoy, in order to facilitate the implementation of the Algiers Agreements, the decision of the Boundary Commission, and the relevant resolutions and decisions of the Security Council, and to encourage the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and emphasizes that this appointment does not constitute an alternative mechanism."

But that was not all, the UNSC also:

"...Expresses its full support for the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Ethiopia and Eritrea, Lloyd Axworthy, stresses that the Special Envoy enjoys the unanimous support of the witnesses to the Algiers Agreements, namely the United Nations, the United States of America, Algeria, the African Union, and the European Union, and urges both parties, in particular the government of Eritrea, to engage constructively and without further delay with the Special Envoy"

Well, Axworthy is not the only one that is enjoying "unanimous support". The Government of Eritrea, a signatory of the Algiers Agreement, and the only party that is abiding by its tenets, has the "unanimous support" of the people of Eritrea. It is not Mr. Axworthy's credentials that are in question here; it is his intentions and those of his "unanimous" supporters that is. In a world filled with such deception and dishonesty; the people of Eritrea have no choice but to stick to the law, no matter what the guarantors "emphasize"!

Final and binding arbitration is a legal matter that has to be enforced, while "normalization of diplomatic relations" is a bilateral matter, a sovereign right and choice.

The rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle!