''Ethiopia is not going to fire a single bullet at anybody''- Absurd and Twisted Logic
By: Sophia Tesfamariam
October 30, 2004

Meles Zenawi the street smart Prime Minister of Ethiopia (Tigray) having officially and openly violated the Algiers Agreements that he personally signed on 12 December 2000 in Algeria, rejected the Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission's final and binding verdict of 13 April 2002, and refused to abide by the Border Commission's demarcation directives, orders and procedures, and defied international law and numerous UN Security Council resolutions, while occupying sovereign territories of a neighboring country, in this case Eritrea, is today using all types of ''diplomatic'' games and tricks to present himself as a law abiding, peace loving, dialogue seeking individual.

In addition to his scare tactic assertion ''The EEBC decision will not bring lasting peace between the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia'', and his sentimental presentation that ''fighting poverty and developing the country are the two most important items on my agenda'', that he delivers to every delegation he meets left aside, Meles Zenawi continues to make the following deceptive, repetitive, sugarcoated ''diplomatic'' statements to the media and the gullible:

  1. ''We are saying publicly, repeatedly, we are not going to fire a single bullet at anybody. Fullstop''
  1. ''..Well as far as we are concerned, war is not an option and as I have repeatedly indicated we are not going to initiate any conflict with anybody, let alone with Eritrea. If Eritrea does not want to talk, then either the stalemate will continue or possibly at some stage in the future it may decide to overcome the stalemate by force of arms, so if there is going to be a new conflict it will be initiated by Eritrea''
  1. ''..They need to know that it is the only game in town because the only alternative to talking is shooting, and shooting is not a viable option...''
  1. ''As you know there is an Ethiopian army there [in Badme]. The only way it [taking possession] can be done is by removing the Ethiopian army and the Ethiopian administration. And if dialogue is ruled out, the only way of doing that is by force of arms and if they do so they will have decided to initiate a conflict. It did not work last time around and it will not work this time''
  1. ''..we knew where to stop the last war…it had to be stopped and we stopped it, because it was about our border…now it would be difficult to know when and where it would stop if it starts…the war may not stop where it stopped the last time...''

These repetitive sugar-coated, ''diplomatic'' and threatening statements might fool people from Mars but not the people from Earth, the planet we live in.  With the exception of some individuals, whatever their motives, who are trying to justify Meles’ intransigence, defiance of international law and numerous UN Security Council resolutions, it is crystal clear for any rational and law abiding person on earth that final and binding court or arbitration decisions are not open for negotiations or revisions.

Whether the two parties are satisfied or not, the decision must be implemented without any pre-conditions, that is the essence and the meaning of respecting the rule of law. Personal, family, trade union, border etc. etc. conflicts and disputes that are not resolved through negotiation and dialogue are resolved through courts or a final and binding arbitration process. There is no other choice. You cannot ask for dialogue and negotiation, when the issue has been legally resolved, in particular when the verdict is final and binding.

On this earth, everyone lives by standard rules, regulations and universally accepted norms of behavior. International treaties and agreements must also be honored and respected, and there is no other choice when it comes to the rule of law.  Nobody can do as he or she pleases hence the phraseology, ''the rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle''. Nobody, rich or poor, big or small is above the law.

Therefore, it is about time that those handful individuals who, wittingly or unwittingly, are peddling Meles Zenawi's childish, absurd and defiant ''diplomatic'' games and tricks stop doing so. With statements they make, such as '' Meles has assured me that he will not take any military action against Eritrea'',  “ Meles wants to resolve the impasse through dialogue”, ''Meles is rejecting only 15% of the EEBC decision'', they are practically and legally undermining international law, encouraging his belligerent behavior, delaying the speedy demarcation of the Eritrea Ethiopia border, thus threatening regional and international peace and security.

After you have rejected a UN Security Council endorsed final and binding verdict, and after you have militarily occupied a territory of a sovereign country, to then turn around and ascertain that you will not take any military action and that you want to solve the issue of occupation through dialogue is ludicrous and laughable, as well as an insult to the intelligence of the international community.  

For the sake of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia, and for the sake of regional international peace and stability, as a taxpaying Eritrean American, I appeal once again to the international community in general and the US government in particular to take appropriate punitive measures against the intransigent Tigrayan dominated Ethiopian regime that is led by Meles Zenawi.

The UN Security Council under Article 14 of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities as well as Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter has the legal right and obligation to invoke Chapter 7 against Ethiopia, which is violating Article 49 of the Geneva Convention by resettling Tigrayans on sovereign Eritrean territories, thus violating the rule of law, and threatening regional and international peace and security.

Article 14 of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities says:

''The OAU and the United Nations commit themselves to guarantee the respect for this commitment of the two Parties until the determination of the common border on the basis of pertinent colonial treaties and applicable international law? This guarantee shall be comprised of ''measures to be taken by the international community should one or both of the Parties violate this commitment, including appropriate measures to be taken under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter by the UN Security Council;''

And Article 41 of the UN Charter states:

''The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations''

And Article 42 of the UN Charter states:

''Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.''

Article 49 of the Geneva Convention says:

''An occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of his own civilian population into the territory it occupies''

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