Open letter to Mr. Kofi Annan
By: Yosief Tesfazion
February 17, 2004

We have the greatest respect for you and the responsibility that you bear as secretary general of the highest office in the world. However today, as peace loving citizens, we feel very uncomfortable with the UNs handling of the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Since the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia has legally settled in a court of law, the people and government of Eritrea have every right to be angry of the UNís tolerance to Ethiopiaís rejection the peace process and the indecisive action by the guarantors of the peace process. We believe that full cooperation by both countries with a Boundary Commission is essential to the peace process but, while Ethiopia rejected the of EEBC decision, Eritrea has demonstrate full acceptance and is ready to implement the decision.

It is not fair for the UN criticizing Eritrea jointly with Ethiopia using a word both countries for not accepting the EEBC decision and implementation of the peace process signed in Algiers. Using this kind of statement is misleading because the UN exactly knows which country has fully accepted the peace process and is ready for implementation and which country has rejected the EEBC decision. The answer is very clear Ethiopia has unilaterally rejected the EEBC decision and is obstructing the rule of law. It is as simple as that and it does not take a Rocket scientist to figuer this out. This kind of unwarranted statement by UN is encouraging Ethiopia to reject the peace process and violet international law. The UN must be fair and stop criticizing Eritrea. Ethiopia is defiance to the UN resolution and EEBC decision therefore all pressure and enforcement should be directed toward Ethiopia to come to terms and accept the final and binding decision. Your leadership has a big responsibility to restore trust and credibility back to the United Nations.

As we all remembered in year 2000 before Ethiopian third offensive against Eritrea, the government of Eritrea had fully accepted the peace process and the technical arrangements that were proposed by the OAU, while Ethiopia unilaterally broke the law and blatantly invaded Eritrea which caused the UN to indiscriminately imposes an Arm embargo against both countries using the magic word ď bothĒ and gave Ethiopia three Days to finish its aggression against Eritrea. This was the first UN mistake against Eritrea by appeasing Ethiopia at the expense of Eritrea. The result was disastrous over hundred thousands solders died on both sides and millions of innocent people displaced from their home. This is one of the darkest moments in the history of United Nations and the international communities. Maybe one day the UN will redeem its self and go back and revisit this tragic history and ask why so many people lost their lives? We believe that the answer yesterday today and tomorrow will be the same. Had the UN and the donor countries took their responsibility seriously and pressured Ethiopia to accept the peace process proposed by the OAU, the problem would have been solved peacefully and the loss of thousands of innocent peoples lives would have been saved. Today we are also facing with the same kind of scenario unless we are taking bold measures against Ethiopia the outcome will be worst than before and this kind of mistake should not be repeated again. For the sake of peace, we argue to force the Ethiopian government to Respect the UN resolutions and accept the EEBC decision and demarcate the border now

Mr. Annan, the certainty of the UN Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia is in jeopardy due to the lack of respect to the rule of law by Ethiopia. At this juncture the UNís job should be to pressure Ethiopia to accept and to implement the EEBC decision. The UN should take a firm stand and enforce the rule of law. At this point of time there is no need to appoint special envoy to Eritrea and Ethiopia except, to encourage Ethiopia to drags demarcating indefinitely. Let us not kid ourselves; unless the UN and the International community is taking strong action, the back door channel of communication is not going to work. The border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea once and for all was settled in a court of law in April 13,2002 just like it was in the dispute between Eritrea and Yemen. To that regard with Yemen, The Eritrea government sincere and Credibility was demonstrated by honoring the verdict and implemented the decision fully. Since the decision between both countries was fully implemented a few years ago, it is now the right time for any peace loving country to ask for broader based dialogue between Eritrea and Yemen to promote unilateral relations.

In the case with Ethiopia, in the first place the regime needs to respect to the rule of law before asking a dialogue. How could we ask for dialogue with a country that does not even respect and honor the courts decision? First Ethiopia needs to accept and implement the decision to show credibility and worthy for dialogue. Implementation fully of the Border commissionís decision should be a pre requisite to dialogue between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The peace process signed in Algiers in 2000 does not call for any dialogue between both countries but it will be reasonable to ask a dialogue after Ethiopia accepts the EEBC decision and implemented fully. Today what we need with Ethiopia is enforcement not appeasement. It is not legally or morally right to blame Eritrea for refusing dialogue with a law breaking country instead the UN massage should be clear to Ethiopia to accept the final and binding border commissionís decision and to implemented fully. Ethiopia should not be reward for breaking international law and defiance to the UN resolutions. At this curtial time, you should stand firm and restore the credibility of the UN and the Verdict of the court of law. If Ethiopia is allowed to refuse and not to accept the UN resolution, Which County do you think will honor and accept any UN resolution? Perhaps the answer will be none.

For Ethiopian refusal to comply and abide by International law, the UN has the responsibility to take appropriate measures against Ethiopia under chapter 7 which it itself committed and signed for. Unambiguous UN action and the international communities pressure will force Ethiopian leaders to rethink again and respect the rule of law. If not, particularly the leader of Ethiopia should be held for contempt of court and responsible for the death and misery of the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. At this time the cry for Dialogue by Ethiopia is a cover up to distract the decision of Final and binding.

We are afraid today that the United Nations is not sincere especially when it comes to Solving conflicts in Africa. Before it is regrettably the UN has failed to act for the people of Rwanda. Now we are strongly appealing to you the UN not to make the second mistake for people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. As we all witnessed a few years a go the conflict in Europe when Yugoslavia attacked kosovo the international community prompt reaction against big war mongering Yugoslavia, helping to bring peace to that region. The swiftly reaction by the UN and international community stopped the killing and suffering of the people of Kosovo . Today it is fair to say there is peace in Kosovo and the war Mongering leaders of Yugoslavia are on trail charged with war crime they committed against innocent people. Contrary to kosovo lack of international communities and UN enforcement against Ethiopia, thousands of people have died between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The UN and international community simply watched the explosion of over eighty thousand innocent Eritreans and Ethiopians with Eritrean origin, mainly women and children. This cruelty and genocidal act was being carried out against these innocent people by confiscated their property and separate them from their family. The Ethiopian war-mongering leaders should be held responsible for war crime they have committed against Eritrea. The regime also used innocent Ethiopia kids as cannon fodders and minesweepers for the benefit of expansionist minority regime in Tigray. This regime is trying to commit another crime and we must stop it now from committing another atrocity. Lets not repeat these mistakes in Eritrea and Ethiopia. We ask you sir, for the sake of peace loving and law-abiding people of the world to enforce the UN resolution so Ethiopia can abide by the rule of law. By allowing Ethiopia to hold peace and demarcation hostage indefinitely, we feel that the UN is sending a wrong signal to Ethiopia and to all other nations in dispute not to respect the rule of law. Fail of this mission will trigger disastrous outcome in term of human suffering and it will make any UN mission irrelevant around the Globe. Let the UN peacekeeping mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia Conclude its work with success and honor and set example to the rest of Africa. The Rule of law must prevail over the rule of jungle. Demarcation now dialogue later.


Thank you!
From The Peace loving Dallas Fort Worth Eritrean communities and friends of Eritrea.