Is the International Community about to Commit Yet Another Historic Error?
By Shabait Staff
November 4, 2003

History judges those who violate the sanctity of justice and those who keep silent in the face of injustice. In fact the Eritrean people were to pay a big price enduring severe injustice in the process during the second half of the 20th century because of the silence of the international community. At the time when other African peoples achieved freedom and national independence under relatively easy circumstances, the Eritrean people were compelled and coerced to enter into a federal union (UN Resolution No. 290(A)(5)) with Ethiopia, thereby serving the interests of some European powers. This was the first grave historic error committed against the Eritrean people.

Only a short period elapsed before Emperor Haile Selassie forcibly annexed Eritrea. Thereafter, the Eritrean people submitted their complaint to the United Nations and the international community. Despite the fact that the UN was responsible for formulating and endorsing the federal act, it did not take the same move when Selassie abrogated the federal formula and annexed Eritrea as part of his empire. The international community and the UN kept silent regarding the plight of the Eritrean people. Again, this constituted another historic and grave error, the negative impact of which befell the Eritrean people.

The third major historic error, which caused great suffering to the Eritrean people, resulted when successive Ethiopian regimes committed war crimes, atrocities and massacres against the Eritrean people, all of which were witnessed by the world community. These heinous crimes led to forced displacement of the overwhelming majority of the Eritrean people, while they were waging their just and legitimate armed struggle for freedom and national independence. Still, there was total silence on the part of the world community and indifference as to the crimes and injustices committed against the people of Eritrea. Nevertheless, the Eritrean people through armed struggle ultimately managed to achieve their freedom and independence.

In the post -liberation period, the Eritrean people were looking forward to catch up by stepping up joint efforts for reconstruction and building the Homeland. Unfortunately, they had to confront naked aggression by the TPLF regime in Ethiopia under the pretext of a border dispute, and this despite the Eritrean Government’s genuine endeavors to peacefully resolve the conflict through negotiations. But the TPLF regime rejected Eritrea’s peace initiatives and continued its aggressive military campaigns with a view to subjugating this country. Again, the international community as usual kept silent regarding this tragic development. This was yet another historic error victimizing Eritrea. The Eritrean people under their dedicated leadership met this challenge through mobilizing and confronted the TPLF aggression, thereby forcing the TPLF regime to sign the Algiers Agreement.

Moreover, our people emerged victorious in the legal arena exposing the TPLF’s totally unjustified border claims and aggression against Eritrea. At present, the TPLF regime has openly rejected the final and binding ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission as well as refusing to withdraw from sovereign Eritrean territories, besides making preparations to unleash yet another war of aggression.

It is to be recalled that the Algiers Agreement was not signed by Eritrea and Ethiopia alone but also the UN and representatives of big powers, international and regional organizations as guarantors. At a time when the TPLF regime is openly violating the terms and provisions of the Algiers Agreement, it is legitimate to ask whether the silence of the guarantors of the Agreement stems from misunderstandings and misconceptions of what really is happening, or is it because the guarantors’ interests are bigger and more important than justice? Is the international community about to commit another grave historic error against the Eritrean people? This is a question for history to answer. As for the Eritrean people, they remain fully prepared as ever to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty as well as promote all-round development and thus raise the standard of living of the population.