By Sophia Tesfamariam,
The Independent Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) delivered its final and binding delimitation and demarcation decisions on 13 April 2002 and 30 November 2007 respectively.
Emboldened by the diplomatic, financial, military and political shield and support it receives from the United States and its allies, the belligerent minority regime in Ethiopia continues to militarily occupy sovereign Eritrean territories, including Badme, the casus belli of the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict in 1998-2000.
The Algiers Agreement was signed on 12 December 2000 in Algeria by H.E. President Isaias Afwerki for Eritrea and by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for Ethiopia and witnessed and guaranteed by Secretary General Kofi Annan representing the United Nations, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of the Democratic Republic of Algeria, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright representing the United States, Secretary General, Salim Ahmed Salim representing the OAU, and Senator Renato Serri representing the European Union, and states that the Border Commission alone has the sole authority and mandate to delineate and demarcate the Eritrea Ethiopia border.
The EEBC was established in accordance with the Algiers Agreements signed by Eritrea and Ethiopia on 12 December 2000. The parties agreed that the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the EEBC would be final and binding. Each party agreed to respect the border so determined, as well as the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the other party.
However, when the EEBC delivered its delimitation decision, Ethiopia rejected its findings and sought to have the decision reversed. Employing several deceptive gimmicks and ploys, its attempted to create an “alternative mechanism” to hijack the EEBC’s mandate and prevent it from fulfilling its sole mandate to delimit and demarcate the Eritrea Ethiopia border. After refusing to allow the EEBC to demarcate the border by placing markers on the ground, the EEBC decided to demarcate the border using virtual demarcation-coordinates on maps.
Meles Zenawi’s insouciance, flip-flopping, arrogant, defiant, belligerent and intransigent behavior cannot be attributed to just his character. It is related to the misguided foreign policies and aid he continues to receive from the European Union (EU), United States (US) and other major donors. Their indecisiveness and kids glove handling approach has encouraged him to defy international law and to continue to divert US and other taxpayers monies to buy military hardware in pursuit of policies of aggression and expansion towards neighboring states and beyond. He is also being rewarded for the cruel and inhumane resettlement programs, ethnic cleansing and genocides in the Gambela, Ogaden and Oromia regions of Ethiopia.
Article 14 of the Algiers Agreements says:
“…The OAU [now the African Union] 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…”
After 10 years of aggression and occupation, Eritreans around the world are calling for Ethiopia’s unconditional withdrawal from sovereign Eritrean territories, including Badme.
They are also calling on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to shoulder its moral and legal obligations by restoring Eritrea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by enforcing the EEBC’s final and binding decisions. The UNSC must also annul and repeal the illegal, unfair and unjust US-engineered sanctions resolutions (1907, 2023), imposed against Eritrea and its people.
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