UN Security Council Resolution 1640/2005 Regarding Eritrea and Ethiopia Sets a Dangerous Precedent
By: Action Group for Eritrea (AGE)
November 28, 2005

Press Release - Action Group for Eritrea (AGE)

London, United Kingdom, 25/11/2005 - As most Eritreans are, Action Group for Eritrea is dismayed at the way the UN Security Council has decided to handle the Eritrean Ethiopian crisis. In its latest resolution (1640/2005), rather than addressing the real cause of the present crisis between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the Security Council has unscrupulously set a dangerous precedent in the Horn of Africa. 

In an overt abdication of its responsibility for maintaining peace and security, the Security Council has yet again failed to take firm measure against Ethiopia for rejecting a legal ruling enshrined in international rule of law.

The Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC), the progeny of the Algiers Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, delimited the border in 2002. It had moreover drawn up comprehensive Demarcation Directions for the technical undertaking of physically marking out the border. However, in 2003, the Ethiopian government, in complete contravention of the Algiers Agreement, reneged on the deal by calling the work of the independent Boundary Commission "unjust and illegal".

Due to Ethiopia's intransigence, the EEBC has not been able to do any work. It has, citing Ethiopia's persistent obstructionist stand as the main cause, suspended its work indefinitely. To date, Ethiopia's unlawful behaviour has gone unchecked by the UN Security Council. The border remains undemarcated despite the final and binding EEBC decision and a body of comprehensive Demarcation Directions.

Notwithstanding this catalogue of unlawful actions on the part of the Ethiopian government, the UN Security Council has, rather surreally, threatened Eritrea with economic sanctions. It is alarming that the Security Council should fail to suggest any concrete punitive action against Ethiopia for its unlawful refusal to implement the final and binding EEBC ruling. 

Action Group for Eritrea denounces the spirit and content of Resolution 1640/2005. We condemn the UN Security Council's seemingly partisan decision. We call upon the international community, and particularly the guarantors of the Algiers Agreement, to avert the potential fallout that will surely follow this negligent action by the UN Security Council.