The response given by the Tigrayan minority regime in Addis Ababa to the four US Congressmen for introducing the Bill H.R. 2760, is another desperate attempt by the regime in Ethiopia to hoodwink the international community and disrupt the demarcation process due to start in October of 2003. The Bill calls on both Eritrea and Ethiopia to abide by the independent Border Commissions' final and binding verdict. It certainly didn't warrant the assault on these Congressmen launched by the apartheid regime and its agents. The incoherent and distorted analysis, posted in the Ethiopian Embassy website under the title "Ethiopia's response to H.R. 2760" is filled with lies and misleading unrelated issues.
Contrary to what is written in that "analysis", it was the Tigrayan regime, led by Melles Zenawi, that declared war on Eritrea through its rubberstamp parliament, and it was this same regime using unsuspecting Ethiopians as cannon fodders and minesweepers, that launched massive and successive offensives against Eritrea, costing the lives of 120,000 innocent Ethiopians. This minority regime has also attempted to overthrow the legitimate Government of Eritrea, and has invaded and still occupies to this day, sovereign Eritrean territories. Their belligerent record is clear.
Again, in its misleading and incoherent "analysis", the ethnic based minority regime tried to confuse the public by raising two unrelated issues. That is, the findings of the Organizations of Africa Unity's Committee of Ambassadors of 1998 and the independent Eritrea Ethiopia Border Commission's decision of April 13th, 2002. The fact of the matter is that the OAU Ambassadorial Committee talks about administration while the border commission is about ownership and sovereignty. No wonder the Tigrayan clique conveniently left out the Ambassadorial Committees' conclusion that even though Badme was administered by the Ethiopians at the time of the war, that it "would not prejudge the final status of the area concerned".
In interpreting the Ambassadorial findings to its whim, the Tigrayan regime tries to insinuate that Eritrea is the aggressor. The truth is that it is not Eritrea that is the aggressor. The culprit is the Tigrayan regime that produced the Greater Tigray Administrative map incorporating swatches of sovereign Eritrean territories. ( this map also takes chunks of land from the Gondar and Wollo provinces-but that is an internal Ethiopian problem to solve). Before its adventure in 1998 in Badme, it is this same group who in 1997, using military force, illegally dismantled the existing Eritrean administration in Adi Murug and occupied it.
Nevertheless, since Eritrea has always maintained that Ethiopia was indeed the aggressor, to ascertain the validity of claims and counter claims by the two parties, at the request of Eritrea, an independent and impartial commission has been mandated to investigate the cause of the conflict. Article 3 of the Algiers Peace Agreement says that:
a.. In order to determine the origins of the conflict, an investigation will be carried out on the incidents of 6 May 1998 and on any other incident prior to that date which could have contributed to a misunderstanding between the parties regarding their common border, including the incidents of July and August 1997.
b.. The investigation will be carried out by an independent, impartial body appointed by the Secretary General of the OAU, in consultation with the Secretary General of the United Nations and the two parties.
c.. The independent body will endeavor to submit its report to the Secretary General of the OAU in a timely fashion
Given the fact that the OAU (AU) Commission has not yet completed its investigations and has not yet reported its findings to the appropriate body, the TPLF regime's attempt to present Eritrea as the aggressor is another futile exercise. However, since the disputed territory Badme has been found to be unequivocally sovereign Eritrean territory, it is a matter of common sense and only logical to conclude that Ethiopia is the culprit, and Eritrea the victim.
In their constant effort to confuse the public, the Addis clique and its paid agents continue to raise political and other unrelated issues in the demarcation process and the Border Commission's decision. Again for the record, the Commissions mandate was clear from the onset.
Article 4.2 of the Algiers Peace Agreement says:
" to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law. The Commission shall not have the power to make decisions ex aequo et bono".
I am positive that the TPLF clique and their $1 million dollar legal team know that ex aequo et bono means that there will be no political, humanitarian and other considerations. TPLF's objective is again clear; using the pretext of "humanitarian and geographic considerations", "clarifications", "lasting and durable peace", "administrative and historical ties" etc. etc. it is trying to appeal to the patriotic emotions of innocent Ethiopians so they can once again be used as cannon fodders and minesweepers for the benefit of the Tigrayan expansionists.
It should be noted that the border issue between Ethiopia and Eritrea is minor in comparison to the outstanding and serious border issues that involve Ethiopia and Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya and Ethiopia and Somalia today. If it weren't for the myopic vision and expansionist ambitions of the Tigrayan clique in Addis, the border conflict with Eritrea would not have taken the sad, destructive and disastrous direction it took.
As to the issue of Ethiopia being an ally of the US in the global fight against terrorism, it would suffice to say the following. Unlike Ethiopia, Eritrea did not jump on the "war against terrorism" bandwagon for financial or other considerations. Whilst Eritrea has been fighting terrorism since independence, a matter of international record, Ethiopia in collaboration with the terrorist sponsoring government of Sudan has been and still is financing and harboring terrorist groups such as the Eritrean Islamic Jihad on one hand, while begging for funds to fight terrorism on the other. What hypocrisy!
As to the issue of TPLF's attempt to portray itself as a democratic government, it is public knowledge that this Tigrayan led apartheid regime is in fact rejected and hated by 95% of the Ethiopian people. Its rigged elections are fraudulent and its human rights record is dismal and disgraceful. Its ethnic cleansing policies resulted in the deportation of over 70,000 Eritreans of Ethiopian origin and confiscation of properties worth over a billion dollars. As to its numerous human rights violations, the people of Ethiopian are my living witnesses.
The Tigrayan clique has the audacity to state:
" When inconsistencies or errors are found in an arbitral award, modifications are generally required by international law. It is not uncommon , particularly with respect tot highly political disputes, for one to both states to raise objections to some aspect of the award"
It also tries to cite the case of Cameroon vs. Nigeria and the case of the US vs. Nicaragua. The truth of the matter is that the Algiers Agreement and the Rules of Procedure by the Border Commission does not allow this right to the parties. It is clearly spelled out by the Commission that the award is final and binding. Unlike the cases of the Cameroon vs. Nigeria and US vs. Nicaragua, this award is also endorsed by the UN Security Council.
The Algiers Agreement is clear on the consequences of failure of either party to comply with the terms of the treaty. Article 14 of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement states inter alia:
".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 , a) measure 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 V11 of the Charter of the United Nations by the UN Security Council."