Asmera, 24 December 2003

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

Allow me to extend to Your Excellency my best wishes for a happy Christmas and New year.

I also wish to thank you for your letter of 22 December this week.

Your Excellency will recall my recent communications to you explaining the grave situation created by Ethiopia’s rejection of the Boundary Commission decision and its violations of the Algiers Peace Agreements. Your Excellency will have also been informed of the issues clarified by my Chief of Staff to your Special Representative on 16 December last week.

As you are aware, the implementation of the Algiers Agreements and the decision of the Boundary Commission have become stalled with no progress whatsoever for months now. This is solely because the Ethiopian government has flagrantly flouted international law and breached the Algiers Peace Agreements while it continues to occupy our sovereign territories by force. The stalemate or impasse that you alluded to in your letter has occurred simply because the international community, including your high office, has failed to take the necessary legal measures of enforcement that are warranted by the Algiers Peace Agreements.

If there really was a border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia, it has been settled through legal means. And, if and when the legal decision on the border dispute is implemented in accordance with the Algiers Agreements, the bilateral ties between the two countries will be fully normalized to contribute positively to the stability of our region. On the other hand, one cannot realistically contemplate normalization of bilateral relations when our sovereign territories remain occupied by force and the legal decision, as well as the rule of law, continues to be trampled.

As Your Excellency will agree with me, the matter cannot be a subject of mediation. A new mechanism to substitute the Algiers Peace Agreements and the decision of the Boundary Commission will not only be illegal, but it will also create a dangerous precedent. Indeed, we have no legal right to indulge in a new mechanism.

The only way that we can extricate ourselves from what you have termed as stalemate or impasse is when the international community compels Ethiopia to respect its treaty obligations and the rule of law, and ensure the implementation of the Algiers Peace Agreements.

In conclusion, I wish to urge Your Excellency again to shoulder your responsibilities and ensure the respect of International law and the rule of law.


Isaias Afwerki