The UN must tell Meles Zenawi: “The Emperor Has No Cloth”
Issayas Tesfariam
July 28, 2003

In a letter dated September 19,2003 and addressed to the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the Prime Minister of the minority Government of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, unequivocally rejected the Independent Border Commission’s (EBBC) decision and outright abrogated the Algiers Agreement that he signed three years ago. He also gave the world body a notice that he will unleash his war if he doesn’t get what he wants. Curiously, a week later, the regime asked the world community for three billion US dollars for food aid!

For Eritreans, the letter was not a surprise. Eritrea had been saying all along that the regime in Ethiopia was never interested in peace and the regime’s Declaration of War on Eritrea in 1998 under the pretext of Badme, was only a ploy.

Let us look at some facts:

By 1998,

  • The majority of Ethiopians had rejected the ethnically based division of Ethiopia by the minority regime. (Tigray, the home base of the minority regime grabbed large swaps of fertile land from Gonder and Wello. Also through the regime’s 1997 NGO sponsored map, large tracts of land in Eritrea was unilaterally allocated to Tigray).
  • The elite of Ethiopia were accusing the minority regime of “granting independence to Eritrea”.
  • The illusion or the myth that prevailed in the minds of the elite of Ethiopia which stated that Eritrea could not survive without Ethiopia was eroding fast.
  • The minority regime ruffled its feathers after Eritrea launched its own currency because it never believed that Eritrea was serious with its independence.
  • In a convoluted mind, the minority regime concluded that all its ills would be reverted and be forgiven by the elite of Ethiopia, if and only if it could reverse the independence of Eritrea.
  • The regime understood that as a minority its stay in power without popular support would be short.
  • The minority regime had come to the conclusion (like the faction of the Roman Senate led by Cato the Elder who concluded that in order for Rome to survive Carthage must be destroyed!) that Eritrea must be destroyed for the minority regime to survive.
Now, let me fast forward to 2002 and 2003.

On April 13, 2002 a five-member highly qualified international lawyers (2 directly appointed by Eritrea and Ethiopia each and the third one indirectly appointed by Ethiopia) unanimously declared that the “bone of contention” Badme, had always been Eritrean land based on the pertinent colonial treaties.

After hoodwinking the Ethiopian population primarily and the international community secondarily for a long time, the day of reckoning for the regime was approaching fast. After postponing the demarcation twice, the kingpin bamboozler spilled the bean in his letter to the Secretary General. Even if we give the international community the benefit of the doubt for not knowing of being hoodwinked, the international community and the international organizations had acquiesced with the action of the minority regime. (E.g. in May 2000 the world body allowed the regime 72 hours to unleash its third offensive).

Finally, the people of Ethiopia and the people of Eritrea deserve peace and should not be held hostage with a threat of “recurring wars” by the minority regime. After the September 19th letter, the UN, US, EU, OAU (AU) and the world community at large as guarantors of the Algiers Agreement should tell Meles Zenawi that the “Emperor Has No Cloth.” He is exposed bare naked. He is in no position to renegotiate the Algiers Agreement. Final and Binding means final and binding. The international community has a lot of stake at the peaceful conclusion of demarcation. It is high time for the World community to call a spade a spade and punish the guilty party, the minority regime of Ethiopia. Not only it is the just and legal thing it is also the right thing to do.

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©2003 Dehai Eritrea Online