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Is the five point peace plan of Ethiopia a precondition?

Is the five point peace plan of Ethiopia a precondition?
Recalling the five point peace plan of Ethiopia, which was released on November 2004 and states as follows.

1. Resolve the dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea only and only through peaceful means

2. Resolve the Root Causes of the Conflict Through Dialogue With the View to Normalizing Relations Between the Two Countries

3. Ethiopia Accepts, in Principle, the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission Decision

4. Ethiopia Agrees to Pay Its Dues to The Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission and to Appoint Field Liaison Officers

5. Start Dialogue Immediately with the view to implementing the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission's decision in a manner consistent with the Promotion or Sustainable Peace and Brotherly Ties between the Two Peoples

It resounds that, for Ethiopia, if the five point peace plan do not get recognition by Eritrea it implies that the decision of the boundary commission is not acceptable for Ethiopia. Can we say that the above mentioned fact is a precondition set by Ethiopia to comply with the decision of the border commission.?

Now, let us look to what the security council is saying; Resolution 1662 (2005):

Quote "It also called on the parties to implement completely and without further delay the 2002 delimitation decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission and to create the necessary conditions for demarcation to proceed expeditiously." End of quote.

The above quotation from the resolution of the security council shows us that the concerned bodies at the security council are not serious enough to what they are looking for, to the implementation of the boundary commission decision. Because they didn't enforced their resolution with a mechanism that have a consequence if the parties didn't complied with the given resolution. How do the security council expects the demarcation to proceed expeditiously as long as Ethiopia sets a precondition and goes its way?

Again, let us take a sample from the above mentioned security council resolution.

Quote "In a related provision, members called on Ethiopia to accept fully the Boundary Commission's decision and to enable, without preconditions, the Commission to demarcate the border completely and promptly. " End of quote.

I understood from the context of the above resolution that, the security council takes the five point peace plan of Ethiopia, which is now becoming an obstacle to the implementation of the boundary commission decision, as a precondition set by Ethiopia. In this case, if we takes that the security council asks Ethiopia to implement the decision of the boundary commission with out preconditions, then what makes different on the other hand the security council to put a precondition on the name of "dialogue" for the implementation of the decision of the boundary commission? If the call of the security council for "dialogue" to both parties is not a precondition then what is it?

The other point is, in the above quotation, it specifies that the demarcation has to be completely and promptly. This proves that the position of Ethiopia which says "partial demarcation" is discarded and Eritrea's position "there could not be partial demarcation" is approved. When it comes implementing it promptly, here lies the problem. So long we know that the security council do not have the mechanism to persuade a member country to comply with its resolutions, then the roll of the witnesses of the Algiers agreement is to take action to persuade Ethiopia to comply with the decision of the boundary commission. In this respect the roll of USA is crystal clear and it has to be serious to bring a lasting and durable peace to the warring parties.

USA's roll in the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea is very intricate and has a damaging effect to these two destitute countries. It is really funny that USA approaches as saint in the day light and Satan at night to the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Let me first talk, the satanic approach of USA to the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. There is unambiguous and greedy wish of USA to control Eritrea by second hand and that is to use the hand of Ethiopia. Ethiopia's desperate situation to have out let to sea blinds its eye to be a servant of USA's evil ambition. In this case the brain is USA and the robot that is switched to take actions is Ethiopia. It is not strange to see that Emperor Haile Selassie was blind in this case and again now the prime minister Meles is becoming blind. But this time Meles is for Badme. If I presented briefly what I call the satanic approach of USA in this way what is saints approach of USA?. Yes, the food aid and the concern for human rights can be mentioned as an example. So let us forget this saints approach which is worthless to discuss about it and let us concentrate to the satanic approach.

First of all, by this time, it has to be accepted with out need to present proofs, the war of Ethiopia and Eritrea during 1998 to 2000 is aggravated by the fuel added to the fire by USA. It was to the interest of USA to see a humiliated and defeated Eritrea as a revenge to the president's visit to Libya during the embargo time. Refer to my previous article Cruel policy. I remember the declaration of the state department during the 2nd offensive of Ethiopia when Eritrea declared; it withdrew from Badme and environs about 20 km. During that time the state department said Eritrea capitulated. I understood at that time they expressed their expectations. I can give you another example. During the 3rd offensive when the Generals of Ethiopia asked Meles that the Ethiopian soldiers are dying like flies and he to stop the offensive, Meles heeded to the recommendation of the generals and declared the end of the war. During that time one journalist from BBC asked Solome the then spokes women of Ethiopia, is that all? She answered; yes. This shows that the west were expecting Ethiopia to continue the war until it reaches Asmara. But having said so, on the other hand USA by its representative Anthony Lake was mediating. Do you have problem to see the Satanic and Saints approach of USA to the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea?
The issue of Badme.
The pretext of the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia during 1998 to 2000 was the case of Badme. The town itself may seem insignificant but its implications are enormous. First of all there is the issue who was right and who was the aggressor. Since now we have the verdict to label Eritrea siding at the right side and Ethiopia to be labeled as an aggressor is appropriate. Secondly, since the border at the western part is delimited to be strait line to include Badem to Eritrea side sways a large part that belongs to Eritrea. Other wise because of Badme town, Ethiopia is stealing large are from Eritrea. Finally and most important is the strategic importance of Badme. Following underlines this point.

When Ethiopia insists to have Badme, the interest is not solely Badme town but the surrounding area which is militarily important area. In the future, when Ethiopia decides to attack Eritrea the easiest way to attack Eritrea is from this area. Eritrea with out this place is vulnerable to defend itself. The argument by Ethiopia that equally wants to use to defend itself from Eritrean attack is baseless. The reason is Ethiopia have much better defense area inside Ethiopia. This is proved during the offensive by Italy against Emperor Menlik. Therefore, it is absurd Ethiopia to claim this area for its defense. For Eritrea, with out this place, all the time has to live under the mercy of not to be attacked by Ethiopia. Don't misunderstood that Ethiopians did master minded to occupy this strategic important. No, it is not. It is USA who wants this area to remain under Ethiopia. Since USA has no belief Eritrea would remain loyal allay to USA, it wants to have a delicate and insecure defense position of Eritrea. That is what they are pressing for dialogue. The demarcation will not take place as long as USA do not get its way. As for Eritrea, every action that is going to be taken should not be based out of frustration but on a very carefully studied and that ensures complete success.

When people like, Martin Plaut tells us that ; Quote " Eritrea has, since the 2002 Commission ruling adopted a single position: the ruling is final and binding, so let it be implemented in full and without delay. It has repeatedly appealed to the international community to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to allow demarcation to take place. President Isaias Afeworki has been deaf to all entreaties for moderation and compromise. He is not prepared to consider any modification of the ruling, despite the fact that the border would divide villages and possibly even single houses. Rather like Shylock in the Merchant of Venice - he is determined to get his pound of flesh. The problem is that this position, although legally correct, ignores the politics of the situation. Ethiopia remains the most important nation in the region. Its size, population and standing means that it carries greater weight in the eyes of the international community. This does not imply that Addis Ababa is immune to pressure, but to suggest that there are limits to how much pressure is likely to be applied. As a result President Isaias is, like Shylock, likely to receive nothing if he continues to press for a maximalist position on the question of Badme and the border." End of quote.

Poor Martin Plaut has nothing other to tell us except the above quoted idea. I give A+ to his English composition but D+ to his knowledge of the politics of the situation. I think when Martin Plaut undermines President Iseyas in understanding the politics of the situation he is simply drunken by the color of his skin that only white people understands the politics of the situation. Who else than President Iseyas understands the politics of the situation? Tell us Mr. Martin Plaut.

In conclusion, for Eritrea to secure its stand, first the final and binding decision has to be implemented. Other than this position will be unlawful as is described by Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, CBE QC (President). Quote " The Commission must conclude by recalling that the line of the boundary was legally and finally determined by its Delimitation Decision of 13 April 2002. Though undemarcated, this line is binding upon both Parties, subject only to the minor qualifications expressed in the Delimitation Decision, unless they agree otherwise. Conduct inconsistent with this boundary line is unlawful." End of quote.

When it comes to dialogue it is not a magic word or it doesn't mean that dialogue do not have a place in this issue. In fact the border demarcation cannot be fulfilled without dialogue. But the timing is the question. First Ethiopia has to comply with the security council decision and accept the border commission to start its work to implement the border decision. Then after wards Ethiopia and Eritrea must have dialogue during the demarcation process. The demarcation on ground can not go smoothly as is outlined on paper. The question is what is the stake of USA when it comes to its strategic interest? It is not to the interest of USA that Ethiopia and Eritrea to bring peace and concentrate their time and energy for their benefit that do not fulfil the strategic interest of USA. The question is can Ethiopians choose brotherhood with their natural allies Eritreans or prefer aid from USA and prolong the suffering of these two people merely to satisfy the strategic interest of USA?

Still I believe that USA can make much profitable alliance with Eritrea than with Ethiopia when it comes to its strategic interest in the Red Sea. As for Eritrea, it is not wise to give up simply the most important position to be neutral to safe guard the strategic importance to the whole international community. In the final analysis USA is going to realize that Eritrea is not tiny and not unviable as long as its sons and daughters are alive.

God bless Eritrea
Tesfamicael Yohannes
Oslo, Norway

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