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Ethiopia’s Attack Against Eritrea: A Reckless Act (Press Release 17 March 2012)

posted 19 Mar 2012, 07:36 by D Woldeab   [ updated 19 Mar 2012, 07:41 ]

On March 15, 2012, the Ethiopian Government announced that it had launched an attack deep inside Eritrean territory in a purported retaliation to the abduction and killing of tourists in the Afar region by rebels that they claim are supported by Eritrea.

 In 2007, the Ethiopian Government had accused Eritrea of direct involvement in the abduction of five Europeans and thirteen Ethiopians by the same group.  Nevertheless, an American diplomatic cable confirmed that not only did Eritrea have nothing to do with the kidnapping, but it in fact played an active role in securing the release of the hostages. The American Ambassador in Eritrea wrote that he had no ‘basis for believing Eritrea either ordered or orchestrated the kidnapping’. The ambassador further stated:

 “The GSE (Government of the State of Eritrea) played a facilitating role in the release of the European abductees and for that the British, French, and Italian Ambassadors are all grateful.”

 The Ethiopian government continues to blame Eritrea for all the ills in Ethiopia based on fabricated evidence. This fabricated evidence then becomes the basis for the UN to impose unfair and unjust sanctions against Eritrea, including an arms embargo. While Eritrea has its hand tied behind its back as a result, Ethiopia is attacking with impunity and flagrant violation of the UN Charter. The UN Security Council is violating Eritrea’s right to self-defence as guaranteed by Article 51 of the UN Charter.

 AGE deplores the fact that there has been no condemnation of Ethiopia’s reckless action whatsoever. The UN, US, EU and others have released statements calling on both countries to show maximum restraints, essentially equating the victim and perpetuator in an attempt to appeal to a perverted sense of fairness. These statements undermine the prospects of peace and are a serious abdication of responsibility on the part of the international community. The Ethiopian government is committing such flagrant aggression knowing full well that its dangerous and irresponsible actions will be tolerated and even excused as has been happening for over a decade. 

 Ten years after the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission delivered its verdict, Ethiopia still occupies sovereign Eritrean territories by force and in violation of international law.  The UN Security Council and guarantors of the agreement have, to this day, refused to shoulder their responsibility of enforcing the final and binding verdict of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission. As a result of their inaction, Ethiopia remained intransigent and continues to cause great turmoil in our region. On the contrary, in what can only be described as a bizarre miscarriage of justice, the UN Security Council was quick to impose sanctions against Eritrea on dubious grounds and unsubstantiated evidence.     

 For the sake of peace and security in the region and the reinforcement of justice and the law as a basis of civilised behaviour of nations, we call upon the UN Security Council to condemn and reprimand Ethiopia for its aggression against a UN Member State and to call for Ethiopia to unreservedly implement the final and binding Algiers agreement. The silence of the UN Security Council as well as the wider international community has encouraged the Ethiopian Government to continue with its highly dangerous and provocative adventure that will only bring instability in the Horn of Africa. We strongly believe that the consequences of this instability will not only bring death and destruction to the people of our region but its effects will be felt well beyond the Horn region. It is therefore in the interest of everyone that the UN and the world send a strong message to Ethiopia to cease and desist warmongering in the Horn of Africa and withdraw from Eritrean territory.

 We also wish to commend the Eritrean Government for the restraint it has shown in the face of such provocative action and we hope that it continues to exercise maximum restraint.

 We call upon Eritreans worldwide to be vigilant and prepared for any eventuality to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Eritrea that was brought about and continues to be safeguarded by heavy sacrifice.