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Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
By Kidan Eyob

The Final and Binding ruling of The Hague based EEBC was delivered ten years ago on 13th April 2002. Initially, both Eritrea and Ethiopia accepted the ruling, and the TPLF regime even celebrated claiming how big chunks of land were awarded to Ethiopia. However, few days later, the flip-flopping TPLF regime was instructed by its masters to reject the ruling and take the physical demarcation of the boundaries hostage.

Within days, the TPLF regime that lacks self-confidence and self-esteem, rejected the ruling calling the EEBC irresponsible and later accepted the ruling in principle but insisted on dialogue in order to systematically undermine the Final and Binding ruling of the EEBC in violation of international law.

On the other hand, the Eritrean government in its wisdom accepted the ruling and called for the physical demarcation to take place without any precondition. Ten years on, the Eritrean government persistently maintains the same principled position and vehemently rejects dialogue before the physical demarcation is carried out as this will automatically undermine the Final and Binding ruling of the EEBC.

For the last ten years, the International community under the misguided leadership of the US government has done nothing to implement the rule of law by putting pressure on the TPLF regime. To the contrary, Western governments and their NGOs have been providing financial and material support to the regime. But why does the TPLF regime violates international law and not only gets away with murder but gets rewarded for it?

Although the TPLF regime, in its lack of sense of direction and ownership of its decision making process, has not been forthcoming with information regarding what the dialogue is all about, there is speculation that it is about access to the Red Sea and the Port of Assab in particular. Additionally, this dialogue is believed to be about providing their masters with a military base in the Dahlak Islands so they can control the traffic of the strategic commodity OIL via the Red Sea. Djibouti is happy to provide this service at a price, however, their preferred strategic location is the Dahlak Islands where they can do what they like in isolation and unnoticed by the local population and government.

In an article I read on a well-established and a prestigious magazine in London, few years before the border conflict was ignited by the TPLF regime the US was planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Dahlak Islands constructing all sorts of infrastructures including an international airport, modern port facilities, hotels and staff accommodation as well as a casino establishing what I believed at the time was a perfect tourist island. However, what they really wanted was to construct all sorts of infrastructures that their army needs as a base abroad similar to the military base they had in Eritrea until the 1970s.

However, Eritrean government was not willing to compromise the hard earned independence at any cost and rejected their demand for a military base in Dahlak Islands, this rejection frustrated them and they tried every trick in their book to force the Eritrean government into submission. The first was for Yemen to attack Eritrea in Hanish Islands, but the Yemeni government has more sense than the TPLF regime. After some battles they chose to adhere to international law and accepted the ruling and the demarcation of the waters on the Red Sea. This further frustrated the US and decided to experiment with plan B. This plan was for the TPLF regime to ignite a border conflict over Badme followed by a full-fledged war with a strategy given to them by their masters to carry out a regime change and "to have lunch in Asmara and dinner in Massawa".

This plan failed to materialize and they then had Djibouti do their dirty work for them which also failed miserably. Then came the sanctions which were meant to isolate Eritrea, weaken its economy and force the Eritrean government into submission but to their shock, Eritrea prevailed and its economy is said to be growing at a fast rate. What would be their next course of action? Could it be the weapons of mass destruction conspiracy as they did in Iraq or saving the civilians conspiracy as they did in Libya?

Eritreans were denied their rights to self-determination in the 1950s and 60s by the International Community under the misguided leadership of the US but after 30 years of protracted military struggle for independence and heavy sacrifice, the rule of law prevailed in a referendum that took place in 1993. Likewise, the rule of law will eventually prevail when the physical demarcation takes place and the brotherly peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia will live side by side in peace and cooperation while healing their wounds.

The rule of law will prevail over the rule of the jungle