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Tenth Anniversary of EEBC Boundary Decision, Ten-Year Impotence of the UNSC

Tenth Anniversary of EEBC Boundary Decision, Ten-Year Impotence of the UNSC
By Gebre Hiwet Tesfagiorgis

It is hard to believe that ten years have elapsed since the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) rendered its decision on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute. The Commission, comprised of five jurists with impeccable credentials, rendered its delimitation decision based on pertinent colonial treaties and applicable international law as stipulated by the Algiers Agreement of December 2000, which was willingly entered into by the two countries. The decision, resulting from a sound and cogent legal proceeding, is fair and just, and should have been final and binding on the parties, as stipulated by Agreement. The Commission's decision, as a legitimate instrumentality of international law, emanating from a duly signed Agreement, should also have carried the force of implementation. Yet, ten years later, the decision is not implemented due to Ethiopia's refusal to abide by the decision. And the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the international body whose mission is, maintaining global peace and security has done nothing, manifesting its impotence. The now virtually demarcated, yet not really settled, border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia remains one of the core issues primarily responsible for the perpetual lack of peace and security in the Horn region of Africa. There can be no peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia unless this border issue is resolved, and by extension, no stability in the Horn region of Africa. The only reasonable avenue for reconciliation and peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia is the full implementation of the EEBC's delimitation decision. At issue are the long-term peace and welfare of the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia, and of the whole Horn of Africa. It will be a tragedy if the UNSC, supposedly the enforcer and guardian of global peace and security, sits on the sideline for another ten years instead of playing an active role and taking appropriate actions to see to it that the legal and sound EEBC delimitation decision gets fully implemented.