Monday, October 27, 2008

Eritrea: President Isaias Afwerki's Letter to the UN Secretary General

Your Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary General
The United Nations
New York

May I kindly request Your Excellency to ensure that this letter is put on the record of the United Nations and circulated to all UN Security Council Member States.

I would further like to express our gratitude for Your Excellency's instructions, effected on 2 October this month, to circulate to all UN Security Council Members the Report of Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, the President of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission, of 25 September 2008, and to file it in the official records of the United Nations. The full report is annexed as a reminder.

It must be underlined that the message of President Lauterpacht highlights the fundamental legal issue and substantive matters on all the seven points invoked.

In the second point, the Report ascertains that the EEBC's Delimitation Decision of 13 April 2002 as well as its Determinations of 27 November 2006 are binding on the two parties.

In the third point, the Report underlines that after the refusal of Ethiopia to nominate a replacement for its (deceased) Commissioner, "the Secretary General has not exercised his power of appointment pursuant to Article 4(4) of the Algiers Agreement of 12 December 2000". The implications of this statement must be evident to Your Excellency.

As a fourth point, the EEBC not only ascertains that it has deposited, in the UN registrar, copies of its maps as the last act of the conclusion of its legal mandate but it further underlines the failure of Ethiopia to meet its financial obligations to the EEBC in violation of Article 4(17) of the Algiers Agreement.

In the fifth point, President Lauterpacht's Report explains the legal rationale and significance of its letter of 18 June 2008 to the Parties.

In the sixth point, the Report underscores the importance of Eritrea's response of 1 July 2008 while confirming Ethiopia's failure to give any response.

In the seventh point, the Report asserts that after the completion of ongoing administrative tasks related to the termination of its mandate, the EEBC will effectively consider itself as "functus officio".

Mr. Secretary General,
Your Excellencies: Members of the UN Security Council

This historic message, at this crucial juncture, is a "clarion call" to the UN Security Council. This is a legal and moral message to the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities and ensure the eviction of Ethiopia from Eritrea's sovereign territories that is occupying in violation of the rule of law, the Charter of the United Nations as well as the final and binding decisions of the EEBC as stipulated in the Algiers Peace Agreement.

Mr. Secretary General
Your Excellencies: Members of the UN Security Council

It is against this backdrop that the US Administration has chosen a "propitious" time to contrive and orchestrate a seemingly new and diversionary scheme under the rubric of a "border conflict". This was effected through the "submission" that the President of Djibouti was made to lodge, anew, to the UN Security Council yesterday. This appalling scheme has further been accompanied by outright intimidation and saber rattling against Eritrea. Eritrea's position on the whole episode has been clarified repeatedly and does not merit repetition here.

Mr. Secretary General
Your Excellencies: Members of the UN Security Council

Eritrea will not abandon its request for Justice and legality; its adherence to the rule of law; and, its compliance with the Agreement it has signed under deceitful schemes and threats. Eritrea will not indeed succumb to intimidation. Nor will it be dragged into a non-existent conflict.

In the event, I urge the UN Security Council not to shrug its responsibilities but to ensure the eviction of Ethiopia's occupation from our sovereign territories; including the new occupation of our land at Mount Musa Ali since May this year.

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