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Monday, 22 April, 2002, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Eritrea and Ethiopia border ruling: Your views
Both Eritrea and Ethiopia have said they will accept an international ruling on their long-standing border dispute which caused a two-year war and around 80,000 deaths.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
The two governments have both claimed victory - diplomats say neither side can admit to its people that the loss of thousands of men in battle was in vain.
The BBC's Martin Plaut says the 125-page ruling was sufficiently obscure for this to be possible.
The boundary was decided by a five-member panel of judges, treaty experts and international jurists at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Have you been affected by the long-standing border dispute? What are your views on the ruling?
Everybody is happy about the ending of the war. Now it's time to tackle the problems of social issues of the people for both countries to make the living conditions better.
Mai Temenawi, Canada
This border arbitration is nothing but to open a new chapter for a longer conflict that will be justified by more bloodshed since all Ethiopians feel unrepresented and the national integrity of their country is violated and their lands and people forcefully taken away from them. A government comes and goes but the people who share the same national values are there to spill their blood for the integrity of their country. The Afar people are just like any other Ethiopian ethnic group and they deserve to be back to where they belonged in their motherland. Ertitreans and Ethiopians in and out know very well that the war will continue as soon as the present regime in Ethiopia is removed. The Ethiopian people feel rather betrayed and deceived by their own people now than ever. Why would the world want to blind itself from reality for the fact that when all Ethiopians from all walks of life are protesting in dissatisfaction and saddened for losing their land and the Afar tribe.
The Eritreans should lease Assab to Ethiopia. That way both will benefit and also this will appease the landlocked mentality in Ethiopia. For now we all won - not because of the ruling but because the war is over.
As we know the war is over now, this means we got peace. Both nations can be a sample of peace to the rest of Africa and other nations which have border conflict. It was a great news that both nations has accepted the border decision, and we have to think about our future to accelerate our weak economy after April 13.
Yonathan Asfaw, USA
I don't care who gained or lost in The Border Case Ruling, but this case should act as very good lesson to all warmongers: That you can fight and kill many innocent civilians but peace can only be found by civilized and acceptable means. I hope these two countries will accept this and other countries in the region learn from it.
The border demarcation was not a victory for either side because it will not bring a lasting peace. The Afar people who are Ethiopians and the port of Assab, which belongs to Ethiopia, will remain a source of conflict. We are all tired of war and poverty but nor will we live in peace when Ethiopia's territorial integrity is violated. It is sad to know the death of all those soldiers on both sides will have resolved nothing in the end. When Meles is replaced, (he will be replaced) and a government that is willing to stand for the interests of Ethiopia is in power, this issue will come up again. Peace would have been achieved by returning the Afar people as they desire and Assab to Ethiopia, their rightful place. The Hague conference was a fraud and is clearly indicated by their mumbo jumbo decision they gave. Peace cannot be achieved by deception or theft. It is distressing to know that there is another war looming over both nations.
Last time I checked, there were two ports in Eritrea. One of them should belong to Ethiopia. Eritrea's history is nothing without that of Abyssinia. The truth is that both countries lost a piece of their heritage and history through separation , but this separation should be neater and more fair. By the way, Badme is just a sorry topic that the Ethiopian government chose to give the impression to the people that it cares about them.
It is unacceptable that the issue is being handled by undemocratic regimes that don't represent their respective peoples. Their background and intentions are obscured. Neither their friendship in the caves nor their disputes involved the masses actively.
I think peace should be given priority above all. If the ruling can give peace to both countries that is a great move forward. Every Ethiopian/ Eritrean should be treated like other foreigners in Eritrea/Ethiopia respectively. Finally, I would say it is better for the citizens of the two countries if Ethiopia and Eritrea continue being two independent countries.
When I read some of the comments on these pages by the Ethiopians I had mixed feelings... I felt like laughing and I felt surprised. Why? Some of you say that Ethiopia should demand Assab on the grounds that it is landlocked. As unfortunate that maybe the fact of the matter is it does not belong to them and hence you simply can not demand it. Imagine if a country like Austria (which is land-locked) demands the city of Venice in Italy on the grounds that it is landlocked.
The war was not about border. It was about money. Those involved know about it.
Feden Abeda, Canada
I am happy that the war is over. I hope that both Ethiopia and Eritria learn to respect human beings.
It saddens me greatly to see some of the commentary stating outrage on the ruling. As an Ethiopian, I would care less about who owns a narrow strip of land. What we need, in both countries, is economic development. A prerequisite to development is security. If we can learn to live in peaceful coexistence, we can all overcome this perceived nonsense that suggests that Ethiopia cannot prosper without access to the sea.
We won! They Won! We all won peace!
Abdu Farisla, Canada
The decision is not at all to the interest of Ethiopia. It is absolutely in favour of Eritrea, thanks to Meles and his friends. We are betrayed, our land is taken away. Who on earth sits and watches when unfair things are done to his/her country? Nobody. So one way or the other, when the time comes, we will get back all what we lost now.
First of all I would like to thank our God. The war is over, Badma belongs to us and Assab is continuning for us as it was. For God's sake those who claim Assab, what was your reason? Don't you know history or geography?
As people we have learned a hard lesson that has thought us, as President Isaias said in his recent interview, to be "cautious" but also to move on. Though the road to normalizing things is going be a long and agonizing one, let's start this journey by singing the lyrics: "From a distance we are instruments marching in a common band. Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace. They're the songs of every man".
If you think this drama is going to bring peace to Ethiopia or the horn of Africa you are dreaming. Just remember that the true sons and daughters of Ethiopia are watching this debate with disgust.
Aga Chebsa, Kenya
It is very easy for an Ethiopian or an Eritrean to blame the two governments for the war. But from what I see it is not only the governments but it is also the elites of both nations who live far from home who are/were adding fuel to the problem. Even as we look to day both governments are scrambling to please their respective nationalists on one hand while they show a desire to accept the ruling on the other hand.
I am glad to see that both parties accepted the decision and I hope this will give peace a chance. I surely wished there was a mechanism to resolve our differences than resort to violence and spare the lives of our beloved brothers and sisters and destroy the meagre resources that we have that could have been used to address the most basic needs of our people. I ask fellow Ethiopians to organize our resources in building the areas affected by the war and I am sure there are many worthy causes that need our support and dedication.
Peace can not prevail until what belongs to Ethiopia is fully recognised and returned peacefully. Badme is a barren land that is no use for no one, and its sad all those Ethiopian children perish for nothing as Badme's final fate still under dispute, sadly all that sacrifice of blood is meant nothing for Meles and his clique as Badme is still contested. Although, the current government is telling the people Ethiopia has no legal backing on claiming Asseb, but the truth is otherwise.
I hardly see a positive change to the life of ordinary Ethiopians before the war started or after the delimitation of the border. Instead we found ourselves losing many poor lives and substantial amount of money.
Personally I would not praise any one for a war that could have been avoided. Maybe another war is coming. who knows?
Tedo (the Kera), Netherlands
Now, it is time to make a "difference". Please let's not only think black and white.
After all, the root-cause of the war was not the land dispute but the failure of the governments of Meles and Isayas to keep their promise they made to each other when they were in forest. They also used the war to divert public attention from their respective internal problems. Now, after that senseless war and the consequent lose of thousands live, they are telling us they are victorious! What a joke!
I am a Kenyan who has lived in both countries for a long time. They are both good people and hospitable. What I suggest for both people is that unity is strength, so cool down the hatred pace and work together for a long lasting peace and development. Do not count on your governments because neither of them are worth leading a country. May God be with you.
The bitter enmity between the two warring nations will not come to end just because a square inch of land was given to Eritrea and a border was well defined. There are more economical issues and political ones too to be solved. The 2 countries needs to improve economically and stop fighting over trivial barren land issues which does not give anything to them anyway.
A non-issue, so called border dispute, brought so mach devastation on the lives of millions from both countries. The two dictators should be brought to justice for this and many more crimes they committed in the past on innocent people. They have no concept on peaceful resolution.
TO ALL AFRICAN LEADERS: Let's try to solve our difference, dispute, political problems and other issues on the table instead of picking up arms. War is not the answer to every problem. Enough is enough we are loosing thousands a year due to AIDS and other diseases.
After waiting this long for a verdict, I find the public document very obscure. I was looking for a very detailed map showing us the exact border line between the two nations with all the towns included. But what we got was all the legal "mumbo jumbo" without any detail in the maps. I think the Hague did a poor job or did not make enough information public.
There is no explanation of how I have been affected by this senseless war. I have lost two of my brothers and a sister as well as many cousins most of whom we have never heard from since the last war of June 2000. Most of the friends that I grew up with are still missing too. My heart is going to be bleeding for the rest of my life. Thus I will never forgive both leadership for fuelling this war and none of them have done anything to stop it. Since none of the country gained any land with respect to what they were administrating prior to war, both countries are losers as far as the ruling is concerned. At the end I am glad we are this far and I hope it will bear fruit.
I hope the world will learn something out of this and avoid such things in time from now on.
Haleta Bekele, MI, USA
It is indeed a victory to all for ending the unnecessary war in the first place. Ethiopia lost close to 170,000 of it's army and Eritrea 19,000. It was a tragedy should not happen. For the sake of the lost there must be an investigation to know the responsible party and learn from our mistakes. Let's move on !
Neither Ethiopia or Eritrea can afford to continue to quibble over borders. These extremely poor countries should devote their time to development and education. From the location of the majority of responders, you can see that both countries have many citizens who have chosen to abandon their homeland.
I speak on behalf of the ordinary Ethiopians I have spoken to after the ruling. To be honest, the reaction has been very varied. Some people still blame their government for not asking for the Assab port because the country will remain land-locked. The government, however, has repeatedly said that this was out of the question. On the other hand, other Ethiopians have been delighted by the prospect of peace and are calling on the respective governments to end the war and focus on development. I think this is the notion of the majority in the country. But Eritrea's claims that the disputed Bademe region belongs to it might cause some discomfort in the coming days which seems to be looking forward to peace and development.
Frankly, the diplomacy war both sides have chosen to lead is another headache for the people of the two countries. What the people want around here in peace, not war. I and my fellow Ethiopians sincerely hope that the two sides bury the hatchet and work towards developing their respectable nations. They have already said they will accept the decision. So why all this wrangling? I for one am tired of the war, tired, tired, and very tired!!!
Humans are the only species to
have shed the blood of its own
kind for selfish and disgusting
reasons. This conflict is an
example of this barbaric
mentality that has been engrained
into us. Today, every corner of the
world is in dire strait.
We have to stop this madness
before we all kill each other to
extinction. This border ruling hopefully
brings life back to normalcy in
Ethiopia and Eritrea. However,
what's more important is the
rebuilding of the nation and the
economy of both sides.
I am very happy that peace is there. And I hope there will be no more war.
Why didn't they ask for international solution before the situation escalated into war? It shouldn't have taken thousands of casualties for them to come to their senses.
Berhane Negash , Ethiopian/USA
Why is that so many Ethiopians think that Assab is theirs? Isn't the map clear for them? However, I hope they will try to get over it and to let Eritrea in peace now. We, Eritreans, are really happy about the decision, Badme is ours, our children did not die in vain!
It is interesting to note that those of you who seem implacably opposed to this on nationalistic grounds are mostly expats. It's always easy to be brave from the cheap seats, when you no longer need to be afraid that you or your family will die. Might be more use if you stopped grandstanding, and realised that to those who have seen war, peace is always preferable.
Enough is enough! Both peoples have suffered enough. Our leaders cannot realize that we suffer, since they
are sitting in first class hotels and enjoying themselves for donated money.
Eritrea had been involved by this useless two years war, and lost more than 50,000 lives. Thanks God for this final decision. I feel ashamed for Eritrean people and Eritrean leaders who lost the war and as well as the land. Beside this, they knew that the places weren't by any means belong to them, they just had a war for no reason.
It is so nice to see that there are so many peace loving people in both countries, Eritera and Ethiopia. This gives hope for the people who live in poverty in both countries. I wish there will be no more war. Let's learn from the past! We have gained nothing but poverty and hanger.
Shiferaw Melis , Ethiopia
I am happy Eritea was vindicated by the Hague decision. TPLF (Ethiopian governing party) has lost the war. As you all know the war started in Badme and the hidden agenda of the TPLF regime was to conquer and occupy Assab. All this is now a dream. I am proud to be Eritrean.
Congratulations to all peace loving Eritreans and Ethiopians. Thank God we have come to this peaceful resolution. Let's all live in reality rather than in illusion world. Both nations lost so many young innocent lives. Their lives were cut short at the age when so many of them could be living with us right now.
Yes, the peoples of both nations have been affected by war and its consequences. However, we need peace and love. We are brothers and sisters. We Ethiopians love our Eritriean brothers and sisters. Therefore, I personally, need not to see any bloodshed hereafter. I don't want to hear any drums of war.
Eritrea fought two wars claiming 'land', and lost both. The story is the same on legal grounds. I hope we will not repeat the same mistake in the future. This isn't the right way for the 'Singapore-style' economic development.
Tonga, Saudi Arabia
In all sectors with the blessing of Ethiopian government we lost approximately 6000 sq km of land to Eritrea. Now the next gift package will be to ask without shame the commission to pay compensations to Eritrea.
We hope the commission's ruling puts an end to the mindset of death and destruction. This border conflict highlights the fact that it takes very little to incite a war, but it takes visionary and courageous people to make peace. The people of both countries need to get on with their lives and work towards peace and economic opportunities for all. Yes Ethiopia can have a free access to an Eritrean seaport, but we need visionary people on the peace table to work out the details of a win - win arrangement.
I just want to say neither the Ethiopian people nor the Eritreans want to talk about war any more. They both suffered enough, it doesn't matter who won or who lost from the court decision, but just stopping the war, and focusing to restore their social and economy growth is a great victory for both countries. It is a great story not only for Ethiopians and Eritreans, but also it is a great story for the whole Africa.
This decision is another time bomb. This agreement was made by Melese and Eritrea. The voice of Ethiopians were ignored. When the right time and the right leader comes this decision will be reversed. Ethiopia and Eritrea will be like Israel and Palestine. There will be no peace in the region. The International communities are not the one who tells the Ethiopian people what to get and what not to get. The people of Ethiopia will gain what ever they lost now by any means necessary.
Reading from the BBC Board, it's quite clear most Ethiopians are very unhappy with this historic Hague verdict. This is despite the claim that Ethiopia "got all it wanted." I wonder what else would satisfy the Ethiopians. We Eritreans are at peace with ourselves; we are more interested in charting a democratic and prosperous future than holding grudges with our neighbours.
Yonas Semere, London UK
Congratulation! to all peace loving Eritreans and Ethiopians. At last the ray of peace is in Eritrea and Ethiopia, wise people will take hold of it. Those people who beat the war drum from the comfort of their inner cities and western country dwellings are extremely distant from the living condition of their people. Either they are not normal, or never lost a loved one to a war or else not conversant with numbers (hundred thousands have died).
It was a war that could be avoided by peaceful means and dialogue. We should be thankful to God about the decision that paved a way for peace. Let us be optimistic, and heal the wounds of our people.
Hagernesh Mulgeta, Ethiopian
It is good to hear that both countries have accepted the Hague ruling. I hope there will be no more bloodshed. What remains is the formation of a tribunal to prosecute two of the most senseless war mongers of our time: Meles Zenawi and Isayas Afewerki. This is an utmost interest to the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Both countries claim the ruling gave them the Badme town.
This is going to be a war that will continue through generations, with each side claiming the other one as starting the conflict.
Tesfay, Ethiopian in USA
The verdict delivered by this border commission is indeed good news. But let me remind people that the war that preceded the verdict was initiated and fought by both leaders to divert domestic attention. Both governments came with the promise of "democracy" which they never delivered. The Addis regime rigs votes to remain in power and continue ruling by the barrel of the gun. The Issayas regime has jailed all who opposes it and closed down the free press despite its earlier popularity. It really is a shame that people have fallen into these regimes' trap by being their mouthpiece instead of focusing on the real issues that both people are faced with day in and day out. They have succeeded in delaying the inevitable emergence of this injustice, but like all truths it shall come out and set our people free.
Both nations had been affected by this useless two years war, and they lost more than 80,000 lifes. Thanks God for final decision. I feel bad for Eritrean people who lost the war and as well as the land. Beside this, they knew that the places weren't theirs, they just had to mess around with Ethiopia. Still, one question is in my mind, why Isaias wanted to fight with his neighbourhood's countries? Within 10 years he fought more than 4 countries. So you can tell something is going on behind all those wars.
I am glad that Eritrea won substantial portions of its claim, especially Badme village and most of the Badme plains. I am sorry that Ethiopians did not/could not heed the requests of the Eritrean government and people to solve the issue by peaceful means (Ethiopians have been lied to by their government). I am glad that Eritrea forced Ethiopia to come to the peace table. To Ethiopians, I have this to say: Assab will never be Ethiopian and stay back where you belong. God Bless Eritrea, its president, its armed forces and its people.
I am happy the border problem is solved by peace, war never been a solution. Now I hope the two governments focus on other issues - such as hunger and poverty - that affect both people.
Dawit Tekue, USA
It is wonderful to hear that both the Eritrean and Ethiopian governments are happy with the arbitration decision in The Hague. The question of Assab has been the
background catalyst of the border conflict. Had Meles purged the extremists in his government at the initial stage of the conflict thousands of lives on both sides could
have been spared. It is unfortunate that still the minority Amhara and Tigray elite are determined to destroy this major peace agreement in the name of Assab.
They should accept that Ethiopia does not have any legitimacy to the port city Assab. 30 years of the illegal occupation of Assab and the rest of Eritrea has brought
only war, suffering and underdevelopment to Ethiopia.
I am truly happy for both countries to accept the UN decisions and abide by the rule. However; there is something that we shouldn't forget. Peace is not like water that everyone can scoop out from an ocean. It requires lots of work. This seems to be ok for now, but in the near future, we might see some other differences between the two countries. As an Ethiopian citizen, I think there shouldn't be peace until we get the two ports - Assab and Massawa - back to our hands. The naked truth is that we need pragmatic and long-lasting solutions.
Habtom Hadgu, Boston, Massachusetts
Frankly, I am both relieved and doubtful at the announcement of the border settlement. Being an Ethiopian youth who has been surrounded by the many stories of the long-lasting border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia it has been almost exhausting. There are many other issues that Ethiopia should deal with right now other than who gets the most strip of deserted land. After reading some of the above comments about Eritrea's "great conquests and victories" I wonder what exactly people are referring to. Is sending your only son to a pointless bloodbath worth claiming some silly land as your territory?
As an Eritrean I never accepted the war that has been waged by these two cliques. The bottom line of these verdict is that we Eritreans should start doing things differently. We shouldn't have gone this far to claim what is ours. The psuedo-Eritrean psyches must change for ever. After all, we have learnt our lessons the hard way. Eritrea should be thankful to the border commission.
It is naive to say that the cause of the war is border. It is purely economical. It is a barren land without any significant economic importance - it is simply a pretext. Unless Eritea abandons its parasitic behavior, time will show that they will find another excuse to go to war. It is Eritrea who started the war and after a humiliating defeat she was forced to accept a peace agreement. For a lasting peace in this region there should not be any kind of economic or diplomatic relation between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Both countries are losers - they lost more than 100,000 lives and got nothing in return.
Tameru Taye, Ethiopia
Ethiopians may think they have gained some Eritrean land. I urge everyone to look at an old Eritrean map and the new map. The two maps are identical. What we claimed in court is an intelligent tactic which the Eritrean government should be credited for.
The key issue now is the welfare of the people living in the disputed areas. Both governments should respect the rights and welfare of these people whatever their origins or affiliations. It is on this issue that everyone concerned should now focus if this tragic conflict is not to continue to bring desolation and ruin to them.
What is not fair for me is that the Ethiopian Government doesn't involve its citizens in the whole process. There is no public debate about the matter, People are afraid to argue against or in favour of a claim or a position if it is not that of the government's position. Hence many people in Ethiopia who want to debate about the position of the government are not given a chance to participate in the process.
Jean Douet, France
First of all I'm so glad that the senseless war between Eritrean and Ethiopian people is over. But keep in mind : as long as the evil leaders of both countries are still in power. the can start again!
This judgment does not in any way respect the Ethiopian interests and our freedom. This must be the work of our government. My question to the present Ethiopian government is: if you give our land to Eritrea, why do you allow our brave soldiers' lives to be sacrificed? Our struggle will continue!
Wagam Yelew, USA
How can a government lie to its own people about a victory that is not there? I have seen the decision of the Hague and what we were told by our own officials is a complete lie. I hope they will have to pay for what they have done.
It is great to hear both countries say they accepted the decision. it feels great now but they were too late. They should have stopped the war at the beginning, before 80 thousand people died over nothing. This should be a lesson to other African countries.
The war is over, but the war criminals are still there. At both sides we pay a heavy prise not to secure our national interest only to secure the power of the two rebels.
As an Ethiopian, I was affected by the war in various aspects. I don't care about the interpretation of the decision. The only thing I care about is a stable peaceful condition between the peoples of these poor countries. They have lots of problems to fight with together. May God bring a lasting peace to the two nations!
I am very angry and disappointed with the Eritrean government. They should have been smarter after the Yemen-Eritrean disputed territory. Did we solve it by force? They should have taken the case in front of international community before I lost two of my younger brothers who are 19 and 21 years old. Had it been taken to the international community, I would not have lost my two younger brothers.
It was totally a wrong calculation. We demand the Eritrean government to allow freedom of speech, release the jailed journalists and allow citizen to establish democratic government from the people to the people. We are tired and sick of war.
If the UK can travel thousands of miles to rescue its nationals in Northern Ireland and the Falklands, why is Ethiopia not given the right to restore its citizenship to Ethiopians in Assab? This border ruling that ignores the Assab issue entirely is already dead in the water as a document that will bring peace. Without Assab there will be no peace. When presented in Ethiopia to Ethiopians this document was/will be seen for what it is; nothing more than an imported hall of mirrors in the house of cards. It was and will be rejected by the Ethiopian people. What matters is the people on the ground and of course no Ethiopian of Tigray or Afar will willingly hand over valuable farmland/grazing land to Eritrean military or civilians without a fight.
The problem is not the verdict but it is the behaviour of the two governments. Both of them didn't tell the real truth about the verdict to their people who sacrificed their sons and daughters for a plot of land.
I wish peace and prosperity for the people of my ancestors' lands, Eritrea and Ethiopia!
Red Sea? Come on Ethiopians! Can't you see enough is enough?. Let alone to have Red Sea as part of Ethiopia, you guys should think twice over whether you will have an access to it.
You have a lot of options, you can use Port Sudan, Djibouti (they are getting fed up too) and Mombassa Port.
Just leave us alone. As always we will defend the hard won Eritrea, by any means necessary.
In the Horn of Africa, somebody's dream is somebody's nightmare. Peace in the Horn is almost peace in the Middle East, which is impossible unless the messiah comes or aliens invade us. In fact, this is true about many global hot spots. As for, The Hague court decision, what can I say other than it is a document that provides a "justification" for the next bloodshed in the region? With all its shortcomings, I love Ethiopia and I don't hate Eritrea. Let's worry about poverty and let's try to defeat it together until "we see the sign from the sky", then we can talk about nonsense, such as about border.
War is the only way of sustaining power for un-visionary leaders. Instead of crafting a good policy that can get them to stay on the power by getting out the people from poverty. It is a shame to loose countless lives for no reason.
Web Abraham, Ethiopia/Canada
I hope this will end the war and bring a long lasting peace. But for those people who lost a family member will not give them any victory. It's my hope we will not see any of this ugly war again. It's clear nobody won.
Now that the war is over and the border issue is put to rest by the decision of World arbitration judges, all of us have to focus on how we bring the leaders, Meles and Isayas, to World court of justice for massacring tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border. It will only be after they are removed that both Eritrea and Ethiopia can enjoy the true peace and stability.
This day is a milestone in the protracted war, haltered and animosity between people who once cohabited peacefully. For those who are willing to learn this is a great lesson. The rest is history
The Most important thing is that those two countries are in peace and focused in rebuilding their economy, whoever what it gets I am very glad that the three years bloody war is stop. and I congratulate to the people of Eritrea.
My family lives in Eritrea, we have long awaited this border decision, I just pray to god that the two countries will rightfully respect the border ruling and will give the future generations of Ethiopia and Eritrea a different future of prosperity and peace instead of that of war. Lets make sure that the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives did not die in vain, by maintaining peace in that beautiful land that I consider home, the Horn of Africa.
Now that our boundaries as nations have been identified, we would like move to the second step on identifying our boundaries as citizens of both nations, i.e. our human rights as citizens and close neighbours.
Unless there is some kind of compromises to enable Ethiopia to have her own access to the sea, an ever-lasting peace may not be eminent. The majority of Ethiopian believes in their undeniable right of ownership to the sea. The current demarcation may appease western government and the current government of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Though I strongly believe that both countries some times in the future may be one, the current Ethiopian government through a peaceful means must find a way to have its own access to the sea. It doesn┐t have to be Assab. Even if a canal has to be dug from the Red Sea to the Ethiopian boarder, so be it. Though digging canal requires huge investment and a blessing from Eritrea.
This whole debacle was not about land. It is about two guerrilla leaderships who could only settle their differences by brute force. In the end, they could not inspire a soul, have no vision, and could not deliver democracy, the rule of law and prosperity. Consequently, they wreaked havoc by relegating their own peoples to a meaningless war, and a subsequent hidden war of fratricide among their respective peoples in order to cover up their crime against humanity. What a shame!
I am very disappointed to hear this decision as I was not expecting it. The Badme area was Eritrean and will remain Eritrean territory. Can the leadership tell me why we had to lose 19000 young men in this bloody war?
The verdict of The Hague based "Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission" has slaughtered the interests of Ethiopia and sowed the seed for a perpetual instability in the horn of Africa. I share the belief of millions of Ethiopians that the Commission listened to and based its decisions on the drama of two Eritrean groups assisted by the hidden fist of Uncle Sam. Rest assured that we would never sleep, no matter what it takes to regain our territory and reincarnate the pride of our forefathers brutally murdered by the current government of Ethiopia.
The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea are naturally tied together by strong economic, social, geographic, religious, and historical factors. Together they stand a better chance of survival, development, and lasting peace. Otherwise there will always be conflict over resources. Maybe the next generation will not have as much hatred as the current and previous generations have gone through and they will value unity more than we can. But for that to happen we have to plant the seed now.
There is no winner in a war. But this is definitely a victory for the people of both nations. All we have been praying for is a peaceful resolution to the issue, and now that it has come it is time for us to celebrate. Both governments have accepted the ruling and that is one thing we should rejoice in because the alternative would have been another war leading to the deaths of our brothers and sisters.
My only frustration with both governments in the past has been their egocentric views and their unwillingness to compromise for peace. The battle victories claimed by both countries during the war were nothing but false victories. Having a clearly demarcated, internationally recognized border is the real victory for both nations. Now there is no reason for anyone to invade the other on the basis of border. I know this might be hard for Ethiopians to celebrate because of the false hope they had in getting Assab. As for the Eritreans it is a clear victory in a sense that we can now move on in the development of our country without having to worry about defending what is rightfully ours.
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