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Is There a Final and Binding Agreement Without a Legal Financial Compensation?

Some of the 80,000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origins that were robbed of their wealth and property after the Ethiopian regime expelled them to Eritrea in 1999. 


Is There a Final and Binding Agreement Without a Legal Financial Compensation?


Special May 24, 2018 The 27th Eritrean Independence Day Edition


By: Yemane Tsegay

Aerospace Engineer/Legal Advocacy
[May 31, 2018]




1. INTRODUCTION

This Article is a synopsis of the Boundary Peace Agreement between the Government of Eritrea and the Government of Ethiopia and it focuses on the following question: Is there a Final and Binding Agreement without a legal financial compensation? The agreement established two neutral commissions: the Boundary Commission, and the Claims Commission. They were seated in the Hague with the Permanent Court of Arbitration serving as registry and the UN Cartographic Section providing technical support.

In July 2000 following the ceasefire of the border war between “Ethiopia and Eritrea” the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) was established by the U.N. Security Council.
The initial task of the UNMEE was: they invited the two governmental heads of states to Algiers for asecond meeting to sign the peace proposals encapsulated with the OAU Framework Agreement, known as the “Algiers accords” set out the necessary legal procedure outlined to delimit and demarcate the border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law."

Additionally, the Eritrean Government and Ethiopian Government (hereafter called parties) stipulated that “the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the Commission shall be “final and binding”.

It was spelled out in Article 4.15 of the Algiers Agreement in which both parties agreed that “each party shall respect the border so determined, as well as the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the other party”.

In retrospect, the agreement between the two parties was fully accepted in its entirety of the agreement (Framework Agreement of the Modalities) for its implementation and without any clouded freedom of conscience and constitutional privacy, both parties signed by the two governmental heads of states. It was held in Algiers with the total understanding of both parties in conformance to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on 12 to 14 July 1999.

The agreement was witnessed by the Algerian President, the UN Secretary-General and representatives of the OAU, the European Union (EU) and the U.S.

The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission delivered its decision on delimitation of the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia on Saturday, April 13, 2002. That decision was delivered at a session attended by all of the members of the Boundary Commission at the premises of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Peace Palace in The Hague.

The task of delimitation by the Boundary Commission was accepted by both governments as agreed per Article 4 of the Algiers Agreement. When the delimitation decision was rendered, both Parties promptly announced their acceptance. Shortly after that, the Commission undertook the steps necessary to initiate the process of demarcation.

Having completed the delimitation, the Commission moved on to effecting the actual demarcation of that boundary located on the ground. Then in September 2003 the Commission encountered obstacles from the Ethiopian side prohibiting the field work within the territory which is now occupied the (Western and Eastern Sectors of Eritrea) to the pillar emplacement. Ethiopia is now under its legal obligation not be able to suspend or terminate the agreement, because it was agreed and signed as a final and binding contract. In addition Ethiopia is in bridge of the Commission’s findings, that it must have been accomplished the withdrawal of its troops and other related equipment in a matter of 24 hours before the end of September 2003.

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