The Obstacles Ethiopia Put to Impede the Work of the EEBC

The Obstacles Ethiopia Put to Impede the Work of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) (Excerpt From EEBC STATEMENT, 27 November 2006)

The obstacles from the Ethiopian side took various forms:

  1. prohibiting fieldwork within the territory under its control, thus impeding the survey of ground control points for the aerial photography and the secondary datum survey (April to July 2002);
  2. filing extensive comments on the Delimitation Decision, amounting to an attempt to reopen elements of the substance of that Decision, (January 2003);
  3. alleging that the Field Liaison Officers appointed by Eritrea were intelligence officers and refusing to allow field work to continue in Ethiopian territory, then failing to appoint ad hoc Field Liaison Officers within the prescribed time limit following the Commission’s Order of 9 February 2003 so as to allow field work to resume without further delay (January to February 2003);
  4. failing to appoint new Field Liaison Officers for the remaining demarcation activities following the Commission’s Decision pursuant to Article 15B of the Demarcation Directions (July 2003 to March 2006);
  5. failing to provide assurances for the security of all demarcation personnel (August 2003 to the present);
  6. failing to comment on maps which indicated the pillar locations in the Eastern Sector (September 2003);
  7. repeatedly refusing to authorise necessary flight requests lodged by the Chief Surveyor;
    eventually limiting the Commission’s field work to the Eastern Sector by statements that the ad hoc Field Liaison Officers would only be permitted to operate in the Eastern Sector;
  8. complaining to the Secretary-General of the United Nations of what Ethiopia termed “illegal, unjust and irresponsible decisions” of the Commission in respect of Badme and parts of the Central Sector, and proposing that the Security Council set up an alternative mechanism to demarcate the parts of the boundary it contested (September 2003);
  9. denouncing in that same letter the Commission’s Delimitation Decision by stating that it would only recognise the southern boundary of the Temporary Security Zone (“TSZ”) as the international boundary;
  10. failing to provide assurances for the security of the contractors selected for the emplacement and as-built survey of the boundary pillars (September to October 2003);
  11. rejecting the Commission’s invitation to attend a meeting on 5 November 2003, claiming that the notice was too short and that there was no likelihood of anything being achieved (October 2003);
  12. refusing to permit any work to be carried out by the Commission’s field staff in the Western and Central Sectors until the boundary in the Eastern Sector had been demarcated and subject to Ethiopia’s approval of the Commission’s method of demarcation (November 2003);
  13. failing to make prompt payment of its share of the Commission’s expenses (February 2004 to February 2005);
  14. rejecting the Commission’s invitation to a meeting to be held on 22 February 2005 on the ground that the meeting was premature, would be unproductive and could have an adverse impact on the demarcation process, as a result of which the Commission was obliged to cancel the meeting (February 2005);
  15. failing again to meet its financial obligations (May 2006 to the present); introducing qualifications to its previously unqualified acceptance of the final and binding quality of the Delimitation Decision (17 May 2006);
  16. failing to respond to the Commission’s request for assurances of freedom of movement and security for its staff travelling to the region to reopen the Commission’s Field Offices (July to August 2006); and
  17. failing to respond to the Commission’s invitation to a rescheduled meeting on 24 August 2006.