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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

11. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission: The Aftermath

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Abstract

The border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia never reached the final stage of physical demarcation of the border on the ground. The award decisions by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission in 2002 and 2006 remained unimplemented until today. The aim of this chapter is to revise the issues that surrounded the delimitation award in the context that followed that decision. In particular, this chapter considers some of the legal issues raised by the delimitation award and the border demarcation in relation to the decisions and processes that were adopted by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission in the context of the 2000 Algiers Agreement. It also reflects on some issues that go beyond the strict legal analysis and that might explain the position of the parties to the dispute and their subsequent lack of cooperation in effectively concluding the process of delimitation and demarcation of the border, and therefore the related territorial dispute. Recent developments, particularly in the last two years, may lead to some positive outcomes for the conclusion of this long-lasting situation of tension and disagreement between the two East African countries.

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Footnotes
1
Kaikobad, Chap. 10.
 
2
de Guttry, Chap. 32.
 
3
See Kaikobad, Chap. 10, Sect. 10.​5.​1.
 
4
On the Agreement, see Greppi and Poli, Chap. 4. The text of the Agreement is reproduced in Appendix A to this volume.
 
5
Müller 2019, p. 280.
 
6
The text of the Joint Declaration is reproduced in Appendix A to this volume.
 
7
Anebo 2017, pp. 257–295.
 
8
EEBC, Statement by the Commission, 27 November 2006, PCA Case No. 2001-01, para 17.
 
9
Statement by the Commission 2006 (above n 8) paras 20–21.
 
10
Kaikobad, Chap. 10, Sect. 10.​8.​3.
 
11
ICJ, Case Concerning the Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad), Judgment, 3 February 1994, ICJ Rep 1994, p. 6, para 56.
 
12
See African Union Border Programme (2013), Chapter 2.
 
13
See Adler 2001.
 
14
UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea, 23 January 2008, S/2008/40, Annex II, Twenty-sixth report of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, para 11.
 
15
Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea 2008 (above n 14) Annex II, para 10.
 
16
Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea 2008 (above n 14) Attachments I, II and III.
 
17
Algiers Agreement (above n 4).
 
18
Algiers Agreement (above n 4) Article 4(13).
 
19
Statement by the Commission 2006 (above n 8).
 
20
Statement by the Commission 2006 (above n 8) Footnote 1.
 
21
Case concerning a dispute between Argentina and Chile concerning the Beagle Channel, 18 February 1977, RIAA XXI (2006), part II, pp.53–264.
 
22
For a full discussion on this point, see Kaikobad, Chap. 10, Sect. 10.​5.​2.
 
23
Argentina to Chile, 25 January 1978, ILR 52:93, pp. 268–277.
 
24
Statement by the Commission 2006 (above n 8) footnote 1.
 
25
ICJ, Nuclear Tests (Australia v. France), Judgment, 20 December 1974, ICJ Rep 1974, p. 253, para 46.
 
26
ICJ, Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia), 25 September 1997, ICJ Rep 1997, p. 7, paras 141–147.
 
27
Paulson 2004, pp. 435–436, citing Chayes and Handler Chayes 1995, pp. 17–22.
 
28
Request for Interpretation, Correction and Consultation Submitted by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 13 May 2002; see also Kaikobad, Chap. 10, Sect. 10.​8.​1.
 
29
UNSC, Progress Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea, 30 August 2002, S/2002/977, Annex I, Sixth Report of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, para 3.
 
30
Blunt E (2007) Ethiopia sends warning to Eritrea https://​news.​bbc.​co.​uk/​1/​hi/​world/​africa/​7013529.​stm. Accessed 5 June 2020.
 
31
See Kaikobad, Chap. 10, Sect. 10.​4.
 
32
Guazzini, Chap. 7, Sect. 7.​8.
 
33
See Bereketeab 2009, p. 110.
 
34
Zane D (2003) Ethiopia regrets Badme ruling https://​news.​bbc.​co.​uk/​1/​hi/​world/​africa/​2914559.​stm. Accessed 4 May 2020.
 
35
UNSC, Progress report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea, 19 December 2003, S/2003/1186, Annex I, Eleventh report on the work of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, paras 4 and 10.
 
36
Eleventh Report of the Commission (above n 35) Appendix I, para 10.
 
37
Algiers Agreement (above n 4) Article 4(2); see also Kaikobad, Chap. 10, Sect. 10.​5.​1.
 
38
ICJ, Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v Nigeria), Judgment, 10 October 2002, ICJ Rep 2002, p. 303, para 123. See also para 107.
 
39
OAU Framework Agreement and the Modalities, endorsed by the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Algiers, Algeria, 12-14 July 1999.
 
40
Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities Between The Government of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and The Government of The State of Eritrea, 18 June 2000. The text of the Agreement is annexed to Letter dated 19 June 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, 19 June 2000, S/2000/601.
 
41
See the Preamble to the 2000 Algiers Agreement (above n 4).
 
42
UNSC Res 1320 (2000), 15 September 2000, S/RES/1320; see also de Guttry, Chap. 5.
 
43
See UNSC, Progress report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea, 12 January 2001, S/2001/45.
 
44
Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities (above n 40) paras 3 and 14.
 
45
UNSC Res 1430 (2002), 14 August 2002, S/RES/1430. The final and binding nature of the EEBC decision was reaffirmed in UNSC Res 1434 (2002), 6 September 2002, S/RES/1434, and UNSC Res 1507 (2003), 12 September 2003, S/RES/1507.
 
46
Healy and Plaut 2007, p. 5.
 
47
UNSC Res 1560 (2004), 14 September 2004, S/RES/1560.
 
48
UNSC Res 1640 (2005), 23 November 2005, S/RES/1640. See also UNSC Res 1661 (2006), 14 March 2006, S/RES/1661, which demanded that the parties comply fully with Res 1640 (2005) and extended for one month the mandate of UNMEE.
 
49
UNSC Res 1741 (2007), 30 January 2007, S/RES/1741. The parties were also called upon to cooperate fully with the Commission and to refrain from any threat or use of force against each other. UNMEE mandate was extended for a further six months and its personnel reduced. See also UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea, 22 January 2007, S/2007/33; and UNSC Res 1681 (2006), 31 May 2006, S/RES/1681, and UNSC Res 1710 (2006), 29 September 2006, S/RES/1710.
 
50
Healy and Plaut 2007, p. 5.
 
51
UNSC, Report of the Secretary-General on Ethiopia and Eritrea, 18 July 2007, S/2007/440.
 
52
UNSC Res 1827 (2008), 30 July 2008, S/RES/1827, by which the Council decides to terminate the UNMEE mandate effective on 31 July 2008; UNSC Res 1798 (2008), 30 January 2008, S/RES/1798, by which the Council, concerned about the tense security situation in the TSZ and adjacent areas, extended the mandate of UNMEE for a period of six months, until 31 July 2008.
 
53
BBC News (2016) Ethiopia and Eritrea blame each other for border clash https://​www.​bbc.​co.​uk/​news/​world-africa-36515503. Accessed 1 June 2020.
 
54
UNSC Res 1907 (2009), 23 December 2009, S/RES/1907; UNSC Res 2023 (2011), 5 December 2011, S/RES/2023; UNSC Res 2060 (2012), 25 July 2012, S/RES/2060; and UNSC Res 2111 (2013), 24 July 2013, S/RES/2111.
 
55
UNSC Res 2444 (2018) 14 November 2018, S/RES/2444.
 
56
Algiers Agreement (above n 4) Article 5(1).
 
57
See Venturini, Chap. 15.
 
58
Weeramantry 2010.
 
59
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Partial Award: Jus Ad Bellum, Ethiopia’s Claims 1–8, 19 December 2005, PCA Case No. 2001-02. See also Weeramantry, Chap. 12, and Ponti, Chap. 14.
 
60
For a full analysis of the legal issues related to the use of force and aggression, see Part IV of this book.
 
61
Gray 2006, pp. 704–707.
 
62
EECC, Decision Number 1: The Commission’s Mandate/Temporal Scope of Jurisdiction, August 2001, PCA Case No. 2001-02, para D.
 
63
Jus Ad Bellum 2005 (above n 59).
 
64
See, for instance, EECC, Final Award: Pensions, Eritrea’s Claims 15, 19 & 23, 19 December 2005, PCA Case No. 2001-02; Partial Award: Diplomatic Claim, Eritrea’s Claim 20, 19 December 2005, PCA Case No. 2001-02; and Partial Award: Diplomatic Claim, Ethiopia’s Claim 8, 19 December 2005, PCA Case No. 2001-02.
 
65
Weeramantry, Chap. 12, Sect. 12.​3.
 
66
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 23 May 1969.
 
67
Weeramantry, Chap. 12, Sect. 12.​3.
 
68
A dispute was broadly defined by the Permanent Court of International Justice as ‘a disagreement on a point of law or fact, a conflict of legal views or of interests between two persons’, PCIJ, Mavromattis Palestine Concessions (Greece v. United Kingdom), Judgment (Preliminary Objections), 30 August 1924, PCIJ Rep Series A, No. 2, p. 11.
 
69
See Dekker and Werner, Chap. 13.
 
70
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17 July 1998, Article 8 bis; ICC, Assembly of State Parties, Resolution ICC-ASP/16/Res.5 on the activation of the jurisdiction of the Court over the crime of aggression, 14 December 2017.
 
71
For this debate see: American Society of International Law 2006; Weeramantry, Chap. 12; and Gill, Chap. 19, Sect. 19.​2.
 
72
Articles 1 and 2 common to the Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.
 
73
Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Article 50 of Convention I, Article 51 of Convention II, Article 130 of Convention III, Article 147 of Convention IV, all defining the content of ‘grave breaches’ of the Conventions.
 
74
Gray 2006, p. 707.
 
75
Gray 2006.
 
76
See Weeramantry, Chap. 12, Sect. 12.​3; and Gill, Chap. 19.
 
77
Gray 2006, p. 707.
 
78
See ILC, Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law: Report of the Study Group of the International Law Commission, 13 April 2006, A/CN.4/L.682.
 
79
Ibid., para 37.
 
80
Ibid., para 41, citing Borgen 2005, pp. 605–606.
 
81
See Pratt 2006.
 
82
Clapham, Chap. 9.
 
83
Bereketeab 2009, p. 111. See also Zondi and Rejouis 2006; Healy and Plaut 2007; Plaut 2005.
 
84
Pratt 2006, pp. 333–335.
 
85
See Guazzini, Chap. 7, Sect. 7.​2.
 
86
See Kohen and Hébié 2018, pp. 206–215.
 
87
OAU, Resolution AHG/Res. 16(I), adopted at the first session of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government, Cairo, Egypt, 7–21 July 1964; and later included in Article 4(b) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU).
 
88
See ICJ, Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso v. Mali), Judgment, 22 December 1986, ICJ Rep 1986, p. 554, paras 20–26; Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger), Judgment, 12 July 2005, ICJ Rep 2005, p. 90, paras 24–28 and 45; Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger), Judgment, 16 April 2013, ICJ Rep 2013, p. 44, para 63.
 
89
See Boyd 1979; Kornprobst 2002; Nguendi 2012.
 
90
Bereketeab 2010, pp. 20–29.
 
91
Pratt 2006, pp. 335–336.
 
92
See Conversations with Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht. Fifth Interview: The Nineties and new Millennium, 28 March 2008. https://​www.​repository.​cam.​ac.​uk/​bitstream/​handle/​1810/​197070/​Eli%20​Lauterpacht%20​interview%20​5%20​transcript%20​-%20​28%20​March%20​2008.​pdf?​sequence=​3. Accessed 2 May 2020.
 
93
See Healy and Plaut 2007, p. 4.
 
94
Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship 2018 (above n 6).
 
95
Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea, Jeddah, 16 September 2018. The text is reproduced in Appendix A to this volume.
 
96
See Zaghlami 2019, p. 24 ff; Gichuru 2019, p. 32 ff; and Kibrik 2019.
 
97
IGAD Member States are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan; Eritrea was a member of the organisation, but it withdrew in 2007, and was readmitted in 2011.
 
98
AU, Declaration on the African Union Border Programme and its implementation modalities as adopted by the conference of African ministers in charge of Border Issues held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 7 June 2007. https://​www.​peaceau.​org/​uploads/​border-issues.​pdf. Accessed 2 June 2020.
 
99
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad 1994 (above n 11).
 
100
Article 6 of the Agreement between the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Republic of Chad concerning the practical modalities for the implementation of the Judgment delivered by the International Court of Justice on 3 February 1994, ILM 33:619–621.
 
101
Adler 2001, p. 1.
 
102
Pratt 2006, pp. 336–337.
 
103
Pratt 2006, p. 337.
 
104
Rushworth 1993, cited by Adler 2001, p. 73.
 
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Metadata
Title
The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission: The Aftermath
Author
Marco Odello
Copyright Year
2021
Publisher
T.M.C. Asser Press
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-439-6_11

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