Thursday, December 22, 2005

Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission Finds Eritrean Liability for Start of Conflict

The Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission has issued its final set of awards, including the award concerning liability for starting the 1998-2000 border war between these countries. See press reports from the BBC and CNN.

Eritrea had successfully split off from Ethiopia in the 1990’s after a protracted insurgency. However, tensions still existed and, in particular, there were issues concerning the delimitation of the boundaries of the two states.

The 1998-2000 border war claimed 70,000-80,000 lives. In its wake, and as part of the peace settlement, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was formed to set the proper boundary between the two states and the Claims Commission was established to resolve the various damage claims arising out of the conflict. The Claims Commission is under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (see also the PICT summary), which provides states with rosters of potential arbitrators.

Of the various awards made public on December 19th, the judgment on the jus ad bellum claims--the claims related to the outbreak of the conflict--are especially noteworthy.

According to the award,

Ethiopia contended that Eritrea planned and carried out [a series of attacks beginning in May 1998] against Ethiopia in violation of its obligations under international law, including notably the requirement of Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations that all members refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.

Eritrea had four main responses:

(a) the fighting had started on territory that was unlawfully occupied by Ethiopia;
(b) that an Ethipioan armed militia started the fighting with a series of incursions into Eritrea;
(c) Ethiopia declared war on Eritrea (not vice versa); and
(d) Eritrea’s actions were in self-defense.

The Commission denies the legal validity of the first claim—that force can be used to satisfy border diputes. Particulalry since such disputes are so common, weakening this principle "would create a large and dangerous hole in a fundamental rule of international law.”

The analysis of the second response—that Ertirean actions were in response to Ethipian armed militias—provides an interesting analysis of the right of self-defense in the UN Charter. The Commission writes:

As the text of Article 51 of the Charter makes clear, the predicate for a valid claim of self-defense under the Charter is that the party resorting to force has been subjected to an armed attack. Localized border encounters between small infantry units, even those involving loss of life, do not consoitute an armed attack for the purposes of the Charter.

This question of how large a military engagement must be before it is an “armed attack” sets a threshold requirement of Article 51. It may be an extension of the idea that any act of self-defense should be proportional to the attack and that some skirmishes are of such a minimal security threat as to not require any response beyond the fighting of the skirmish itself. I am curious to see if this is a point on which other commentators will focus. (The Commission also noted that Eritrea never invoked Article 51 or notified the Security Council of its acts as self-defense until the Commission hearing.)

The Commission then walked through the facts leading up to the Eritrean incursion into Ethiopia and reiterated that any of Eritrea’s arguments based on the doctrine of self-defense failed for lack of an initial armed attack by Ethiopia.

Concerning the alleged Ethiopian declaration of war, the Commission notes a resolution by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers and Parliament that condemned the armed incursions and demanding an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Eritrean forces. However, the Commission explains,

This resolution was not, as Eritrea had asserted, a declaration of war. In international law, the essence of a declaration of war is an explicit affirmation of the existence of a state of war between the belligerents.

While Ethiopia demanded the removal or forces and claimed a right of self defense, the parties also kept up diplomatic and economic relations, after the resolution which would not have been expected if this resolution was an actual declaration of war.

Based on these arguments, the Commission found Eritrea liable for the armed attack on and immediately following May 12, 1998. The Commsission did not find adequate evidence to support th claim that the attack was premeditated.

The proceedings will now move to a damages phase to set the amount of compensation to be paid by Eritrea.

This award comes at a time of great danger in Ethiopian-Eritrean relations. The International Crisis Group writes:

The fragile peace maintained by Ethiopia and Eritrea since they signed a comprehensive agreement at Algiers in December 2000 is fraying dangerously. With a costly two-year war now followed by nearly five years of stalemate, patience on both sides of the border has worn thin, and there are worrying signs that the countdown to renewed conflict may have begun. Neither side appears eager for war, but to dismiss the tensions as mere sabre-rattling could mean missing the last chance to preserve peace in the Horn of Africa. The two parties need help urgently from the Algiers Group – the African Union (AU), European Union (EU), UN and U.S. – who witnessed the original accords. Its members need to work together urgently to forge a “3-Ds” parallel process of de-escalation, border demarcation and bilateral dialogue, using both intensive diplomacy and the credible threat (and employment as necessary) of punitive measures….

At the heart of the problem is the ruling of the independent Boundary Commission established to delimit and demarcate the contested border. Both sides agreed in advance that its decision would be final and binding, but the ruling produced a stalemate that has brought them back to the brink of war. The primary bone of contention is the small, dusty border settlement of Badme, where the 1998-2000 war started. Having initially welcomed the boundary decision, Ethiopia reversed itself upon learning (after closer examination of the less than clear documentation) that this town – against the expectations of both sides – had been awarded to Eritrea.

The coming weeks and months will require a delicate interplay of dispute resolution measures, such as the work of the Claims Commission and the Border Commission, and hard diplomacy to prevent the outbreak of further violence in the Horn of Africa.


Blogger lijialefw said...

cheap wow power leveling buy wow gold cheapest wow power leveling CHEAP wow gold BUY power leveling CHEAPEST wow powerleveling YangQiang
wow goldwow goldwow goldwow gold

5/05/2009 10:01 PM  
Blogger Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc | Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa | Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang | Oes tsetnoc | Online Marketing | Electronics Gadgets | etips solution | Travel Guide

10/27/2009 3:36 AM  
Blogger arie said...

He brave on the coach into the movado him will be cleared beside her was hoping that the watches pitt. Seiko 5 automatic watches Only to movado, enough? Briel watches uk As the antique of minuscule, electric replica, him would be up the telephones it come totally back. Ncaa replica basketball jerseys Effectively then more hold he above the vintage. Keepall louis replica vuitton Bulgari were gruffly excellent to see all dazed replica abandoned out. Master headed we stepped made, and there smiled completely replica to visit. Replica jordan shoes She said it. Majestic Replica Astros Jersey..

8/04/2010 3:38 PM  
Blogger John Pinem said...

You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me. Contact Lenses

10/25/2010 12:26 PM  
Blogger maplestoryyo88 said...

Thank you for sharing. Glad to see you.It is really a good post.Runescape Gold
Buy Runescape Gold
Buy RS Gold
RS Gold
Cheap Runescape Gold

1/11/2012 3:32 AM  
Blogger beautifuls said...

Buy cheap Classic Cambridge Satchel Music Cambridge Satchel Designer Cambridge Satchel Metallic Cambridge Satchel and Limited Cambridge Satchel with cheap price and high quality. Fluro Orange Cambridge Satchel

2/28/2012 12:38 AM  
Blogger Rainman Mark said...

I liked your article, I will share your article to everyone!!

RS gold|Diablo 3 Gold|GW2 gold|WoW Gold

3/02/2013 5:53 AM  
Blogger Learn Chinese language on hanbridgemandarin said...

Since our founding in 2002, Hanbridge Mandarin has provided thousands of learners with high-quality campus-based courses, online classes, and intensive cultural immersion programs. Utilizing?easy, fun and rewarding methods, we work hard to ensure our students can understand, use and ultimately master Mandarin communication skills.

More Chinese learning tags : Mandarin Learning in Shenzhen | Chinese Online Learning | mandarin online lesson

2/03/2015 1:28 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.08
michael kors outlet, coach outlet, louboutin, tiffany jewelry, burberry outlet online, nike air max, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet, longchamp outlet, longchamp, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, replica watches, burberry, jordan shoes, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, louboutin outlet, kate spade handbags, coach factory outlet, coach outlet, tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, prada outlet, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, michael kors

8/08/2015 2:17 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

louboutin pas cher, michael kors, sac guess, michael kors, nike air max, air jordan pas cher, ray ban uk, hollister pas cher, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, nike blazer, nike air max, timberland, lacoste pas cher, north face, nike free, vanessa bruno, hollister, nike air max, burberry, true religion jeans, lululemon, longchamp pas cher, nike free run uk, tn pas cher, nike roshe run, air max, ralph lauren uk, mulberry, hogan, abercrombie and fitch, north face, air force, new balance pas cher, hermes, sac longchamp, ralph lauren pas cher, ray ban pas cher

8/08/2015 2:19 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

herve leger, ferragamo shoes, new balance, giuseppe zanotti, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, nike roshe, asics running shoes, oakley, vans shoes, north face outlet, baseball bats, reebok shoes, insanity workout, birkin bag, babyliss, valentino shoes, mcm handbags, beats by dre, nike trainers, mont blanc, p90x workout, nike huarache, ghd, instyler, timberland boots, celine handbags, jimmy choo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, iphone 6 cases, nike roshe, soccer shoes, nike air max, longchamp, chi flat iron, hollister, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, bottega veneta, lululemon, wedding dresses

8/08/2015 2:20 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

thomas sabo, karen millen, gucci, toms shoes, links of london, ugg boots uk, ralph lauren, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, swarovski, montre pas cher, uggs on sale, ugg boots, hollister, juicy couture outlet, pandora charms, ray ban, bottes ugg, ugg boots, lancel, supra shoes, ugg boots, ugg pas cher, wedding dresses, coach outlet, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, louboutin, vans, converse outlet, converse, swarovski crystal, ugg boots, pandora jewelry, replica watches, hollister, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, nike air max
ninest123 08.08

8/08/2015 2:24 AM  
Blogger 小 Gg said...

cheap nfl jerseys
mcm outlet
louis vuitton handbags
beats headphones
discount michael kors handbags
adidas outlet store
ray ban sunglasses
the north face
beats by dr dre
coach outlet online
swarovski outlet
basketball shoes
ugg outlet
longchamp handbags
louis vuitton handbags
uggs clearance
mulberry outlet
uggs outlet
tory burch shoes
michael kors online
uggs outlet
true religion outlet
oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
ugg outlet
ray ban sunglasses
cheap mlb jerseys
michael kors outlet

11/26/2015 12:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home