Twenty-eight Ethiopian civic, political and religious groups condemn illegal border deal – Ethiopia and Sudan Border Issue Committee

June 3rd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir

President of the Republic of the Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan

Your Excellency:

We, the representatives of Ethiopian political, professional, civic, social and cultural organizations, would like to bring to Your Excellency’s attention worrisome developments concerning the demarcation of the common boundary between Ethiopia and the Sudan. (more…)

President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir

President of the Republic of the Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan

Your Excellency:

We, the representatives of Ethiopian political, professional, civic, social and cultural organizations, would like to bring to Your Excellency’s attention worrisome developments concerning the demarcation of the common boundary between Ethiopia and the Sudan. We are gravely concerned that this important subject which affects the lives and welfare of millions of Ethiopians has been approached, at least on the part of the purported representatives of Ethiopia, in total secrecy and in complete disregard of relevant treaties and the historical rights of Ethiopia.

We wish to register our protest in the strongest possible terms that any attempted boundary settlement your government reaches with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), will neither bind the rest of the country, nor achieve a stable or durable settlement of whatever outstanding differences might exist between our countries regarding the location of our common boundary. On the contrary, any such settlement is bound to be a continuing source of friction and an unnecessary obstacle to furthering and deepening the economic cooperation and cultural exchanges that currently exist between our two countries.

Lest our concern about the cession of Ethiopian territory appear unfounded, we wish to refer your Excellency to the pages of The Sudan Tribune (May 9, 2008) wherein it is reported that highly placed officials of your government have stated, without contradiction from any other source, that farmers in Eastern Sudan have “got[ten] back disputed lands from Ethiopia.” We have no reason to doubt the veracity of this statement. In fact, we have confirmed its truthfulness from the very farmers in the area who have been forcibly evicted from their farms as well as those who have been illegally taken across the border into the custody of your government. We have confirmed as well that these individuals are now languishing in Sudanese prisons under conditions that violate internationally accepted human rights norms. By what right can your government justify the abduction of the citizens of another country from their homes and farms?

The sole basis for this outrageous conduct and your government’s tenuous assertion of jurisdiction over Ethiopian territory is the Prime Minister’s collusion with your government to permanently alienate our ancestral land. If indeed this is your sole justification for seeking to exercise sovereignty over our territory, please be forewarned that any deal you make with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi concerning cession of Ethiopia’s territory cannot stand. Simply stated, the territory ceded is not the Prime Minister’s to give nor does Ethiopia recognize the validity of any claims Sudan may lay against Ethiopian territory. As your Excellency is well aware, the Prime Minister avowedly represents only the Tigray people (if, indeed, that).

Your Excellency knows too that the ceded territory has always been an integral part of Ethiopia historically, culturally and economically until the Prime Minister decided to barter it away in exchange for certain sectarian and shortsighted advantages inuring to the sole benefit of the TPLF. Although these advantages have not yet been made public, they are not difficult to fathom.

The history of relations between Ethiopia and Sudan reveals that there has never been any serious border or territorial dispute between the two countries. We are, of course, keenly aware that Ethiopian and Sudanese governments have reached agreements in principle in the past to demarcate the common boundary between their two countries. But an agreement in principle to demarcate the boundary is a far cry from a decision to give away what is legitimately ours on the basis of a colonial-era and imaginary line that Ethiopia has never accepted as a legitimate basis for drawing the common boundary. We also find it surprising and disconcerting that the Republic of the Sudan, which after all is the biggest country in Africa, and which has a highly favorable land: man ratio, seeks territorial aggrandizement at Ethiopia’s expense.

Your Excellency, we wish to reiterate to you that Meles has no power and authority to cede sovereign Ethiopian territory without the consent of the people of Ethiopia. Nowhere does even the tailor-made constitution imposed by the TPLF on the Ethiopian people give Meles the authority to cede sovereignty. Neither the national parliament nor the affected states of the federation have debated or ratified his decision to cede our lands. As a matter of fact, the whole process of territorial cession was guarded with the utmost secrecy by Meles until the inhabitants of the affected region were one day forcibly removed from their farms and their homes, and their farming equipment and their crops were vandalized by Sudanese troops. This is certainly no way to demarcate an international boundary. It is a process we have witnessed before in the context of the Eritrea-Ethiopia boundary dispute. Both reveal the same flawed process at work, one that is so tainted with fraud and so devoid of legitimacy that it could never yield a valid, stable and durable settlement of a contested international boundary.

Equally egregious is the treatment of Ethiopian refugees in the Sudan. The Republic of the Sudan is party to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 U.N. Protocol Governing the Status of Refugees, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, and the Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. Yet, in violation of all these international instruments, Ethiopian refugees who were granted political asylum by the Sudanese Government, and who had lived in the Sudan for many years, were mistreated, imprisoned and tortured and eventually handed over to the Ethiopian regime, where they are now languishing in prison. We now can see that this was done as a prelude to and as part of the border deal. Apparently, the TPLF considered it expedient to secure the custody of those individuals whom it regarded as likely to raise a national hue and cry over the alienation of Ethiopia’s territory. Some of these individuals hail from the disputed area, are very familiar with the historical boundary, and would not accept any unilateral modification without stiff resistance.

We therefore urge the Government of the Sudan to:

Withdraw its army, police and security forces from Ethiopian soil;
Respect Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;
Release all our citizens who have been forcefully abducted and taken to the Sudan;
Pay reparation for all the loss and destruction suffered by our citizens as a consequence of its unlawful actions; and
Offer a formal apology for its actions.

Sincerely,

Ethiopia and Sudan Border Issue Committee
Ethiopian Forum for Peace, Democracy & Development
Ethiopian National Congress (ENC)
Holy Synod of Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahdo Church
United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF)
Coalition for Unity and Democracy North America Support Committee (Kinijit)
Ethiopian Democratic Hibrehizb Unity Movement (EDHUM)
Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party (EPRP, Democratic)
All-Ethiopia Socialist Movement (Meison)
Ethiopian Medhin Democratic Party (Medhin)
All-Amhara People’s Organization (AAPO)
Gambella People’s United Democratic Front (GPUDF)
Tigrean Alliance for Democracy (TAND)
Oromo People’s Liberation Organization (OPLO-IBSO)
Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF)
Ethiopian National United Front (ENUF)
Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy
Anuak Justice Council (AJC)
Gasha For Ethiopians
Ethiopian Women for Peace and Development (EWPD)
Ethiopian Free Press Journalists’ Association
Crown Council of Ethiopia
Tatek Ethiopian Democratic Unity Force (TEDUF)
Ethiopian People’s Democratic Party (EPDP)
Mahdere Andinet Ethiopian Association
Ethiopian Air Force Association
Ethiopian Veterans Association
Ethiopian Council of Elders
CC:

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Ethiopia and Sudan Border Issue Committee
P.O. Box 656 Tucker, GA 30085; e-mail:leethiopia@yahoo.com
June 2, 2008
President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir
President of the Republic of the Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan

  1. Belaye Zeleke
    | #1

    To all:
    Ethiopian civic, political and religious groups who dared to condemn the illegal border deal initiated by TPLF mafia Thank You! for your courage and standing for your motherland.

    This letter is a clear indication of what is to come all political groups standing as one people for one Ethiopia despite their political differences

    God Bless all Ethiopians who speak for their country.

  2. | #2

    Dear Ethiopians thank you to standing to our country!! It is better to tell Sudanes not to accept any border dell with TPLF government.Because TPLF government they have no right to give our land to other country!

    Tanks to Ethiopians who speak out for our mother land!!

  3. Dejene Assaye
    | #3

    First of all,I would like to thank every one involved who took the initiative to send this powerful message to the Sudanese government,and to the world at large.It clearly shows that all Ethiopians from every corner of the country will join force and protect the Homeland.
    “United we stand,Divided we fall!!!!”

  4. Medhanit
    | #4

    Thank you our brothers and sisters Ethiopians!
    You have clearly showed to the world who the Foe from with in is in Ethiopia.
    UNITY despite our non antagonistic differences is the way to victory! Otherwise expect the worst.
    LONG LIVE ONE ETHIOPIA WITH DIVERCITY IN UNITY!

  5. Melaku A.
    | #5

    I am increasingly encouraged, if not also excited, after reading such a strong and united voice that our dear country has been eerily missing for decades. This may even signal as a prelude for a bigger unity to come, overwhelm its grand enemy in power and give our beloved country and its people the peace, democracy and justice they rightly deserve. Sudan and the TPLF will be the ultimate losers for Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity shall be respected, no matter what. I say this because, as history witnessed time and again through the lives and limbs of our forefathers, the unswerving will and preparedness of our people at home and in Diaspora stands tall once again to defend our homeland from the ascaries at home and from the modern day territorial aggradisers abroad!

  6. Koratu
    | #6

    Melaku
    Des Belognal Des Yeblesh. Yagere Lejoch Be Hibret Tenesu ZZZZEEEERRRRAAAAAFFFF!

    Woyane Kenu Derese

  7. | #7

    I would like say Thankyou for all who dedicated yourself to make this happen beside,as
    a Cetizen of Ethiopia I strongly urge the current regime to stop inappropriate give away of land to sudan. Otherwise those who participate in this deal will face the consequence and Justice.
    NO MATTER WHAT!!!

  8. Robele Ababya
    | #8

    Dear all,
    I thank you for your uplifting courage and outstanding achievement.
    Please keep the momentum of this powerful message.Continue to deliver more effective results to reclaim all of our vital national interests betrayed by Meles Zenawi.

  9. mulugeta
    | #9

    thank u our abesha brothers and sisters for ur effort to reveal to the world what woyane tplf did and do to our country.God bless u .

    guys ,please , think day and night for ur country ethiopia . Whatever means u get pls do it for ur motherland !!!!!! (atedenzezu)

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