… [as Aletheia Kallos put it to me in an exchange of emails overnight] will the United Nations in the form of UNMEE (UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea) which was created to monitor and guarantee the Temporary Security Zone which was itself created to insure the separation of forces pending the demarcation also to be provided by the United Nations in the persona of the EEBC (Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission) Tribunal at the Hague even be able to acknowledge let alone enforce its own final and binding United Nations guaranteed demarcation — and if not, then exactly what does the United Nations think it is doing here?”
Well, I’m sure the UN, as usual, thinks it’s helping — it’s trying to keep things calm, cool things down, and hoping that soon the situation will get a lot better, mostly by luck … Other than that, the UN doesn’t usually have a clue. It is an impartial, objective, and neutral body, you see. And anybody who has an agenda is usually obliged to dissimulate, or resort to subterfuge.
Actually, the UN, as ususal, is just making things up as it goes along, and hoping that everything will work out, because nobody would want to be embarassed by seeming over-the-top., would they? After all, we are all refined, well-brought and over-educated diplomats (without any excess of courage or orginality, and with mortgages to pay and children to put through school) who know exactly how to behave and what to do, arent’t we?
One question I have is: How would going ahead with an actual physical demarcation on the ground make Ethiopia any happier? The EEBC seems to have ruled in favor of, and has said its decision on the boundary is final. Apparently because Eritrea refused to go along with a physical demarcation, the EEBC issued its list of geographical points that it says are the boundary. But Ethiopia says this is just a “virtual” demarcation, and rejects it. It does not seem to me any less clear or less binding than painting rocks medium-light blue (as in southern Lebanon) or whatever.
Another question I have is: why does the UN peacekeeping mission put Ethiopia ahead of Eritrea in its name? [UNMEE is, again, the UN Mission in (1)Ethiopia and (2)Eritrea]. By contrast, the arbitration proceedings [the EEBC – or Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission] put Eritrea first, apparently going according to correct and perhaps more impartial alphabetical order …?