|Addis Ababa 13-04-2002||Asmara 16-04-2002|
Ethiopia's Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, announced the decision of the Border Commission on Saturday at the Ministry of Foreign affairs. "All disputed areas have been given to Ethiopia," he said. Seyoum Mesfin said in Addis Ababa that the international tribunal at The Hague has decided that Badme, Zelambessa, Ayiga, Erobe, Alitena, Bada and others to be part of the Ethiopian sovereign territory.
According to the Foreign Minister, the decision of the boundary commission clearly implies that it was the Eritrean government that instigated aggression against the so-called disputed areas, which are now proved to be Ethiopian sovereign territories.
Speaking about the decision of the Border Commission he said, "Ethiopia is satisfied with the decision. We hope that the decision will once and for all seal any attempt by military adventurers to change boundaries by forceful means." He said, "It is a victory of law over the rule of the jungle."
Asked about considering normalizing relations with Eritrea, Seyoum said Ethiopia first wants to see transparency and predictability of the Eritrean government prior to normalizing relations.
|President Isaias Afwerki congratulated the Eritrean People on the delimitation of
Eritrea's border with Ethiopia. The President described the
delimitation as a "gift to present and future generations of
Eritreans who will live within secure and recognized borders."
Speaking about the decision of the Border Commission confirming Eritrean sovereignty over Badme, the president said that "truth, which had been severely battered over the past four years, had triumphed" and Eritrea has been finally vindicated. He noted that any attempt by the Ethiopian government to fool the people on the decision was futile, adding that the demarcation people would be able to see Badme for themselves.
Asked about the future relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, President Isaias said that Eritrea has now ceased to become a "bone of political contention in Ethiopia". Assab and Badme, which were used in the past few years to whip up hysteria and send young people to death, are now "settled issues". He said that with time normalization between the two countries was certain, but added, "Having gone through a traumatic experience, we have become more cautious. We will judge matters not by what is said, but what is done in practice", he stressed.
source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asmara
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