Ethiopia: Strong Legal Position - Part II

Ethiopia In Strong Legal Position - Part II

Dear Netters:

In this article I will show why I say President Issaias is lying to the Eritrean people and getting people killed for nothing:

I have an old copy of National Geographic magazine (purchased from a used bookstore years ago).

Date: September 1935
Title: With the Italians in Eritrea: 34 illustrations with map.

The map shows the boundary between Eritrea and Ethiopia with the label: "BOUNDARY IN DISPUTE"

Now, note that Pres. Issaias stated in his news conf. that the boundary was one of the most well-known and clearest of colonial boundaries.

The Italians used the disputed boundary as a pretext to invade Ethiopia that same month (Sep. 1935). They refused to delimit the border despite repeated Ethiopian requests at that time to have the problem resolved by a joint survey party.

Ethiopia had demilitarised the border for 100 km just to prevent incidents, but the 250,000 Italian army invaded anyway. They were defeated in 1940 and Britain adminstered Eritrea until federation with Ethiopia in 1952. The border dispute became a moot point.

The EPLF is today picking up where the Italians left off in 1935 trying to annex land from Ethiopia!

From the international law perspective, Ethiopia has an extremely strong case - these areas have never been part of Eritrea, except on unilateral Italian maps which the Ethiopian government never accepted. Even EPLF cannot deny that the disputed areas have always been de-facto parts of Ethiopia.

Eritreans - please urge your government to ACCEPT THE PEACE PLAN FULLY! This is not the time for unclear, mumbling statements. People are being killed for a stupid reason. EPLF is fully responsible for what is going on today.

Also, please do your own independent research and don't just blindly follow the EPLF.


1) All treaties between Ethiopia and Eritrea were made null and void by Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

2) Even so, the Eritrean - Ethiopia border was in dispute and being mediated at the League of Nations prior to the Italian invasion of 1935.

3) The Eritean parliament voted in 1962 for full union with Ethiopia - although influenced by Ethiopia, this act was far less coercive than Italy's war offensives which led to the creation of Eritrea in the first place.

4) Not a single foreign government or international organization has disputed that Eritrea was an internal part of Ethiopia until 1993 in international legal terms

5) Ethiopia redrew Eritrea's borders in 1987. Eritrea now must receive Ethiopian approval for any changes to these borders.

6) Even using commonly available maps, the Yirga triangle lies within Ethiopia

7) The argument that the "colonial" border is the only legitimate border is contradicted by the longstanding Eritrean claim that Eritrea was a colony of Ethiopia's. Thus the colonial border is that defined by the last colonial power - Ethiopia

8) The border was undemarcated - meaning not marked on the ground. Ethiopia perfectly well knows which areas it is administering and Eritrea knows perfectly well which areas it invaded.

- Dagmawi