The Ethiopian Border Affairs Committee (EBAC) was established in response to secret border negotiations between the Ethiopian government led by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the government of the Sudan that we believe would materially affect our Motherland’s territorial integrity, national independence and sovereignty and the interests of millions of Ethiopians for generations to come. In this regard, EBAC has conducted background research, mobilized tens of civic and political organizations, raised public awareness, provided press releases, transmitted official letters to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union, permanent members of the UN Security Council, members of the European Union, members of the Arab League, governments of Ethiopia and the Sudan and also the different governments of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, defended Ethiopia’s legitimate rights and exposed the deceitful and traitorous nature of the secret dealings orchestrated solely by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). This minority ethnic group exercises singular sway within the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front that is now led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.
Despite the clear mandate of these undertakings, however, the treaty has remained a dead letter for over a century and, as a consequence, the boundary between the two countries has never been demarcated by a joint commission. Instead, contrary to both the spirit and letter of the provisions of the treaty, Great Britain appointed its own officer, Major Charles W. Gwynn, to unilaterally and arbitrarily demarcate the boundary without the knowledge and the participation of Ethiopian boundary commissioners. Ethiopians should know that the demarcation line which resulted from this high-handed exercise greatly favored the Sudan while causing Ethiopia to suffer a corresponding amount of territorial loss. It is this highhanded and arbitrary action that the TPLF led government wants to legitimize in the coming few weeks.
Notwithstanding the fact that the demarcation of the boundary by one of the Contracting Parties cannot legally bind the other, nevertheless Sudan has over the years importuned successive Ethiopian administrations to accept the validity of the unilateral demarcation undertaken by the British. Before the current government took power in Ethiopia in 1991, the consistent and unequivocal response of Ethiopian administrations has been to reject the validity of Sudan’s claims, calling instead for a negotiated settlement of the boundary on the basis of the original treaty with the full knowledge, participation and consent of peoples likely to be affected by the demarcation line. The TPLF has a treasonous track record of diminishing Ethiopia; it sponsored and facilitated the secession of Eritrea. EBAC states unequivocally that no Ethiopian regime in power has the right to cede Ethiopian territory without open discussion with the people of Ethiopia and without Parliamentary deliberations. EBAC is not aware of any government anywhere in the world that willingly, deliberately and treacherously cedes its country’s territory for which millions of lives have been lost and whose impact will be felt for generations to come. We urge all Ethiopians to reject this sinister act.