28 Ethiopian political and civic organizations sent a protest letter to the UN

January 13, 2014

The Ethiopian Borders Affairs Committee sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Ban ki-Moon exposing the TPLF/EPRDF secret border deal with the Sudan and rejecting any attempt that violates upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. The protest letter has been endorsed by 28 Ethiopian political and civic organizations according to The Ethiopian Borders Affairs Committee.

Ethiopian Border Affairs Committee
P. O. Box 9536 Columbus, Ohio 43209 USA
E-mail: [email protected]

H.E Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations Secretary General
1st Avenue, 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
January 10, 2014

Your Excellency:

We, the undersigned representatives of various Ethiopian political parties, civic organizations and professional associations, have the honor to bring to your attention our strong protest against the secret border deal that the dictatorial governments of Ethiopia and the Sudan have recently been hatching.

The respective territorial limits of both countries were defined by the Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1902 at the turn of the last century when Great Britain was the colonial power administering the Sudan.  As is customary in international practice in delimiting national boundaries, the treaty provided for the setting up of a Joint Boundary Commission to be appointed by both sides to carry out the actual demarcation of the boundary on the ground. Upon completion of the demarcation process both parties were required to notify their citizens of the boundary as demarcated.

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. In the event, 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.

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.  The consistent and unequivocal response of these administrations, however, 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.

As Your Excellency well knows, the international political system grants a considerable degree of importance to rights in respect of territory. The function of a boundary between states is the attribution of territory and, thus, the extent of a state’s territorial sovereignty. When the extent and limits of a state’s territorial sovereignty are determined solely and arbitrarily by one state to the detriment of the other, however, the boundary so determined becomes an enduring source of friction and tension between the adjoining states. It is precisely to avoid such a result that international law attributes to an international boundary a compelling degree of continuity and finality. Nevertheless, this venerable principle will be respected and observed in practice only if the given boundary was established in accordance with law. More importantly, a boundary regime can be regarded as final only where either of the states can clearly establish its legal credentials.  In the case of the Ethio-Sudan boundary, this means that the treaty regime set up by the parties – and no other arrangement- was meant to govern the boundary and title to territory.

According to media reports originating in the Sudan, however, under the just-concluded secret deal between the President of the Sudan and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, huge swathes of our ancestral lands will be ceded to the Sudan.  These reports have been received with utter shock, resentment and anger by Ethiopians at home and abroad.  Neither the current generation of Ethiopians nor those of future generations will allow the deal to stand for it constitutes a serious violation of the treaty regime set up at the turn of the century and holds for naught the sacrifices of past generations of Ethiopians to preserve the territorial integrity of their country.  We wish to add that thousands of our people will be forced to lose their homes, farms and investments if the border deal is implemented without their participation and consent.

We are not unmindful that members of the United Nations and their sitting governments like those of the Sudan and Ethiopia are clothed with a certain degree of legitimacy in the eyes of international law and politics, even as such legitimacy deprives ordinary citizens adversely affected by the decisions of those who rule them legal standing and recourse in such matters. And yet the actions of these officials who purport to speak in their behalf are bereft of any legitimacy in the eyes of the very populace whose interests they claim to represent. This is particularly true when it concerns highly sensitive and emotionally charged questions of territorial sovereignty.  As such, the border deal of today hatched by unelected elites will be the ticking bomb of tomorrow.   Since it has neither support in law nor received the consent of the Ethiopian people, it will fester as a major source of friction and tension between the brotherly peoples of Ethiopia and the Sudan. Needless to add, the Horn of Africa region does not need an additional source of insecurity and instability beyond those that already plague the region. Accordingly, we wish to entreat Your Excellency to use your good offices to any extent appropriate and possible so as to forestall the dangerous situation the border deal is otherwise most likely to engender now or in the future if it goes into effect.

In any case, we would like to go on record as asserting our right to territorial sovereignty as defined by treaty – and not any other agreement that is reached behind the back of the Ethiopian people. We reserve the right to not honor any boundary that results from the agreement of an unelected government that is devoid of any support or legitimacy among its own people. In closing, we would like Your Excellency to know that the current extremely narrowly- based government of Ethiopia and the similarly discredited government of the Sudan are grasping at straws by using the border deal as a way of ensuring their political survival by a mutual exchange of promises foreswearing the use of their territories by organized movements seeking to overthrow their respective governments. This survival instinct underlies the parties’ desire to make a border deal and to keep it from public scrutiny without consideration of its impact on the people of Ethiopia.

Please accept the assurances of our highest consideration.


  1. Ethiopian Border Affairs Committee (EBAC)
  2. Ethiopian People’s Congress for United Struggle (Shengo)
  3. Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party-Democratic (EPRP-D)
  4. Ethiopian Medhin Democratic Party (Medhin)
  5. All  Ethiopian Socialist Movement (ME’ISONE)
  6. Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF)
  7. Amara Democratic Movement Force (ADMF)
  8. Ethiopian Democratic Hibrehizb Unity Movement (EDHUM)
  9. Tatek Movement for Freedom, Democracy and Unity for Ethiopia
  10. Tigrean Alliance for National Democracy (TAND)
  11. Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)- led by General Kamal Galchuu
  12. Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC)
  13. Moresh Wegenie Amara Organization (MWAO)
  14. The Legitimate Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Exile
  15. Gasha for Ethiopians
  16. Ethiopiawint: Council for the Defense of Citizens Right
  17. Beruh Ethiopia Democratic Movement
  18. Ethiopian Civic Consortium in UK
  19. Solidarity Committee for Ethiopian Political Prisoners – Canada (SOCEPP-Can)
  20. Ethiopian Civil Society Support Group in London, Ontario
  21. Anuak Justice Council
  22. Dallas Support Committee
  23. Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)
  24. Democracy For Ethiopia Forum in San Jose
  25. Ethio-Canada Democratic Forum in Ottawa
  26. Ethiopian Public Forum in Columbus, Ohio
  27. Mahdere Andinet Ethiopian Association
  28. Ethiopian Public Forum in Seattle, Washington


Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan

2210 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20008

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Chairperson of the African Union Commission

P. O. Box 3243

Roosvelt Street

(Old Airport Area)


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

E-mail: [email protected]

Fax: 251-11-551-7844

21 Responses to 28 Ethiopian political and civic organizations sent a protest letter to the UN

  1. Born again

    January 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you. Sudan hopefully understands that this is a bad deal for Sudan and Ethiopia. These countries will stay for ever but Woyane will go soon so Sudan should stay away from bad deals that will create problems in the future.

    Sudan should be concerned with the good relationship it had with Ethiopia for centuries and not fall for this unsustainable and unacceptable deal that this illegal regime is offering in exchange for its selfish plot to stay in power.

    Woyane a regime detested and disapproved by 95% of Ethiopians.

    It is all Ethiopians concern to watch and protect Ethiopia’s sovereign rights with its territory and borders. Woyane is not recognized a regime in Ethiopia but known as an invader. Any deal done by Woyane is not approved by the people of Ethiopia.

    Woyane is not a protector of Ethiopia’s borders but use it as a gift to kiss up and neighboring countries behind so Sudan will not allow opposition groups to stay in Sudan.

    We all know how Woyane is thinking. By resizing, weakening and diminishing Ethiopia Woyane is trying to stay in power.

    Woyane is begging neighboring countries to help them stay in power only stub everyone on the back and betray as they have betrayed all their past relationships.

  2. Hacalu

    January 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for your concern for the Ethio-Sudan boarder.
    I appriciate the 28 orginizations send it to UN head. even some of the parties I have never heard of, but a good voice in need.

    Why the popular Ginbot 7 is not part of them? why Other partys in Europe follow the step?
    why the so called “peaceful Party” in Ethiopia didnot react so far except Andinet…..
    Shall we creat one portal ,place to collect the signitures of all Ethiopian all over the world?

  3. seifu degefu

    January 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I am glad to see a list of concerned Ethiopian organizations. It tells
    me who is in which side. On the Ethiopian side or on the other side. No
    Ethiopian organization be a bystander while Ethiopia is partitioned. Please show solidarity and say no to the partitioning of Ethiopia.

  4. Mesfin

    January 16, 2014 at 9:13 am


    Good observation and good question, “Where is G7?”. I am also puzzled when I couldn’t see the name of G7 among the signatories. For your wonder for G7 this is not its first time when it evaded such issue regarding the border issue, rather it is its 3rd times. What is going on G7???????? Are you too dealing, like Woyanie, with a foreign power at the expenses of the interest of Ethiopia at the back of the Ethiopian people? If not what then? If you are as good as your words and stand for the territorial integrity o Ethiopia this is the time to stand with other political parties and organisations and sign the letter. You have lost the ship G7.

    Dera Kolegnaw, it has nothing to do with the Eritrean Government, because other parties like, Arbegnoch Ginbar, OLF, lead by G/n Kemal Gelch and Amhara Democratic Force Movement, who are based in Asmara have signed this letter. Thus it is only G7 who refused to sign repeatedly and we would like to know why.

  5. Ittu Aba Farda

    January 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Dear editors:

    What happened to my comment? Oh my goodness!!! Anything wrong? I did not think so.

  6. kolegnaw

    January 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    All parts of Ethiopian Society,communities,churches,Local forums etc..must participate endorsing this national Issue,if this does not bring us together,what will be?no matter which group took the initiation one may think.those groups which did not participate in this very important national agenda might think twice and be a part of it,no excuse this time.we sick tired of their none sense excuses.do not be ridiculous.
    The Political opposition groups in Ethiopia also should make their voice.we are watching you !!!!

  7. Argaw Negia

    January 14, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you Ethiopians we need to stand for our Mather land . This is shame for tplf
    Viva Ethiopians god bless you.

  8. asrat

    January 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    ager shachoch nachew hagerye lezelalem nure

  9. Kolegnaw

    January 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Good Job,this cooperation should visualize our opositions to bring the grid lock at list to consesouse among oposition to work together if unity is impossible.
    By the way,where is G7?I don’t see it in the list.does it have to do with the Ertrean regime?if so,that is gonna be very interesting.

  10. sador

    January 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    God Luck Etiopians

  11. Samson

    January 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    God bless Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

  12. hamere

    January 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    The only way to protect our country borders is we must get our freedom and destroy weyani by coordinating with violence and arm strugle

  13. Tigist berhanu

    January 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    ኢትዪጵያ በክብር ለዘላለም ትኖራለች !

  14. Belayneh

    January 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Thank you brothers and sisters for your true genune effort, pease contnue to call us stand up, and God bess you. Please let the secret open to Ethiopian people in home, let all media say it, the Goverment Ethiopian media does not want to say anything, it seemes nothing happen in the border issue. It must go openly through from both side Suddan and Ethiopia committe, not only TPLF/EPRDF but also from others parties and non poltical people, reliogus people. Meles alone can not decide, he is dead, Let the people of Ethiopian rise up to say about enoug is enough!!! Let us stand up! Let us win the fear! Let us see the genuene leaders come forward to shout and gather us to fight for freedom and right!!!!

  15. efrme

    January 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

    it is nic GOD bliessss ethiopans

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