Ethiopian Men and Women of the year 2008
Person of the Year 2008
Major-general Abebe Tekle Haimanot beat our contenders to win TigrayNet’s Person of the Year 2008
Thanks to everyone who voted
Major-General Abebe Tekle Haimanot – PROFILE
Former Major-General Abebe Tekle Haimanot, who was commander of the Ethiopian Air Force during the 1998-2000 Ethiopia-Eritrea War told Dehai, a Tigrinya-langauge publication, that there were ample opportunities – from legal perspectives – for the government to address the vital issue of respecting Ethiopia’s right of access to the sea.
A law instructor at Addis Ababa University, Abebe said the Algiers Agreement was a slap in the face that it treated the aggressor and the aggressed on equal footing. But more than everthing else, he added, the Algiers Agreement was an accord that handed over Ethiopia’s victory to the enemy.
Asked what he expected after the war, Abebe said the agreement should have forced the Eritrean regime to acknowledge that it a) has invaded a sovereign country b) would never try to attack again c) would only have a small army, pay war compensation, and of course recognize Ethiopia’s right of access to the sea.
Abebe, who studied intenational law at Georgia University in the United States, said the last straw that broke the camel’s back was basing the the Algiers Agreement on colonial treaties that Italy had violated and become defunct several decades ago.
- Maj-Jen Abebe Tekelehaimanot (30.2%)
- Dr. Eleni Gebremedhin – CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) (24.5%)
- Dr. Tedros Adhanom – Ethiopian Health Minister (18.2%)
- Amare Aregawi – Editor-in-Chief of the Ethiopian Reporter (13.2%)
- CNN Hero – Yohannes Gebregeorgis (10.1%)
- Professor Mesfin Weldemariam – UDJ Leader (3.8%)
By Abebe T. Kahsay (Major General)
Under the direction of Daniel Bodansky
Since Eritrea’s secession from Ethiopia there has been continuous opposition by intellectuals and the opposition to the government’s policy of making Ethiopia a landlocked country. Some totally reject the secession, while others accept the independence as a “fait accompli” and voice concern over the lack of an outlet to the sea, and still others acknowledge the right of self-determination and secession of Eritrea but denounce the inconsistency of the application of the Transitional Charter regarding the Red Sea Afar and the Algiers Agreement for denying Ethiopia its legitimate right to access to the sea and allege that the government is acting against the paramount national interest of the country.
Access to the sea is an important issue in Ethiopian politics that needs to be addressed and the issue should be dealt with beyond the incumbent government. Ethiopia regained the right of access to the sea by the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations 1952. After about 40 years of enjoyment of its sovereign right it is again in the verge of permanently becoming landlocked. The present government of Ethiopia has agreed and signed the Algiers Agreement that could make Ethiopia a landlocked country. If the opposition wins the next election or any election there after, it may officially denounce the Algiers Agreement and demand a new arrangement that recognize the right of access to the sea.4 It is believed that access to the sea is one of the burning issues that contributed to the success of the opposition and the declining support of the government during the last election.
In this thesis, I argue that Ethiopia has the right to access to the sea as recognized by the recommendation of the United Nations General Assembly of 1950 which was implemented accordingly by federating Eritrea to Ethiopia. I recognize the right of self-determination and independence of the Eritrean peoples, but, argue that the independence of Eritrea and the sovereign right of access to the sea of Ethiopia are not mutually exclusive. The legal regime that governs the territorial disputes between Ethiopia and Eritrea is the “treaty between the United Nations and Ethiopia’ or strictly speaking as the ‘treaty between the Victorious Four Powers of WWII and Ethiopia’ according to which Eritrea was federated to Ethiopia in 1952.
The peoples of Eritrea have decided on their fate and become independent and their wishes have been fulfilled by the blood that they paid during the struggle for their independence. But the ‘treaty between Ethiopia and the Four Powers” is not only about the wishes of inhabitants of Eritrea: it is also about the consideration of the security of East Africa and the legitimate need of Ethiopia to access to sea. In fact, I argue that the main objective and purpose of that ‘treaty’ is the right of Ethiopia access to the sea. The foundation of any settlement that is meant to solve the territorial disputes between Ethiopia and Eritrea should be the recommendation of the UN General Assembly of 1950 and international law, which guarantee Ethiopia’s right to access to the sea.
Past year Winners