Apparently, although Ethiopia has apparently “changed” its stance towards Eritrea (actively seeking its downfall, although whether or not this is a change can be legitimately debated), the arms embargo by the United Nations has continued. In fact this brings to light a very real, and if gone unchecked, dangerous rejection of the UN Charter:
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”1 [emphasis mine]
This brazen disregard for the binding international agreement is ironically not dissimilar from the same disregard the Government of Ethiopia has shown for the binding agreement signed with Eritrea regarding the demarcation of their common boundary.2
Given the continued tone of aggression that Ethiopia has shown towards Eritrea, particularly that referenced above, it is unsurprising that Eritrea, a country 1/20th the size of Ethiopia must prepare for all eventualities. If physical aggression is the next step explored by Ethiopia, the Government of Eritrea would be remiss if it had not prepared to counter such aggression. However, given the arms embargo placed upon it by the United Nations, the Government of Eritrea has been placed in the position of having to choose between complying with the United Nations directive or protecting its people and sovereignty.
Given these two options, the latter would likely take precedence if the Government prioritized the safety of its citizens and means, otherwise the former would take precedence. These future possibilities will likely be based on whether or not:
- Ethiopia takes steps to walk back its unwarranted escalation of tension in the region, and/or
- the United Nations Security Council lifts restrictions on the import of arms for Eritrea, and/or
- the United Nations Security Council sanctions Ethiopia for either:
- its threat of aggression against a fellow member state, and/or
- its disregard of treaty obligations per the above referenced Algiers Agreement (2000).