The UN Security Council has voted for sanctions against Eritrea. This decision is based on a false campaign that accuses the country of militarily supporting Somali rebels. The sanctions aim in effect to strengthen the strategic interests of some superpowers in the Horn of Africa. As it pays unfairly the price of its independence, demonstrations in support of Eritrea are planned worldwide.
Thirty-four minutes. This is the time it takes to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to decide the fate of Eritrea. The UNSC has indeed voted on Resolution 1907/2009 that imposes sanctions to this little country of the Horn of Africa. But this decision is based on fabricated information and a false campaign led mainly by the United States, Great Britain and Uganda. Only China abstained and Libya voted against it.
Eritrea is accused of providing weapons and munitions to armed groups in Somalia and confronting its Ethiopian and Djiboutian neighbors. Clearly, members of the UNSC who voted for the sanctions do not know Eritrean history or the situation in Somalia. However, the Asmara government repeatedly stated to the Council that he didn’t provide weapons to the Somali groups. It not only lacks the means to do so but it has also proposed solution tracks to resolve the Somali crisis e.g. to open the reconciliation dialogue to all the protagonists in the country, without interference from the foreign powers.
The UN didn’t take those proposals in account and accused Eritrea. However, it was not Eritrea that created the Somali problem. It was not Eritrea that invaded this country and infringed the Arms embargo imposed in 1992. Who is reallyresponsible then*? Those who string the UNSC along today.
The Horn of Africa is indeed a strategic area for Washington, which tries to make it a military basis. The objective? To control the Middle East and the African access to the Indian Ocean. Ethiopia and Djibouti are already submitted to the American interests. In Somalia, there has been no government for twenty years and the country is in chaos. When the Islamic Courts achieved to bring peace in 2006, the Ethiopian army, supported by Washington, invaded Mogadishu. Since that, the situation has been deteriorating. Eritrea remains, resisting to the imperialist forces by leading an independent policy.
This is exactly why it is under heavy fire today. The Asmara government tries to do its best, with the few means it has, to protect its people from the repeated abuses and lootings of the colonial powers. The economy of the country is mainly based on agriculture. The government is betting a lot on the rise of the education level and the transportation infrastructures are relatively developed. Furthermore, the country has important resources of gold, copper, gas and oil that are not yet exploited. Those raw materials inflame the voracity of the colonial powers. But Eritrea builds its own development model up and wishes to dispose of its wealth as it likes.
On the diplomatic level too, Asmara wishes to bring peace in the Horn of Africa by inviting all the protagonists of the region to dialogue, without interference of the foreign powers. Of course, this political vision doesn’t meet American interests. Washington fears total loss of control in the Horn of Africa for several reasons. First, it doesn’t achieve to impose the government it wishes in Somalia. Secondly, the current regime in Ethiopia, which is a faithful ally of United States, is more and more threatened within its own border and could lose the coming elections. Finally, the Eritrean model, based on a policy independent from the foreign powers, could inspire others in the region.
So, the United States looks to marginalize Eritrea. That’s why it imposed unjust sanctions by voting against that country. But the members of the UNSC must take all the facts and evidences in account to find a peaceful solution to the Horn of Africa issues. Demonstrations are planned in Europe, United States and Australia to ask the UNSC to reverse its decision (2). African countries need peace. Not arms merchants, invasions or sanctions.
* See Somalia: How Colonial Powers drove a Country into Chaos
World-wide demonstration to denounce the UN Security Council's illegal and unjust resolution against Eritrea
On 23 December 2009 the UN Security Council took an illegal and unjust resolution (1907/2009) imposing sanctions on Eritrea. The sanctions adopted include an arms embargo, travel bans and asset freezes for both officials and individuals.
This resolution was adopted on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations and has therefore no legal ground. It aims at punishing Eritrea for its alleged support of Islamist insurgents in Somalia, although no evidence was ever provided. Eritrea is also accused of a fabricated “border dispute” with Djibouti, designed to tarnish Eritrea's reputation.
From the perspectives of regional peace and security, one should keep in mind that:
* The Security Council has given no heed to the ongoing occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories by Ethiopia which continues to act in total defiance of the internationally accepted ruling of April 13, 2003.
* Since the early 90s, Eritrea has been one of the first countries to fight terrorism masterminded by extremist groups in the Horn of Africa.
* This resolution is not only another attempt against Eritrea’s freedom and sovereignty, but it will further render elusive the prospects of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
To oppose this shameful and unjust decision, the Eritrean community in Europe, the friends of Eritrea and all global citizens who care about international peace and justice are invited to sign the petition and take part in the peaceful demonstration to be held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Other demonstrations will be held on the same day in the United States and Australia. The aim of these demonstrations and of the petition is to both condemn this resolution and call on the UN Security Council to annul and repeal it without delay.
The demonstration will be held in Geneva on 22 February 2010 (from 13:00 – 18:00 CET)
The cortege will start to move at 14:00, from the Parc de Cropettes, behind the train station of Cornavin (the main train station in Geneva), then continue towards the street of rue de Montbrillant, join Avenue de France and will follow the direction towards UN (Palais des Nations, Geneva) at Avenue de la Paix.
Victory to the people!
Other demonstrations will be held the same day in Washington DC, San Francisco et Melbourne
For more information, please call ++41 79 443 54 34 or visit http://eritrean-smart.org/node/26
Source: Investig'Action-Qui diabolise l'Erythrée et pourquoi?
Original article published on Feb. 10, 2010
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Saja is a member of Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity of which Investig'Action is a partner. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and reviser are cited.
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