Conspiracy and Lies for Sanctions against Eritrea: Some Salient Points
June 24, 2006: “I met on 24 June 2006 with Jendayi Frazer, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in Addis Ababa. She regretted that the EEBC is not flexible. She told me that she has developed parallel tracks to deal with the matter. In her view, demarcation as Eritrea wants it is not feasible. She also said that the status quo would benefit Ethiopia and demarcation would not take place without dialogue.” Herman Cohen, PBS NewsHour, June 6, 2018.
March 1, 2008: The targeted sanctions were also floated as retaliation for Eritrea’s expulsion of UNMEE: “…should assess the utility and level of support for targeted sanctions, and specifically which measures might be most successfully imposed and effectively implemented…Potential options include:
- Imposing a travel ban on key Eritrean government officials.
- Placing an assets freeze on these same officials and/or other Eritrean assets/resources.
- Imposing trade, investment, or other restrictions related to Eritrean resources, including mining. Imposing an arms embargo on Eritrea.” http://wikileaks.org/
May 9, 2008: “Prime Minister Meles underscored to USUN Ambassador Rice during a six-hour meeting…Isaias’ calculations would be shattered, if the U.S. and others imposed financial sanctions on him and particularly cut off Isaias’ funding from Qatar and other countries and the important funding from the Diaspora in the U.S. Isaias still imposes a mandatory 2 percent of salary tax on all Eritreans living overseas. Nonpayment results in family members in Eritrea being denied food ration cards.” http://wikileaks. org/ /05/09ADDISABABA1201. html
May 23, 2008: “Eighty percent of ammunition available at the Somali arms markets was supplied by TFG and Ethiopian troops. The monitoring committee received details of some 25 military flights by Ethiopia into Somalia and knew that Ethiopian troops had brought military equipment into the country to arm friendly clans.” https://www. reuters.com/article/us-somalia-arms-un/arms-reach-somali-warlords-despite-u-n-sanctions-idUSN2252338820080523
May 23, 2008: Kumalo said the Somalia sanctions committee backed the idea of independent investigations of Somalia’s TFG, the Ethiopian government and AMISOM (for supplying arms to Somalia’s Al- Shabaab).
More than 75% of AMISOM troops are from Uganda.
The plane that Eritrea was supposed to have used to transport weapons and fighters to Somalia was found crashed in Uganda while being used by DynCorp, a contractor for the U.S. military and Intelligence service. -Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/ article/amp/ 252338820080523
June 9, 2009: “A number of ambassadors accredited to Eritrea remain vocally skeptical about Eritrean support to Al-Shabaab and its ilk. Should the USG and/or the international community take action against Eritrea or Eritreans for support of radical Somali Islamists, the Flat Denial will have to be punctured for any measures to be effective. …Given the still low (but recovering) credibility of the USG in some quarters, simple public assertions that Eritrea is aiding radical Somali Islamists will not change many minds. …Previous USG attempts to do so flopped. One skeptical Western ambassador in Eritrea this week commented, ’Are your claims of Eritrean support for Al-Shabaab like those of Saddam’s WMD program?’” http://wikileaks. org/e/2009/06/09ASMARA187. html
September 29, 2009: “Rice reminded Museveni that past experience suggested that the UNSC would not block a resolution led by African members and supported by the African Union. She shared the U.S. read that, if Burkina Faso and Uganda co-sponsor this resolution, the British will support, the French will ‘keep their heads down’ and will not block. …Rice advised Kutesa not to be overly cautious, and reasserted that a resolution perceived to be African-led would not fail. She noted that, if it became clear during consultations that Russia and China had insurmountable concerns about including Djibouti, they could be dealt with before the issue came to vote.” http://wikileaks. org/09/09USUNNEWYORK861. html
November 18, 2009: “European participants generally did not support sanctioning Eritrea,. … The Italian representative questioned whether the sanctions should be focused on spoilers in general and include others beyond Eritrea. … The Swedish representative agreed that pressure would be more useful than sanctions,… The UK representative agreed, adding that while the UK was still considering sanctions, ”a way out” for Asmara would have to be included. The EU representative saw the ’long arm of Ethiopia’ behind the sanctions initiative.” http://wikileaks. org/cable/2009/11/09BERLIN1467. html
December 23, 2009: UNSC imposes sanctions on Eritrea under Resolution 1907(2009) it included an arms embargo, travel ban and targeted sanctions.
“Reason”- Support for Al- Shabaab;
Refusing to withdraw troops from “contested” Eritrea- Djibouti Border.
Resolution was tabled by Uganda and the UNSC proceedings were led by Burkina Faso. Resolution 1907(2009) was adopted by 13 votes:
In favor o : USA, UK, Russia, France, Austria, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Uganda and Vietnam
Against o : Libya
Abstention o : China
December 23, 2009: “I want to talk about the resolution we just adopted imposing sanctions on Eritrea. This was an African initiative. It was the consequence of a decision taken by the African Union. …From the United States’ point of view…we do not see this as the door closing on Eritrea, but on the contrary, we view this as another opportunity for Eritrea to play a more responsible and constructive role in the region. We did not come to this decision with any joy.” Statement by Susan Rice
January 10, 2010: “Recently, I heard similar mutterings in the UK Foreign office, there have been correspondence passing across desks to the effect that it really would not have mattered what Eritrea would have done. Eritrea is going to be punished for this. Even though some voices in the UK Foreign Office were saying that this is a disastrous idea, sanctions should not go ahead. The push was coming from above somewhere. Ethiopia needs to be right. Ethiopia needs to be the stable center. Eritrea is now becoming, to be blunt, a pain in the ass. It will be punished. The US preferred Ethiopia. It preferred Ethiopia for all sorts of reasons. Eritrea was seen as a bunker state; they were less easy to control. Their policy was more directable and perhaps predictable. Whereas Eritrea, from the mid-1990s, it was clearly seen unpredictable and couldn’t be relied upon to do certain things that Washington might wanted to do.” -Richard Reid, Eritrea’s External Relations, Wilson Center, https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/ eritreas-external-relations July 20, 2010: “There is very little evidence to suggest that Eritrea has, or is currently, supporting al-Shabab,” -E.J. Hogendoorn, Director of the International Crisis Group, https://www.voanews.com/a/article– analysts-say-eritrea-is-not-supporting-al-shabab–98924444/122377.html
December 05, 2011: UNSC passes Resolution 2023(2011)
“Reason” Eritrea destabilizing the HOA Region by using Diaspora Tax and the Mining sector financial source; transfer of arms by air through Baidoa; Djiboutian combatants
Meles Zenawi as Chair of IGAD participates in the discussion via a video-conference and states: “Eritrea is a prime source of instability for the whole region… we ask you to act and act decisively.”
IGAD actively involved in the drafting of the text Resolution tabled and co-sponsored by Gabon with Nigerian involvement
Other video conference participants:
Ismael Omar Guelleh – Djibouti o President
Sheik Sherif Sheik Ahmed – Somalia o President
Moses Wetangula – Kenya FM o
Mull Sebuja Katende – Uganda AU o Ambassador
In favor:France, UK, USA, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Gabo, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal , Union of South Africa
Abstentions: Russia and China
December 5, 2011: “We call on the Monitoring Group to execute its responsibilities and mandate…with professionalism, impartiality and objectivity. The Monitoring Group should never be influenced by political considerations outside of its mandate. It is important for the Monitoring Group to closely guard its independence and professionalism in the work it does to assist the Security Council with the implementation of those measures. Equally, we call upon the members of the Security Council to desist from any temptation to use the Monitoring Group for political ends.” -South African UN Ambassador Mashabane
July 9, 2018: “As Former Alternate Ambassador of Somalia to the UN who participated all discussions and meetings between UNSC and IGAD member states, I can confirm the sanction imposed to Eritrea on behalf of Somalia by UNSC was politically motivated than factual or evidence based.” -Somali Ambassador Idd B. Mohammed (@ amb_idd) tweet from 9 July 2018
November 14, 2018: The UNSC expected to lift the illegal and unfair sanctions imposed on Eritrea. Here are some relevant paragraphs from the draft resolution:
Recalls paragraphs 16 and 17 of • resolution 1907 (2009) and recognizes that during the course of its current and four previous mandates the SEMG has not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports Al-Shabaab;
Decides to lift from the date of • adoption of this resolution the arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea by the Security Council in its resolutions 1907 (2009) 2023 (2011), 2060 (2012) and 2111 (2013);
Expresses its satisfaction that funds • derived from the mining sector of Eritrea are not contributing to violations of resolutions 1844 (2008), 1862 (2009), 1907 (2009) or 2023 (2011) , and decides that from the date of adoption of this resolution, States are no longer required to undertake the measures set out in paragraph 13 of resolution 2023 (2011).