By Amanuel Tseggai,
On this day four years ago, Eritreans inside and abroad were at a total loss to learn the imposition of UN sanction against their beloved country. And the swift action they took on February 22nd, 2010 denouncing the UNSC 1907 resolution and demanding for justice was a reflection of their displeasure towards such illegal and unjust act against a sovereign nation.
The conspiracy against Eritrea by certain members of the world body is nothing new and is well documented. The infamous speech on Decmber 1950 by the then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles which paved the way for Ethiopia to annex Eritrea , resulting in a long and bitter armed struggle is one chapter in our history that will not be forgotten. In reference to Eritrea’s legitimate call for independence, the US Secretary of State was quoted as stating on his address to United Nations member states:
“From the point of view of justice, the opinion of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless, the strategic interests of the United States in the Red Sea Basin and world peace make it necessary that the country be linked with our ally Ethiopia.”
It’s also important to point out that the military interference of the former Soviet Union and other “Eastern Bloc” governments during the Dergue era(1977-1991) was another dark era and a major historical error that impacted Eritrea’s struggle for self-determination negatively.
Post independence, the people and government of Eritrea, not dwelling on their past experience, worked diligently to normalize relationship with these and many other countries. Unfortunately, as it takes two to tango, all attempts by Eritrea to solve differences diplomatically received a deaf ear by the US officials. The recently leaked cables by Wikileaks revealing how the Eritrean government attempted on several occasions to reach for the Obama administration to normalize relations between the two countries without success is but a clear case that invalidates the notion of a lack of cooperation by the former.
The reality is that Eritrea is an independent state. It’s a member of United nations. As such, it’s within its legal right to adopt policies and regulations as it sees them fit to preserve and maintain its sovereignty and national security. It has paid heavy price to achieve its independence and reclaim its sovereignty. While willing to work with anyone on a basis of mutual respect, it does not and should not allow its sovereignty be tampered with by anyone and under any circumstances.
The UNSC 1907 resolution which Dr. Susan Rice handed over on December 23rd, 2009 was nothing but a continuation of the old US policy designed to subjugate the people of Eritrea and undermine their sovereignty. And, it was an illegal and unjustifiable act based on unsubstantiated and fabricated report with regard to Somalia’s conflict.
As oppose to how Susan Rice attempted to present the resolution as “African initiative”, the reality is that it is the “offspring” of three major actors, from conception all the way to birth. The late Ethiopian PM-Meles Zenawi, the man who ignited war against Eritrea in 1998 under a false territorial claim, found the Somalia situation as the best opportunity to weaken Eritrea. As the self-appointed Chairman of the Security Council of the African Union, Zenawi was at ease to making the proposed Sanction look African initiative. Uganda’s president and one of US’s main ally on war on terror, Museveni, has worked hand and glove with Zenawi in drafting the sanction and seeking African support for its implementation. Other than been a close friend to Zenawi, many people are at loss as to what made the Ugandan leader behave awkwardly towards Eritrea.
To talk about Dr. Susan Rice’s involvement on this matter would be repetitious and a disservice to those who have written volumes detailing her political role in the region from as far back as 1998, the period during which she was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Suffice to say that Susan Rice, as UN Ambassador to the US mission and as a woman with a personal grudge against certain personalities within the Eritrean leadership, finds the situation as a great opportunity to punish Eritrea. To say that she was the mastermind and a main facilitator in the implementation of the UNSC 1907 Resolution would be no less than accurate.
Today, and four years after the unfair sanction was imposed on Eritrea, the people and government of Eritrea are marching forward in bringing about positive and tangible changes in the country. And the world is waking up from its long sleep and making notice of the tremendous progress registered thus far. Please refer to recent UN report on Eritrea’s impressive achievements in meeting Millennium Goals. Today, Eritrea has one of the lowest HIV and infant mortality rates in the continent. Clinics are opening in every village, catering the health needs of their inhabitants; Micro and macro dams are being built across the country to conserve water and enhance growth of agricultural products; large investment has been made to improve the education system, both in terms of quality and quantity. Eritrea was able to make such astonishing accomplishments with its hands tied; punished for crimes it has no part of. One can only imagine the level of progress the country could have achieved had it not been subjected to this illegal and unlawful sanctions.
As we look back and remember that unfaithful day on December 23, 2009, the day UN passed unjust sanction against Eritrea, the people of Eritrea every where must reaffirm their commitment towards their country by calling, once again, for the annulment and repeal of UNSC 1907 resolution.
Likewise, they must demand that United Nations, as a world body, lives up to its responsibility and uphold the international law enshrined on UN charter with respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity of each of its members.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Peace and Prosperity.
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