After five years of imposition of sanctions for alleged support for Al-Shabaab, the UN Monitoring Group today clears Eritrea of all the allegations of supporting the Somalia Islamist groups.
The Somalia – Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG), in its annual council report that was released today, states that:
“The Monitoring Group has found no evidence of Eritrean support to Al‑Shabaab during the course of its present mandate. The Monitoring Group does not, however, rule out the possibility that Eritrea may be providing some assistance to elements within Al-Shabaab without detection, but it is the overall assessment of the Monitoring Group that Eritrea is a marginal actor in Somalia.”
If the initial and principal allegation of supporting Al-Shabaab become disproved and if Eritrea still maintained its commitment to the Qatari mediation with Djibouti, then it is clear that there is no justifications for the sanction to continue.
The controversial Monitoring Group, however, wants to keep on moving the goalpost by making other unfounded allegations by associating Eritrea with the conflic in South Sudan.
The report reads,
“The Monitoring Group investigated allegations that Eritrea facilitated and in some cases provided weapons to three armed groups in South Sudan: Riek Machar’s group (Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition), George Athor Deng’s rebel forces, and the David Yau Yau group. The Monitoring Group received information from senior officials of the Government of South Sudan that Eritrea delivered military equipment to the Machar forces on four occasions in 2014. In addition, South Sudanese authorities informed the Monitoring Group that they had captured arms that Eritrea provided to the Yau Yau group and to George Athor Deng’s rebels.”
However, since it is all based on fabricated lies, the group can not verify the allegation therefore dropped the case altogether.
“South Sudan did not provide the Monitoring Group with any evidence to inspect in order to corroborate its claims. Therefore, the Group could not substantiate or confirm the allegations that Eritrea had violated resolution 1907 (2009) by providing military and logistical support to armed rebel groups in South Sudan.”
As the hollowness of these accusations have become clearer with time and as the chorus for timely review is growing, the powers behind the monitoring group were seen to shift the goalpost where the fulcrum is apparently moving to “acts of destabilization against Ethiopia“.
Despite repeated protestations and widely available information that Ethiopia does not deny, but on the contrary openly boasts about its blatant “regime change” policy against Eritrea, the SEMG, however, has refused to provide context to Ethiopian destabilization actions. Instead, it has chosen to focus on spurious allegations against Eritrea only.
The monitoring group states that:
“Eritrea continues to support armed opposition groups in neighboring countries, in particular the National Front for the Liberation of Ogaden (ONLF) based in Somalia, the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM) and the Ginbot Sebat”.
Seriously? Although the Ethiopian government pursues an open policy of “regime change” and continues to harbour, finance and arm Eritrean subversive groups, why is Eritrea’s alleged support of Ethiopian rebels is considered unacceptable?
The event of the past 15-years and the facts on the ground clearly shows that it is Ethiopia, not Eritrea that is actively engaged in destabilizing the region. Its continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territory, including the town of Badme, with impunity, in violation of the UN Charter and its treaty obligation is the main cause of the instability in the Horn of Africa.
It is, therefore, high time for the SEMG to stop recycling Ethiopia’s wild, unfounded and politically motivated accusations against Eritrea. On this occasion, we urge the expert panels to rely always on verified information and documents and ensure that their assertions are corroborated by solid information and their findings are substantiated by credible sources. SEMG must respect the principles of transparency, objectivity and impartiality.
In the interest of peace and security in the region and within the context of Resolution 1907(2009) and 2023(2011), which reaffirms respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Eritrea, Ethiopia must be urged immediately and without any precondition to withdraw from Eritrean territories.