“In view of the absence of any intelligence, real or fabricated, linking Eritrea with Al-Shabaab for over four years, the UN Security Council should terminate sanctions imposed in 2009 by UNSC resolution 1907.”
These are the words of a prominent member of the American foreign policy establishment. In an article published on a, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Herman Cohen said that “all available intelligence indicates that Eritrea has not had any contact [with Somali insurgents] since 2009.” Adding, he said,
“Earlier intelligence reports, denied by Eritrea as fabricated, indicated that the country was facilitating the transfer of funds to Shabaab – nothing of that sort has been reported since 2009 by any source. Those of us who know Eritrea well understand that the Eritrean leadership fears Islamic militancy as much as any other country in the Horn of Africa region.”
There is “no intelligence, real or fabricated,” since 2009 that can support the series of groundless charges used by the United States, through the UN Security Council, to impose two sanctions on Eritrea, one on December 23, 2009 (Res. 1907) and the other one two years later on December 5, 2011 (Res. 2023).
Now, let us focus on his choice of the word “fabricated” in the quotation in the preceding paragraph. We are glad he raised the possibility that the so-called intelligence on Eritrea’s involvement in Somalia can be fabricated; this in turn opens a whole new window for those who have been reluctant to believe that the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group may have been peddling fiction with regards to Eritrea’s role in Somalia.
This what the Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) has been saying all along. All evidence indicates that most of the fabrication has been generated by Ethiopian operatives at and abroad, its highly-paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and other capitals, as well as the minority regime’s Western enablers.
Secretary Cohen is very familiar with Ethiopia’s main foreign policy drivers for the region –unlike some of those who have been responsible for U.S. foreign policy for the Horn the last decade and half. In a 2006 interview with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), he said,
“There are friends in the region, like the Ethiopians, who probably are feeding false intelligence about terrorists being hidden and that sort of thing, because the Ethiopians are deadly afraid of Moslem control and also they have their own Moslem problem among the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia.”
However, the primary vessel the Ethiopian regime and its enablers use to deliver this fabricated data has been the U.N. Monitoring Group, which is supposed to be an investigating arm of the UN Security Council. The group’s track record since its inception eight years ago has been devoid of any shred of integrity or veracity. In all its past reports it showed a great deal of capacity as a purveyor of Ethiopia’s outlandish fabrications about its archenemy Eritrea including placing 2000 “well-armed” phantom Eritrean “soldiers” in Somalia to serve as a cover for Addis Ababa’s invasion of that poor Horn of African nation.
In fact, the group has completely lost its credibility among many UN Security Council members, including its permanent members Russia and China. In response to its 2013 report, the Russian Permanent Representative, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, dismissed it as “dishonest and politically motivated.”
A year earlier, Ambassador Churkin was equally troubled by unfounded allegations against Eritrea which led to Resolution 2023 (2011). This was how he put it:
“The text of the resolution contains a range of provisions that lack adequate foundation, in that respect we refer in particular to the ‘planned terrorist attack’ in Addis Ababa during the African Union summit there. The Russian Federation is categorically against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. However, in this case, the Security Council was not presented with convincing proof of Eritrea’s involvement in that incident. We have not seen the results of any investigation of that incident, if indeed there was one.”
The South African Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Doctor Mashabane, reacting to the 2012, called on the 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.” Adding, he said, “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.” He also urged the members of the Security Council “to desist from any temptation to use the Monitoring Group for political ends.”
The Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) calls on the United Nations to put an end to this disgraceful way of gathering data on the crisis-ridden Horn of Africa. No wonder the crisis in this troubled region continues unabated and it is likely to continue because the UN body mandated to gather data to help the UN Security Council make rational decisions pertaining to the problems plaguing this sub-region of Africa.
It is a shame that the UN Security Council depends on such fiction gathered by a group that seems to allow itself to be used as a tool by Ethiopia and its supporters in the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict.
The people of this war-ravaged region deserve better from the UN and its bodies.
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