AMBASSADOR Beyene Russom led the Eritrean delegation at the East African regional Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) conference that was held from 25 – 27th June, 2015 in Nairobi in his capacity as Ambassador of the State of Eritrea to the Republic of Kenya and Tanzania as well as Eritrea’s Permanent Representative to UNEP, UN-HABITAT and COMESA.
Below is the full text of his statement.
Mr. Chairman- Honorable Major General Nkaissery, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me start by joining other delegates who spoke before me, in congratulating Government of Kenya for enabling the regional countries and stakeholders to come together to this conference to discuss and exchange ideas on Countering Violent Extremism in the region with the theme “Deepening Cooperation in Countering Violent Extremism”.
I also wish to extend my Government’s gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Kenya for the invitation extended, to be part of this Conference.
Terrorism is a complex phenomenon that is a threat to international peace and security. In all continents, violent extremism, terrorism and all forms of bigotry and intolerance are spreading. As witnessed in many countries, state failures are creating a power vacuum that allows terrorist elements to obtain unsettling measures of power.
Eritrea strongly believes that violent extremism and terrorist acts constitute a flagrant violation of international law and human indecency. Eritrea reaffirms its unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Eritrea also strongly believes that acts of violent extremism should not be associated with any single religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.
When combating violent extremism any action taken must be consistent with international law. The United Nations, as well as regional organizations, should play an important role in combating violent extremism and respecting the rules of engagement.
In the volatile region of the Horn of Africa, Eritrea remains a peaceful and stable country. Despite the ongoing security challenges in the region and the unjust sanctions imposed on the people of Eritrea for political reasons, the Government of Eritrea maintains social cohesion by pursuing a policy centered on inclusion having been victim to terrorist attacks in the past, specifically in the nineties.
And it is from this experience, that in order to combat all types of extremism and terrorism, Eritrea, which is 50% Muslims and 50% Christian nation, was able to put in place various national legislative measures and took concrete actions. It has submitted its national report to the Counter Terrorism Committee, pursuant to paragraph 6 of UNSC resolution 1373 (2001) as well as to UNSC resolution 1646 (2005). In 2014, Eritrea has introduced proclamation no. 175/2014 titled “The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism Proclamation”.
Eritrea is a party to the AU/ OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism and other relevant regional conventions, including the CEN-SAD Convention on Mutual Assistance in Security matters which allows the members to take stringent and tough measures to prevent terrorism, hostile activities and organized crimes in various forms. Furthermore, Eritrea has co-sponsored the recently adopted Security Council resolution on combating Foreign Terrorist Fighters.
To effectively combat the danger posed by terrorists, as the theme of the conference is calling upon us,
- A unified global response is needed.
- Intensified cooperation on information sharing and exchanging of best practices among countries and other stake holders is also essential.
- Underlining the need to effectively prevent and control the spread of terrorism, equal emphasis and resource should be devoted to the four pillars identified in the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, including the root causes of terrorism or extreme violence.
- Long standing inter and intra-state conflicts as well as politically motivated unjust sanctions imposed against any developing countries must also be addressed as part of the overall strategy in fighting all forms of terrorism.
Finally let me conclude by saying, sanctioning a developing country will only perpetuate poverty and aggravate social and political crisis. Poverty and crisis as has been said by many previous speakers, are issues that terrorists attempt to exploit. They use poverty and crisis as a means of recruitment. They also used them to justify their criminal activities. We should fight all forms of violent extremism collectively and comprehensively.
I thank you Mr. Chairman