By Capital FM,
Eritrea on Saturday denounced as unfounded US sanctions imposed on two Eritrean government officials accused of links to al-Qaeda affiliated Somali rebels.
They had been targeted “not because there is a shred of truth or material evidence to the false accusations heaped upon them” but because the US wanted to give the impression it was tightening its sanctions, said a statement.
The United Nations had failed to establish the truth of the allegations, the foreign ministry statement added, describing the imposition of sanctions a “sinister ploy.”
On Thursday, the US imposed sanctions on six alleged backers of the Shebab rebels in Somalia, including Eritrean military officials Col. Tewolde Habte Negash and Col. Taeme Abraham Goitom.
They froze US-based assets of the six, and forbade any US business or individual from having dealings with them.
The sanctions were aimed at helping halt the conflict in Somalia and helping dismantle the Shabaab, said the US Treasury.
But the Eritrean statement denounced what it said were “hostile acts”.
They were, it said, “part and parcel of the persistent policy of the United States to destabilize Eritrea and undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity in pursuit of misguided regional objectives.”
Asmara called on other countries to lobby against the inappropriate actions by the US and the UN against Eritrea.
A UN report last year accused the increasingly isolated Horn of Africa country of funding Shebab rebels in Somalia and gave details of what it said was a failed bomb plot on the African Union in Addis Ababa.
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ERITREAN GOVERNMENT PRESS STATEMENT
1. The current UN Human Rights Session in Geneva was virtually turned into a venue for intensive lobbying by US State Department officials in their dogged attempts to sully Eritrea’s image and to ram through a “resolution” to condemn it for numerous, fabricated, allegations of “gross violation of human rights”. This new ploy originates from the desire to open a “new front” so as to tighten, or at least maintain, the unwarranted UN Security Council Resolutions (1907 and 2023) that the US had managed to impose against Eritrea in the past three years. The timing is deliberately calibrated to coincide with the pending review of these resolutions by the UN Security Council in July or August.
5. On July 3, the UN Sanctions Committee included the personal details of two Eritrean military officials in its new list of persons allegedly “associated with terrorist activities” in Somalia. The circulated document does not indicate who the plaintiffs are. Nor does it establish the veracity of the allegations. It merely tries to ensure, through what is known as a “silent motion“, to validate the accusations “unless there is an objection from a member State of the Sanctions Committee within 48 hours“. Again, the game plan and sinister ploys are transparent. The Eritrean military officials are targeted not because there is a shred of truth or material evidence to the false accusations heaped upon them, but mainly because it evokes the message and impression, at least in outward appearances, of a “tightening” sanctions regime.
6. Furthermore, US spiraling hostilities have gone beyond defamatory media and diplomatic campaigns. In the past few months, Washington has incessantly encouraged the regime in Ethiopia to launch publicized and reckless military intrusions and assaults on sovereign Eritrean territories. The primary purpose behind these provocative acts of aggression is to create an environment of confrontation and instability, and thereby dilute in the fog of war, Ethiopia’s legal culpability for its continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories in contravention of the UN Charter and international law. But in addition, the audacious publicity of these acts, which were often accompanied by subtle US diplomatic cover-ups, is aimed at legitimizing and depicting these blatant acts of aggression as “proportionate and lawful measures of self-defense“.
The hostile acts enumerated above are part and parcel of the persistent policy of the United States to destabilize Eritrea and to undermine its sovereignty and territorial integrity in pursuit of its misguided regional objectives and strategies. As we have underlined in several of our previous communications, sovereign Eritrean territories, including the town of Badme, remain occupied by the Ethiopian regime in contravention of international law. The flagrant acts of occupation and aggression by the regime in Ethiopia would have long solicited appropriate punitive action by the Security Council in accordance with the provisions of applicable articles of the UN Charter and the Algiers Peace Agreement. This did not occur principally because in reality the main culprits were, and remain, successive US Administrations who have long decided to compromise and undermine international law and the fundamental rights of a UN member State in pursuit oftheir narrow regional interests and objectives.
As we have explained extensively by Eritrea in its previous communications, it is indeed a travesty of justice when the very victim of aggression and occupation is falsely framed for “acts of regional destabilization” to become a target of punitive sanctions that have no basis in law and fact. But that is precisely what has transpired in the last three years when the Security Council imposed Resolutions 1907 and 2023 on Eritrea on account of overbearing US diplomatic and political clout.
The litany of these ongoing US-inspired accusations and vitriolic diplomatic campaigns against Eritrea constitute a continuation and escalation of these well trodden ploys and patterns. They are singularly aimed at fabricating new cases and opening new platforms, such as the UN Human Rights Council, for entangling Eritrea in a web of unlawful sanctions and agonizing environments. If these ploys are tolerated with impunity, the ultimate casualty will be international justice and the rule of law.
In the event, the Government of Eritrea urges all Governments to use their influences to:
1. Ensure the respect of international law and compel Ethiopia to withdraw from the occupied territories; respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Eritrea and desist from all provocative acts of aggression and military intrusion;
2. Lift the unfair sanctions that have been imposed against Eritrea as a result of the US-engineered Resolutions 1907 and 2023.
3. Ensure that the UN Security Council and other UN institutions are not inappropriately and unlawfully instrumentalised by the United States to advance its misguided policies against Eritrea.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asmara, 6 July 2012
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