Eritrea Sees ‘No Real Value’ in Allowing Visit by UN Monitoring Group

The finding of the UN Monitoring Group has no evidence of any Eritrean wrong-doing in Somalia
“The finding of the UN Monitoring Group that it has no evidence of any Eritrean wrong-doing in Somalia is reason enough to make the panel’s proposed visit to Eritrea irrelevant.” – Chargé d’Affaires Amanuel Giorgio. (Photo credit: IISD)


There’s nothing to gain for Eritrea by allowing a United Nations monitoring panel to visit the country, according to Eritrea’s envoy to the world body in New York.

The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, known by the acronym SEMG, was created by the UN Security Council in 2009 to monitor Eritrea’s alleged support to the militant group Al-Shabaab.

After Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia in 2006 to prop up a Somali transitional government besieged by Al-Shabaab, some UN members accused Eritrea of backing the militants in a bid to weaken Ethiopia.

For the last three years, the UN monitors have reported that they have no evidence that Eritrea continues to support Al-Shabaab. Nonetheless, the group is still tasked by the UN to track whether Eritrea has ceased “arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members including Al-Shabaab which aim to destabilize the region.”

The UN Panel, rather than documenting evidence of Eritrean support for the Somali militant group, instead says it has found “consistent evidence of Eritrean support for armed groups operating in both Ethiopia and Djibouti,” according to its last published report in October 2016.

It offered only ‘anecdotal’ evidence for Eritrean weapons supplies and training to the Ethiopian and Djiboutian groups while citing more solid evidence of logistical support, including indications that Eritrea provided members of the Ethiopian rebel group Ginbot Sebat with travel documents.

For its part, Eritrea wants sanctions connected with the allegations of support to Al-Shabaab and other armed groups lifted, saying the charges are unfounded and unfair.

In a statement to the United Nations Security Council last Friday, the Eritrean Chargé d’Affaires Amanuel Giorgio pointed out, “For four years the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group has found no evidence of any Eritrean wrong-doing in Somalia.”

Giorgio continued, “Failing to find substantive evidence to continue the sanction, some countries have resorted to procedural pretexts, by singularly and inordinately focusing on the inability of the Monitoring Group to visit Eritrea.”

He cited two previous visits by the UN group – most recently in 2011 – but did not explain why subsequent requests to visit Asmara have been ignored. He instead pointed to contacts between the UN monitors and Eritrean officials outside the country as a sign of cooperation:

“The Monitoring Group… maintains, without any hindrance, extensive meetings and contacts with relevant Eritrean officials.”

SEMG, for its part, in its most recent report to the UN Security Council, complained of being frozen out by Asmara:

“The Monitoring Group has received no replies to its official requests for cooperation on investigative and substantive matters from the Government throughout its current mandate, including to its formal requests for an official visit to Asmara.”

“In addition, representatives of the Government have made no attempts or seized any opportunities to engage with the Group beyond responding to the initiatives of the Group for two meetings with the Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the United Nations, Girma Asmerom Tesfay… to discuss the preliminary findings of the Group,” added the UN Panel report.

Eritrea’s envoy in New York says the finding of the UN panel that it has no evidence of continuing Eritrean support to Al-Shabaab is reason enough to make the panel’s proposed visit to Eritrea irrelevant.

He told the UN Security Council, “The Monitoring Group has itself ascertained the absence of any indication of Eritrea’s support to al-Shabab. In these circumstances, Eritrea does not see any real value in a visit by the Monitoring Group to the country.”

Ambassador Giorgio urged the UN to lift the “unjust and counterproductive” sanctions that it had imposed in connection with the accusations of support to Al-Shabaab. “Eritrea’s primary preoccupation is, in fact, the public stance of certain countries who have openly stated that they will not support the lifting of the sanctions even if the Group were to visit Eritrea,” he said.

The envoy’s remarks were made last Thursday in New York and made available by the Eritrean Information Ministry on Friday.

Some members of the UN Security Council have continued to urge Eritrea to allow the UN monitoring group to visit to Asmara.

Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, Britain’s envoy to the UN, said last week that the visit is meant to help verify that Eritrea is no longer supporting the Somali militant group.

He explained, “The ongoing refusal by the Government of Eritrea to cooperate with the Monitoring Group, including by allowing them to visit Eritrea, means that we have no way of verifying the Group’s lack of evidence for Eritrea’s support for Al Shabaab, and of understanding the concerns about support for other regional armed groups.

Rycroft added, “We hope that by the time of the review of the sanctions on Eritrea, due following the mid-term report of the Monitoring Group, the Council will have some positive momentum to reflect on. To that end, we encourage Eritrea to take the opportunity for engagement, which this Council is once again offering.”

40 thoughts on “Eritrea Sees ‘No Real Value’ in Allowing Visit by UN Monitoring Group

    1. Hey, B.Adal.Just hypothetically speaking if you and I create a viable political party separate from PFDJ that is approved by the Eritrean people and Eritrean government, then do you think the US/West would have less ammuntion to use against us Eritreans? Secondly, domestically, do you think it is good idea for Eritrea to have another genuine political party (not Woyane or any other foreign sponsored)? I just want to see what your opinion is. I value your response greatly. Thanks in advance.

      1. I am sorry I have to button in. Eritrawi don’t be naive go back and read your history US/West don’t give a care when it comes to us. FYI would you let a crook and ccorrupt person (US/West) give or show your bank account and credit cards, I hope NOT. Veva Eritrea never kneel down.

      2. Selaam Eritrawi (Sorry for my late response)
        As to you and I creating a viable political party in Eritrea, I would agree with you that is more likely a hypothetical. I say that, at least in my case, I don’t believe I have the qualification. In any case, let’s assume we are able to create and did create a party that is admired by at least 75% of Eritreans. The country is in good mood, every able Eritrean can’t wait to choose a party to lead for some 5 year term. The so called opposition are pissed-off, since no excuse is left for them to interrupt our peaceful gathering (LOL). International observers, including the USA will conduct their own investigation in every town of Eritrea and probably will claim as they were the reason behind our successful transition in to multi-party system.

        Let us assume now that Eritrea under the new government lead by the newly created party (thanks to you and me) is progressing well. What does progressing well means? It means people are happy with the government, economy is booming, middle class is growing, people are getting well educated, the health sector is progressing, etc, etc. Eritrea is basically becoming “the place to be”. So what is the difference between PFDJ and our new party? In the sense of government of the people for the people, it is the same, however, under the new party, business is booming and the leadership is supposed to be accepted by the world, especially USA and western governments.

        Question 1: “Do you think the US/West would have less ammunition to use against us Eritreans?”
        How will USA see the new Eritrea? If one goes by the slogan of the USA, then you would think USA will be supporting the new Eritrean Party. On the other hand, if one pays attention to what USA has done to the many countries that were loved by their people and had good future, the president of Eritrea from the new party would be overthrown. Why? Look at the list (copied from the long list) of overthrown governments by CIA. The CIA has publicly acknowledged its involvement in seven coup d’etats around the globe from 1953 to 1973. I would not list other cases, until CIA declassifies them.

         Iran, 1953
         Guatemala, 1954
         Congo, 1960
         Dominican Republic, 1961
         South Vietnam, 1963
         Brazil, 1964
         Chile, 1973

        Question 2: “Secondly, domestically, do you think it is good idea for Eritrea to have another genuine political party)?”
        If the new party(s) is non-religious, not ethnic based, & created, cultivated and groomed at home (Eritrea) by strong minded leaders like those of PFDJ, I totally absolutely believe it will be great for Eritrea. The population of our country is increasing, and soon we will hit the 10 Million mark. It will be healthy to have 2-3 home grown parties with zero foreign influence. The more there is a competition among ourselves, be it in political parties, in cycling clubs, in class rooms, etc., the more the majority of the people will benefit. I wish the so called opposition were real opposition that could challenge PFDJ. I love PFDJ party, but I also know how much they could be better, if they were to be challenged by another amazing PFDJ like party.

        For now, I am content with PFDJ and glad our oppositions (aka Haters) are only good in beating women and children like those in Holland while their leaders are eating Donkey KitFo in Aids Abeba. Sorry for my Loooong response.

        1. Hey Adal, since you answered such a controversial question may I ask another one? I totally just want your point of view and your thoughts!

          What are your thoughts about the huge economic growth in Ethiopia, what do you feel when you see the Addis of today with skyscrapers everywhere, houses that fit even international standards are even being bought by the middle-class.

          When I go to Eritrea I don’t see any of this type of booming, even though we have more potiental. How do you feel about that?

          1. A boy of 16 has to grow looking things 360 degree by reading and participating in such kind of forums. You said Eritrea has potentials. Yes it is true. It is because of that we faced a lot of challenges. Against all odds many have been done. I expect a lot from y my young grand son to learn more and become professional and be someone to fulfill the gap in our country. I have once read TN responed to a comment which he said what if the great professionals sent abroad and decide not to come back! I have been raised in Ethiopia. I don’t appreciate the development in Ethiopia because it is just a replication of the past regimes. Development is like us when y let yr youth go to Sawa and learn how to build its country with all the hardships to tackle poverty where Africa is behind. These are the things available in our country not “with skyscrapers everywhere”… Sorry I came in between. The question was forwared to B.Adal. I ve answered to y on the UNESCO
            issue .

          2. If i may this kind of development is basically as in my point of view as developing what’s already developed or enriching who’s rich.

            You see addis ababa is developed startinf from the 50’s
            While there are towns,villages thatare still in need of basic things like food & water

            You see Now addis ababa for getting this kind of developments on it you must take sacrifices first lands
            Now we have seen how the oromos welcomed the addisababa expansion plan.

            Just like N.korea what cities did you heard about that country except for Pyongyang?
            Non why? Because they concentrated most of their developments on one region/city rather than developing everything as equal to each other you make the rich ,richer and the poor,poorer.

            While the eritrean motto was & is
            ‘No one is left behind’

            yes you might say that asmara remained almost untouched well what about memdeferra,keren,asseb,barentu, massawa,tesseny this were towns & villages to cities this system is called equity not equality.

            Advantages of this system
            -it shows the peoples that they can stay in their own villages,towns and still live a good life
            Rather thinking to move to asmara or cities just for getting a better life.

            First you make everyone reach your level then you can all start proceeding to the next level.

            If you invest heavily in one place you risk a lot of things but if you invested in all regions with portions u will benefit alot

  1. I agree. There is no value in letting them visit and the government shouldn’t legitimize sanctions by allowing it in any case. No evidence has been found for support of Al-Shabaab (we all know they’re funded by Ethiopia) and Djibouti is unable to prove that all POWs haven’t been released, plus the matter is already in mediation. There is literally no reason to continue the sanctions, so don’t legitimize them by allowing any UN monitors to enter the country.

  2. Anecdotal Evidence Meaning · Edit

    This word itself isn’t even in our dictionary b/c Eritrea only knows full truths. Here the meaning behind the false accusation:

    1. Not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.

    Go figure… personal accounts have always come from Northern Ethiopia and UNjust crime mobs.

  3. Eritrea does not support the Al Shahab. The Ethiopian Military generals notorious in selling armaments to the Somalis and he is manipulating from the united nation by claiming sergeants for colonels, and not paying some months worth of salary to the soldiers participating in Somalia and those who died in Somalia. Eve n Ethiopia have not notified their next of kin that some of the soldiers who died in Somalia as not to pay the money. With all the killing and imprisoning Ethiopia had not been subject to the scrutiny by the UN. Eritrea”s hand print is still to be found . Yet the UN was quick to sanction Eritrea. Why do Eritrea let the UN in Asmara showing their prejudice
    all the way starting from the land occupied By Ethiopia all with the No evidence found in Somalia that the Eritreans are helping Al Shabab . specially SEMG have shown their prejudice towards Eritrea

    1. That video is sickening for two reasons:

      1. Why bother this destitute man who has nothing and is clearly nervous and scared? That woman is a devil similar to Mirjam van Reisen, she’s just on the other side of the political spectrum.

      2. He didn’t change his story. He said he’s Eritrean, but was born in Riyadh. You do realize there is a large Eritrean community in Riyadh? Most of the younger Eritreans in Saudi will do anything to get out. They’re treated like foreigners regardless of whether or not they’re born there, so he would never call himself Saudi.

      1. The truth is we don;t know he could be from any dozens of countries in the horn of africa. Saying your Eritrean is auto acceptance.., you don’t think saudis sudanese and ethiopians know this? I totally get your point but im tired of my country being used for this crap.

      2. I will give you point #1. You are dead wrong, nonetheless, on point #2. Initially he said he is from Eritrea. when he was asked if he came from Eritrea, he said he was born in Riyadh. And then he stated he came from Saudi Arabia. That’s where his story stopped. So, your conclusion is wrong.

        This is guy is a Saudi unless proven otherwise.

  4. We already know they won’t lift the sanctions. So lets put our energy into more worthwhile affairs. We would be insane to keep repeating this process while the people who hold ethiopias leash are still dominating the UNSC by collusion.

    1. I agree. It would be a big shock for me if the Sanctions are “lifted”. I do not expect even a partial “lifting”. To me this “semg must visit” business is a tactic to prolong the sanctions. So no need to legitimize the semg.

  5. ” For the last 3 years, the SEMG have reported that they have NO EVIDENCE that Eritrea continues to support Al shabaab ” on the other hand, Britain’s envoy to UN said ” the visit is meant to help verify that Eritrea is no longer supporting the Somali militant group ” what is these contradicted messages tell you about the ill intention of enemies of Eritrean?
    I hope the Eritrean government would never allow them for visiting the country

  6. We could have denied them the excuse to support their claim. We had nothing to hide, we should just have given a full tour of our development programs. I don’t understand what we would gain pay playing cat and mouse with those who want us to play cat and mouse. This is the exact reaction and excuses that they were waiting to justify their illegal actions! We just fallen in to their traps again..

    1. Y say “to play cat and mouse”. How many times do they have to fool us? Go back and see how they diplomatically annexed Eritrea to Ethiopia. It would have been very easy to let Eritrea be an independent country and things would have been better but they make it worst. Second, there was an agreement made if Yemen deserves Hanishe it would be ok as long as the law give justice. That was done. Third Eritrea goes to Int’l court. The decision is not yet materialized but the war continues in a very crooked and devious manner that is putting young people into trouble. We are not as poor as now if Eritrea was independent some 60 years back. Look how Eritrea is devastated. The same is with other African countries. Which African country is free for heaven sake? After giving their witnesses Eritrea is not supporting Al..why not they lift the sanctions? Their controversy would not end. Eritrea is a sovereign state. Let them leave us to work and improve the lives of Eritreans. We r very peaceful and honest people and also are good even to our neigbors. I really admire our gov’t he has made many young people to learn hardship side by side giving educational opportunities both acadamically and vocationally. It is telling its young people we ve to work hard to be satiated and tackled poverty. The diplomacy effort to let the very young born abroad to know their country is a good way of embracing its youth and is a continuation of Eritrianism..

      1. The mother of all problems is the recklessness of the regime on going to wars to solve conflicts with neighbouring countries.Hanish foe example no Eritrean heard about the problem except when it was taken by force even the then foreign Minister Petros Solomon heard about it from the news. There was no any legal process and the people as usual not consulted or informed. The same happened on the conflict with Weyane (of course this is by ignoring the historical Weayne’s possession of Bademe). The adventurous acts to overthrow the regime of Bashir. Should Eritrea had/has institutions and constitution all these problems were to be avoided. Now, I know you are going to call me Qomal Agame.

        1. It revealed that y r not politically matured! If y would have been well aware of and are looking for real peace y should go back and see why was it necessary to make Eritrea into trouble with all the neigbors. Our gov’t is wise because he let the case to Int’l courts. Don’t y remember all the neigbors stand together to attack Eritrea? Very diplomatically even the case with DJ is rested. I am sorry to say it. y r very crooked and idiot. All the reasons y mentioned above showed how ignorant y r.

          1. Yes you are right out government as you said HE wise. Why this wise he government didn’t go to intl court before waging wars.

          2. Even inside the one party there is no an institutional work all decisions are taken by HE the wise government. Lack of internal democratic and institutional within the government was what the G15 want to reform but he wise put them in ElaIro.

          3. Stick to the point of discussion! I said taking the cases to the Int’l court was a wise decision and resting the case of DJ is the same.

    2. No, we’re protecting our selves not to fall into their traps. If it was an allegation and they are trying to collect evidence, I might consider your suggestion

      1. Let alone Eritrea, “with nothing to hide”, even powerful Iran allowed them to go in and inspect. With the old Bush era riffraff out, I think, this time round, they were near submission. As they have exhausted all the options to break Eritrea. Giving them a tour around Eritrea, showing them Gash Barka, Adi Halo, Gergera, Gerset, fanco, Massawa, Dahlak islands and finally the new developments in ASSAB would have done them good.

  7. Afework iyassu

    There is no point to let them in, they already make there mind NOT to lift it
    just do what we have to do. we ERITREANS WE DONT HAVE TIME AND ENERGY
    TO WEAST we are focusing to build our NATION.

  8. The UN Monitoring Group created by the two evil witches (Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice) to cripple Eritrea should not be allowed to visit Eritrea under any condition. This group’s assignment is ONLY to FABRICATE LIES and, as such, only a fool should expect something good to come out of it. And an Eritrean fool has yet to be born.

    1. ድስኩል ኣእምሮ

      እቲ ገባርን ሓዳግን ክኣትዉ ኣፍቒዱ ነሩ እንተዝኸውን እወ ከምቲ ንቡር ምወደስኩሞ ነርኩም።

  9. I don’t know how to describe the psychology nature of PFDJ Eritrea. I think you eager to get more suffering to glorify your past deeds but every body calls it that is whole lot sickness.

    1. Do you really have to comment because ……………….?????I like your compare and contrast !! Comparing trump situation and Bishoftu mayor? /hahhahhah!Mr. logic

    2. Mind your own.komal! What has this got anything to do with you anyway? This is a family affair and you are not a family, so butt the hell out! Stop sticking your snotty nostrils where it does not belong!!

  10. SEMG
    ድስኩል ኣእምሮ
    እቲ ገባርን ሓዳግን ክኣትዉ ኣፍቒዱ ነሩ እንተዝኸውን እወ ከምቲ ንቡር ምወደስኩሞ ነርኩም።

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