There are some quarters who try  to imply  the draft  proposal  that is being co­ sponsored  and circulated by Gabon and Nigeria, requesting the  UN Security Council to further a sanction  against  Eritrea, as being presented  on behalf  of Africa. This insinuation is entirely wrong and sheer deception.
Eritrean   issues,  in  relation   to  Ethiopia  and  Djibouti, were  discussed  and received  a decision by AU Assembly in Malabo, this year, in which, there  was no  indication, whatsoever, for  the  matter   to  be  reviewed   in  the  Security Council.  To  this  effect,  Gabon  and  Nigeria  are  neither mandated     by  the African Union to speak on behalf of Africa in the UN Security  Council meeting nor are they  Member  States of IGAD to symbolize  the Authority. For the two countries   to  take  African   issue  straight   into  the  UN  Security   Council  by sidelining   the  appropriate instruments of  the  African  Union  is  procedurally defective. When viewed in light of its attitudinal ramifications, this venture undermines the capacity and degrades the value of the Union in dealing  with its domestic  problems.

Thus, if Gabon or Nigeria is claiming to speak on behalf of Africa, the action violates basic tenets of the AU rules and procedures. For any  matter to  be presented   to  an  international forum  on  behalf  of  Africa,  it must,  first, be discussed  at  the  level  of  Permanent  Representatives Committee  (PRC) or Peace and  Security  Council  (PSC) or Executive  Council  meetings  and  must, finally, be  endorsed, adopted  and  decided  upon  by  the  Assembly  of  the African Union.

Therefore, unless mandated and sanctioned by the AU Assembly, all African countries that are non-permanent members to the UN Security Council do not represent Africa but only their own respective countries.

Furthermore, it is legitimate  and logical to ask a simple  question:  Why did Gabon  and  Nigeria  decide  to  present  a  draft  proposal  to  put  additional sanction against Eritrea while they are parties to the decision of AU to lift the sanction against Cuba?

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11 November 2011