By Yacob W

The Houses of Parliament ( UK )

The Houses of Parliament ( UK )

UK is known to be a model of democracy, nevertheless 42 UK MPS signed in undemocratic way against Eritrea and the western mining companies operating inside Eritrea. This was done on un–unsubstantiated human right accusations. They have reached at the decision from the limited input they had from the handful of so-called Eritrean oppositions but who are known within the wider Eritrean communities as traitors and rather as off-positions, as their activities is on anti-Eritrea agendas mainly influenced by the enemies. They made their decision without consulting the wider Eritrean communities and civil societies. They also ignored latest international reports from Denmark Immigration experts, International Human right lawyers from UK and Canada who have written report on the Human right issue in Eritrea. More over they have ignored the historical context of the advent and maintenance of the sovereign country Eritrea.

Before I start further analysis, I would like to make it clear my interest is not to accuse the great 42 MPs from UK. Specially among the 42 MPs the list includes two MPs who I respect, love and admire very much. Their names are Diane Abbot and Sarah Teather. While it is my goal to inform them with the right information, I like to stress the respect I have for them would always be there. Indeed, I was even further disappointed though that 18 out of the 42 who signed are labour MPs, that is 42%.

Hope to see them reverse their action to justice for Eritreans.

Hope to see them reverse their action to justice for Eritreans.

I believe most of the MPs who signed the motion may have genuine interest on human right, however they have arrived at a mistaken and wrong decision because they were misinformed. They failed to seek reliable and balanced source of information.

Let me share with you the story how the MPs came to sign the early day motion. The primary sponsor of the early day motion is labour MP Jeremy Corbyn from Islington. I had been told he is someone who is known to have genuine interest on human right issues but has been rushed and misinformed on this occasion.

I am sure you may be asking what led Jeremy Corbyn to sponsor the motion? On October 21st of 2014 he hosted a Talk from Ex-Eritrean member of the Eritrean government who is known to be a very clever and a meticulous writer, but unfortunately who is at the wrong side of the Eritrean history.

Nevertheless, he is an Eritrean considered by many as a traitor who chose the western life style instead of continuing to struggle as part of the government. He left the responsibility given to him to serve his people and now he is working against the unity of the citizens people.

Another speaker on the event, who is suspected to be the architect of the media defamation campaign against Eritrea , who also had been part of the team organising events against Eritrea was Martin Plaut.

While during the year of 2014 there had about ten events about Eritrea, eight of them were focused at either defaming the Eritrean government or distorting the truth about Eritrea. Previous events were witnessed to be well defended by Eritrean youth and community members. As a result of the event hosted by Jeremy Corbyn, possibly based on advice of Martin Plaut; was not even advertised on the Internet and was arranged during the day time refusing access to Eritrean professionals and students who are busy during the day time.

Nonetheless, the event participants were reported to be three people from the Ethiopian Embassy in London, handful of individuals who are known to be the Eritrean off-positions and Martin Plaut himself. The event was reported to be:

” very biased campaign against the government and President Isayas Afeworki. – it was done in a matter of character assassination of the Eritrea Government. “

For me from the way the meeting was secretly organised but with a consequential motive, it sounds like part of the regime change attempts that has been going on harassing the Eritrean people and Government. Indeed, it is embarrassing the UK MPs are connected with this evil act. Readers should realize this is not an isolated incident as UN staff, had been using his (their:-one was caught but there may be others) position. Further information can be found on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w2ATpNF8-8

In 2011 there was also a commissioned of a failed regime change attempt by HRW and Amnesty. More information and clear evidence can be found from the link: http://www.tesfanews.net/hillary-amnesty-hrw-and-regime-change-in-africa/

Indeed I feel very embarrassed, ashamed and angered that the British MPs have signed based on a one sided unreliable inputs. They could have consulted the wider Eritrean communities, youth and professionals.

There have been recent publications such as the report from the Danish Immigration Service’s fact finding missions to Ethiopia and Eritrea. The report had identified reliably both the challenges and the real human right situation which is different from the usual defamation you see from the commissioned news report and articles. The following quotations from the report identifies

” the main reasons for emigrating are the prolonged National Service, the social and economic situation in the country including the

Eritrea Self-reliance.

Eritrea Self-reliance.

prospects for a better life in Europe or a combination hereof. “

“Corruption is very limited compared with other countries in the region “

“The government has a genuine intention to keep the living standards at an equal level and it is serious in its efforts to distribute food

to the parts of the country where there is a need for humanitarian assistance. It was added that the state’s revenues stem from the Diaspora tax and from joint ventures between the state and foreign mining companies. Since 2011 the mining of gold and now copper has generated revenues to the state budget. On the other hand food import which Eritrea depends on is expensive”

Eritrea improving the human right of its citizens.

Eritrea improving the human right of its citizens.

The above affirms the government of Eritrea is rather working on

improving the human right of its citizens. Revenues from mining and the 2% tax help with doing that, anyone interested in genuine un-politicized human right of Eritrean citizens, should not try to attack both.

In regards to the repeated political accusation of the mining companies. The issue had been addressed by international human right lawyers from Canada and UK. There is no evidence the Mps had consulted those reports and professionals, rather their sources had been limited to unreliable sources. For dependable sources you may refer to the followings:

http://www.sihrg.freeiz.com/1_4_Eritrea-Report.html

http://www.nevsun.com/responsibility/human-rights/Nevsun-HRIA-Summary-April-2014.pdf

The Nevsun report above had been confirmed to be independent by Martin Plaut himself in his guardian article as

“the Canadian mining company Nevsun Resources commissioned an independent assessment (pdf) of working conditions at its Bisha mine, in which the Eritrean government holds a 40% stake

Human trafficking had been used as a way of accusing the Eritrea Government and sadly used as a method harassing Eritrean citizens often targeting those with relations who can go deep in to their and lender pockets to make the payments. It is know that it has been as way of organ harvesting.

Eritrea: The Fight against Human Trafficking.

Eritrea Fight against Human Trafficking.

We cannot deny that, there are Eritrean citizens have fallen to be victimized in the hands of smugglers and traffickers. The causes for the whole tragedy are the organised smugglers, the traffickers and those who celebrate the sad phenomenon for their own political dream, they often take documentary pictures at a close range. It is imperative though we realize human trafficking is not an incident restricted to Eritrea. The Economic Roots of Trafficking in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and Executive Committee confirms http://www.unece.org/press/pr2004/04gen_n03e.html

“One of the most rapidly growing illicit activities over the past two decades has been trafficking in women and girls mainly for the sex industry in Western Europe (Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Germany and United Kingdom) and the United States.”

The same source also confirms

” Some European estimates suggest that, in 1990-1998, more than 253,000 women and girls were trafficked into the sex industry of the 12 EU countries”

The Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking#cite_note-10) gives an indication to the size of the Human Trafficking Industry as:

” Human trafficking represents an estimated $31.6 billion of international trade per annum in 2010.[9] Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organizations.”

"Human trafficking is a crime against humanity"   H.E. MR. OSMAN SALEH MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE STATE OF ERITREA

“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity”
H.E. MR. OSMAN SALEH MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE STATE OF ERITREA

A legitimate question we can ask is What does the Eritrean government says about Human trafficking. The statement by his Excellency Mr Osman Saleh minister of foreign affairs of the state of Eritrea at the general debate of the 67th session of the united nations general assembly http://www.raimoq.com/eritrean-mission-to-the-un-statement-by-h-e-mr-osman-saleh-at-the-67th-session-of-the-unga-conference-on-human-trafficking/  reinforce the Eritrea position as:

” It is  not  only  a  criminal  network  of  human traffickers that Eritrea is contending with, but more insidiously, those who are using the traffickers as tools, those who are creating an enabling environment for the crime through generous funding, vicious propaganda, provision of safe havens and active destabilization.  Eritrea  has  solid  evidence  that  individuals  and  groups  posing  as “human rights defenders,” representatives of at least one UN agency and officials of some governments  are implicated.  This is why Eritrea  has officially  called on the United  Nations  to  launch  an  independent  and  transparent  investigation  of  this abominable affair so as to bring justice to Eritrean victims and to a country that is the target of a malicious, concerted and unlawful campaign.”

In regards to human right, Eritrea is known to even look after the human right of the its war of prisoners. Additionally, despite of two illegal base sanctions and being forced to be in no war and no peace situation; Eritrea had managed magnificent exemplar achieving in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Anyone interested could Google for UN report further details.

The 42 Mps have sadly added their names to the long list of individuals who have carried international harassment, abuse or bullying that has been directed to the people and government of Eritrea.

Illegal and Immoral UN/US Sanctions on Eritrea.

Illegal and Immoral UN/US Sanctions on Eritrea.

The real focus should be on the primary sources of the human right concerns including people trafficking and smuggling are: the illegal sanctions and endorsed occupation of Eritrea’s land.

One of the bullying tactic used on Eritrea is by fabricated accusation related with Somalia.

Bomb Somalia how you like and blame Eritrea has been the most popular template that has been used by those countries that carry out aggression on Somalia.

In the past few years countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda and the west such as US and others have blamed the problems in Somalia on Eritrea and security council has put an illegal sanction on Eritrea just on allegation without any kind of evidence.

Even Keneya for a brief time had also been added to the list of those countries who accused Eritrea, once again the accusation was done without providing any tangible evidence.  But had been picked all the major new agencies. Aljazeera’s had reported:

 The United Nations has accused the African nation of posing a threat to the East African region, partly by financing Somalia’s anti-government fighters.

The allegation was dropped after it did enough defamation of Eritrea.

To anyone who is interested in the truth the clear pattern of the accusation is visible. Most of the accusations are done by those who have done some sort of criminal activity in Somalia.

On the 23rd Of December 2009 Eritrea received a special Christmas Present, a Sanction based on allegations that are proven to be fabricated lies.

The allegation against Eritrea was based on two lies:

  • Eritrea supports politically, financially and logistically Somali insurgents

  • Eritrea has occupied part of Djibouti’s land

Please note that the Somali related allegation against Eritrea comes in three different versions:

The first was that Eritrea has 2000 soldiers in Somalia. When Ethiopia’s US commissioned war against Somalia was waged, not even one Eritrean soldier was found. The allegation was quietly dropped.

Another allegation that Eritrea is supplying weapons to Somali groups was made just before the celebration of Eritrean independence in May 2009.  This was not true or believable as Eritrea and Somalia don’t have a common border. The countries in between (Djibouti and Ethiopia) and the sea are fully controlled by the US marine force and naval warships.

No evidence was supplied and raising sanction based on it was too embarrassing. But it was repeated countless times by corrupt journalists who were happy to copy and paste the allegation without doing any fact finding and giving it the impression it is true without any factual evidence. It is extraordinary that none of them looked or asked for any evidence. For some unknown reason, major media organizations such as the BBC and Guardian (because of Martin Plaut) have been seen to be biased against Eritrea, exaggerating on negative reporting even when it is incorrect, and under-reporting (or even not reporting) when it is good news about Eritrea.

For bringing the second sanction the allegation was twisted to “Eritrea provides political, financial and logistical support”.

Eritrea does not believe in politics that is based on religion, race or tribe. It hasn’t got any favorite or particular group of Somalia to support. Eritrea firmly believes the Somalia’s problems should be solved by Somali only, without any foreign interventions. No one can find any fault in that.

Eritrea is self financed and is not fully dependent on aids or grants from donors especially when condition is attached. Even though Eritrean government manages its financial commitment very well often buying crops for its people, it is not in a position to spare any finance, commodities, military equipment’s or personnel to any group in Somalia.

Also Eritrea fully understands the consequence of war and would not do anything to cause war between Somalia government and opposition groups.

The Lack of consistency is clear evidence that the allegations against Eritrea are fabricated lies. On the contrary, the accusers of Eritrea:

  • have dumped Nuclear and medical waste  in Somali waters;

  • In 2009 US have supplied 80 tones of weapons to Somalia’s government, a surplus amount which found its way into the weapon black market in Somalia;

  • Both Ethiopia and Uganda (who were seen to campaign for the sanction against Eritrea) not only have they supplied weapons, but have used them to kill people in Somalia, including kids.

As for the accusation of Eritrea occupying part of Djibouti, it is not true and has been instigated by the US, who have formed a military base in Djibouti.

It is surprising the Security Council talk about Djibouti while allowing Ethiopia to occupy Eritrean land for about a decade after a final and binding international court decision and virtual demarcation.

As it can be seen on page 344 of the book Surrender is not an option, John Bolton has confirmed US have prevented the implementation of the border demarcation according to the final and binding international decision.

The history of use and abuse against Eritrea is repeating over and over too many times. Sixty-five years ago US, UK and UN have annexed Eritrea with Ethiopia for the interest of the west.  This has caused the beginning of thirty-year war causing many deaths and many children to be destitute in their own land. US interest on Eritrea was to use it as a listening post against USSR and the whole world.

 Ethiopian military base in Somalia.

Ethiopian military base in Somalia.

Financial support, weapons and military training were provided to Ethiopia as rent money for over thirty years by the US government. These weapons and aircrafts were used to kill Eritreans, US listening post kept a blind eye over it. 

US have armed Ethiopia even when Ethiopia was a communist regime without any care for the Eritrean people. When it was Russia’s turn to arm Ethiopia, the weapon supply was done at a level it could have been enough for the whole Africa.

Ignored by the East, the West and respectable media companies such as the BBC, Eritreans fought a testing 30 years long war where many children, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters died. Freedom came at a Price. The Eritrean President, government and more importantly the free independent nation of Eritrean is now live kicking because of the price paid by many lives.

It is an open secret that some countries and individuals doesn’t still like Eritrean independence. Thirteen countries including UK have voted supporting the Sanction against Eritrea on false allegations without any factual evidence. The latest monitoring report published in October 2014 states a clear confession that there has never been any evidence to sanction Eritrea:

“The Monitoring Group has found no evidence of Eritrean support to AlShabaab during the course of its present mandate.”

Previous fabricated Monitoring Group reports were the cause for the two sanctions on Eritrea. While the real victims of the sanctions are ordinary Eritreans, who do we blame for the sanctions. I believe the list would include:

  • those who voted and abstained and participated in international bullying

  • the monitoring group, UN and the security Council

  • the media who never questioned the absence of the evidence,

  • think tank who claimed to research about Eritrea but who never questioned that no one ever presented any evidence on any of the accusations they made

While apology should be given by all the above, the first three should really compensate the Eritrean people for the harm they caused.

In regards to the Illegal occupation of Badme, thirteen year after the final and binding decision confirmed it to be Eritrea’s; as a result of inaction of UK, US, UN, AU and EEU, many kids are growing up away from their fathers as many of them are engaged in safeguarding their country from a possible attack.

If the 42 and other UK MPs are genuinely interested in the human right of the Eritrean people, if they want to reduce human smuggling and trafficking; then for the sake of the Eritrean people, the Eritrean kids and soldiers who are forced to stay in the trenches for the last 15 years then they should put their names and their signatures on the main important concerns that are violating the Eritrean Human Right.

If they really care about the human right of Eritreans then:

1. they should call for Ethiopia to vacate Badme (proven to be Eritrea’s land)
2. They should start the process for annulling the illegal sanctions
3. Sign a motion to see compensation for Eritrea from those who signed to illegally sanction Eritrea.
4. Immediately withdraw their signature from the motion they signed recently and apologize for their action.

Doing the right thing on Eritrea this time would requires honesty and courage. The British Eritrean community trust our great UK MPs have got it and hope to see them reverse their action to justice for Eritreans.

Sources:

  1. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/dec/19/western-firms-reduce-eritrean-miners-to-abject-slavery-uk-mps-say

  2. http://www.sihrg.freeiz.com/1_4_Eritrea-Report.html

  3. http://www.nevsun.com/responsibility/human-rights/Nevsun-HRIA-Summary-April-2014.pdf

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking#cite_note-10

  5. http://www.raimoq.com/eritrean-mission-to-the-un-statement-by-h-e-mr-osman-saleh-at-the-67th-session-of-the-unga-conference-on-human-trafficking

  6. http://www.tesfanews.net/hillary-amnesty-hrw-and-regime-change-in-africa/