Eritrea real clear politics's Weblog

August 11, 2011

Amid Famine in Horn of Africa, US Wants Sanctions on Eritrea, UN Ignores Mercenaries of Saracen, Likes Sufi Militia

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 11:28 am

Written by Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 10 — Amid news of famine in Somalia, and some say Eritrea too, Inner City Press on Wednesday asked US Ambassador Susan Rice to confirm that the Obama administration is indeed seeking additional sanctions, including against the Isaias Afwerki government’s tax on remittances to that country.
Ambassador Rice gave a long response, initially not address the Eritrean famine issue:
“The United States is very, very concerned about Eritrea’s behavior in the region. Its support for Al-Shabaab, its support to destabilize its neighbors is documented quite thoroughly and persuasively in the report of the special panel. We heard during the session last month from virtually all of Eritrea’s neighbors that they face a pattern of destabilization that is quite troubling and quite disturbing. Moreover, we’re profoundly troubled and we have clearly condemned the support that Eritrea lent to the terrorist attack that was planned for-to coincide with the African Union summit last January in Addis Ababa. We think that’s an absolutely abhorrent development, and we think it merits the full attention of the Council. Yes, the United States is very much interested in additional pressure and sanctions being applied on Eritrea. This is something that we’ll continue to discuss and debate in the Security Council. But from the U.S. point of view, we think that that is timely.”
Inner City Press then asked Ambassador Rice if the US believes there is a famine in Eritrea, and if so if further sanctions might not make that worse. Rice replied:
“any measures to be contemplated would be carefully targeted and would not go in any way to harm the people of Eritrea, who are suffering enough as it is. We believe there is a famine in Eritrea, but we’re deeply concerned that none of us know because they have barred UN agencies, barred NGOs. It has become a black hole in terms of governance and humanitarian ground truth. And the people of Eritrea, who must…most likely are suffering the very same food shortages that we’re seeing throughout the region are being left to starve because there is not access, there’s a clear cut denial of access by the government of Eritrea of food and other humanitarian support for its people.”
Ambassador Rice cited the Somalia and Eritrea sanctions Monitoring Group report, as later on Wednesday did UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon‘s envoy to Somalia Augustine Mahiga.
Actually, when Mahiga in a video conference briefing from Mogadishu talked about supporters of Al Shabaab, he mentioned people in the Gulf and Middle East. Inner City Press asked him, did this mean Eritrea is not a major supporter of Al Shabaab?
Mahiga called Eritrea a “middleman” that funnels others’ money to Al Shabaab. Later in his briefing Inner City Press asked Mahiga about other parties named in the Monitoring Group report, which he had not mentioned. Private military contractor Saracen, for example, was named as a violator of sanctions for its actions in Puntland.
Mahiga said he visited Puntland and Saracen is mostly gone, it “trained trainers” who themselves remain.

Susan Rice with Ban, envoy silent on PMC Saracen
Last December 27, 2010, Inner City Press reported:
December 27 — Amid growing doubts about private military contractor Saracen working for the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Puntland, the lawyer for the program, former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Pierre Prosper, spoke to a half dozen UN correspondents on December 23, ostensibly on background.
In remarks subsequently disseminated, Prosper said that he was briefing the Group of Experts of the UN’s Somalia Sanctions Committee but would not yet provide the name of the program’s funder, due to concerns the UN would leak it.
Afterward, Inner City Press on the record asked the outgoing chairman of the UN’s Somalia Sanctions Committee, Claude Heller of Mexico, if he or the Committee had been briefed about the use of PMCs or mercenaries in Somalia. No, Heller said, he had only read about it in the newspapers. Video here.
With Mexico leaving the Council at the end of the month, India is to be given the chair of the Somalia Sanctions Committee, as first exclusively reported by Inner City Press. Will Saracen reach out to India? We will be asking.
Inner City Press asked about Ethiopia’s support of and links to Ahlu Sunna. Mahiga called it a “Sufi militia” — “very helpful,” he said.
Next to him, the AMISOM force commander Fred Mugisha nodded. Apparently, Ahlu Sunna is the UN and AMISON favored militia. The Monitoring Group report says that Ethiopia never even sought Sanctions Committee approval for its work with this militia. As one wag concluded, when it’s all among friends…. Watch this site.
Footnote: Inner City Press three times asked Mahiga what message the UN had for the Transitional Federal Government about it human rights record. The first two times he did not answer — on the second, he diverged into a description of Al Shabaab “foreign fighters from Chechnya, Waziristan and Yemen.”
The third and final time, he said that the TFG is improving, and of course these things happen in war. He said he didn’t know if the TFG was involved in shooting into a crowd of aid-seekers in Mogadishu on August 5. We’ll see.


US Envoy Backs UN Sanctions On Eritrea

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 6:17 am
  • August 10, 2011, 6:17 PM ET

US Envoy Backs UN Sanctions On Eritrea

The U.S. threw its support to impose international sanctions on Eritrea for its alleged links to militant attacks, AFP reported.

East African nations, led by rival Ethiopia, are lobbying for tougher measures against Eritrea, which first came under sanctions in 2009 (pdf). A United Nations monitoring group said Eritrea tried to organize bomb attacks during an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in January, the AFP report said.

“The United States is very, very concerned about Eritrea’s behavior in the region,” said Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. during a stakeout.

“Yes, the United States is very much interested in additional pressure and sanctions being applied on Eritrea. This is something that we’ll continue to discuss and debate in the Security Council. But from the U.S. point of view, we think that that is timely,” she said.

Citing the monitoring group’s report, Rice said the country, which was once a member of George W. Bush’s coalition of the willing that invaded Iraq, has undergone a campaign to “destabilize its neighbors,” which includes support for al Shabaab, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization that is preventing aid from reaching famine-wracked Somalia.

Aid groups say Eritrea is also suffering in the drought that has ravaged East Africa, and Rice said any sanctions would have to be targeted to they “would not go in any way to harm the people of Eritrea, who are suffering enough as it is.”

Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit

July 30, 2011

UN extends arms embargo mandate in Somalia, Eritrea

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 2:52 pm

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Friday in favor of extending the mandate of its Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea for another year, which is tasked with monitoring an arms embargo on those countries.

Security Council Resolution 2002 approved the extension of the group’s mandate, condemning “flows of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia and Eritrea in violation of the Somalia arms embargo and the Eritrea arms embargo”, and calling the violations a “serious threat towards peace and stability in the region”.

The current mandate of the group was set to expire on July 31, 2011.

The resolution further requested the UN secretary-general to take necessary administrative measures to re-establish the group consisting of eight experts to fulfill its mandate.

The arms embargo was first placed on Somalia by the council in 1992, after the country’s government collapsed and civil war broke out. An arms embargo was placed on Eritrea in 2009 after it was found to have been helping to arm Somali rebel groups and refused to withdraw its troops from its contested border with Djibouti.

The Monitoring Group is charged with overseeing the sanctions and investigating any violations.

Resolution 2002 reaffirmed “the importance of enhancing the monitoring of the Somalia and Eritrea arms embargoes through persistent and vigilant investigation into the violations, bearing in mind that strict enforcement of the arms embargoes will improve the overall security situation in the region”.

Source: Xinhua

Mandate Of Monitoring Group For Somalia And Eritrea

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 6:53 am

Saturday, 30 July 2011, 3:17 pm
Press Release: United Nations

Security Council Extends Mandate Of Monitoring Group For Somalia And Eritrea

New York, Jul 29 2011 8:10PM
The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations panel of experts monitoring compliance with sanctions related to the conflict in Somalia for another year as it also agreed to expand the group’s mandate to better enforce the sanctions.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to re-establish the eight-member Monitoring Group on Eritrea and Somalia for a period of 12 months starting today.

The panel, which monitors compliance with the embargoes on the delivery of weapons and military equipment to Somalia and Eritrea, is now also tasked with investigating any seaport operations in Somalia that could generate revenue for the Islamist militant group known as Al-Shabaab that controls some Somali territory.

More broadly, the Monitoring Group must investigate all activities – including in the financial and maritime sectors – which generate revenue that is then used to break the Somalia and Eritrea arms embargoes.

It is also required to examine “any means of transport, routes, seaports, airports and other facilities used in connection with violations” of the embargoes.

The resolution calls on the Monitoring Group to compile a draft list of individuals and entities that engage in activities inside and outside Eritrea relating to the embargoes that could warrant further measures by the Security Council.

It is also tasked with devising ways to boost overall compliance with the embargoes and to identify areas where the capacities of countries in the region can be strengthened so as to fully implement the embargoes.

The resolution was adopted a day after the Monitoring Group issued a report which found that the Eritrean Government planned a massive attack on an African Union summit being held in Addis Ababa, the capital of neighbouring Ethiopia.

The report, which is over 400 pages, also points to Eritrea’s continuing relationship with Al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group that controls some parts of Somalia’s territory and has been waging a fierce battle against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) there.

While the Eritrean Government acknowledges that it maintains relationships with Somali armed opposition groups, including Al-Shabaab, it denies that it provides any military, material or financial support and says its links are limited to a political, and even humanitarian, nature.

However, evidence and testimony obtained by the Monitoring Group, including records of financial payments, interviews with eyewitnesses and data relating to maritime and aviation movements, all indicate that Eritrean support for Somali armed opposition groups is not limited to the political or humanitarian dimensions.
Jul 29 2011 8:10PM

July 22, 2011

Eritrea’s Yemane Ghebreab interviewed by

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 10:29 am

After Eritrea on July 19 got the UN Security Council meeting it had earlier requested, interviewed Yemane Ghebreab, special political adviser to the Eritrean President. Topics ranged from the US push for additional sanctions against Eritrea, allegations of support to Al Shabaab in Somalia, the Badme land dispute with Ethiopia, and human rights, including the recent defections by Eritrean athlete — this was called “migration.”

July 20, 2011

At UN, Eritrea Gets “Bashed” Despite Badme Land Claim, Sanctions Threatened

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 8:56 am

January 8, 2011

ኢትዮጵያ ንስርዓት ህግደፍ ንመዳቅ ዘውጸኣቶ ዕማም ወዲአ ንተቃወምቲ ውድባት ኤርትራ ናይ መደብ ዕዮ ዓዲላ

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 9:36 pm

እዋናዊ ዜና ካብ ኣዲስ ኣባባ  
ኢትዮጵያ ንስርዓት ህግደፍ ንመዳቅ ዘውጸኣቶ ዕማም ወዲአ ንተቃወምቲ ውድባት ኤርትራ ናይ መደብ ዕዮ ዓዲላ

ዓንሰባ ዶት ኮምኣዲስ ኣበባ

ፍልኡይ መንጪ ካብ ኣዲስ ኣባባ ከም ዝሓበሮ ጀነራል መስፉን ኣማረ ሓላፊ ጉዳይ ኤርትራ ኣብ መንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያ ንወከልቲ ገለ ውድባት ተቓወምቲ ኤርትራ ተራኺቡ ኣብ ኤርትራ ነፍሲ ወከፍ ውድብ ዘንቀሳቅሰሉን ወተሃደራዊን ህዝባዊን ንጥፈታቱ ዘካይደሉን ክህልዎ ምኻኑ ድሕሪ ምግላጽ

ጀነራል መስፉን

ነዘን ዝስዕባ ውድባት በቦተአን ግሊጹለን።


(1) ምንቅስቃስ ኣስላማዊ ኢስላሕ ኤርትራ ንዞባ ባርካን ህዝባን ክሰግሩ ከምዘይብሎም

(2) ኢስላማዊ ስልፊ ኤርትራ ንልምዓት ክኡሉ ዓይነት ንጥፈታቱ ኣብ ምእሬት ጋሽን ህዝባን ክሕጸር ከምዘለዎ

(3)ተጋድሎ ሓርነት ኤርትራ (ብተጋዳላይ ሑሴን ከሊፋ እትምራሕ ጀብሃ) ድማ ክሳብ ከባቢ ከረን ዘሎ ቦታን ህዝብን ክትነጥፍ ከምእትኽእል።

ከምቲ ዝተፈልጠ፡ ጀነራል መስፍን ንካልኦት ኣብ ዶብ ኤርትራን ትግራይን ዝነጥፋ ውድባት ኪዳን ነናቶም ናይ ምቓለሲ ቦታታትን ህዝብን ሓቢሩዎም ከምዝነበረ በቲ ምንጪ ክፍለጥ ተኸኢሉ ኣሎ።

ብኻልእ ሸነኽ ድማ፣ ጀነራል መስፍን ኣማሪ ንክለን ኣባላት ኤርትራዊ ዲሞክራስያዊ ኪዳን መምርሒ ብምሃብ ነፍሲወከፍ ውድብ፡ ኤርትራ ኣባል ማሕበር ሃገራት ዓረብ ክትኸውን እያ ኢሉ ዝአወጀ ዋና ጸሓፊ እታ ማሕበር ዝኾነዓምሩ ሙሳናይ ሙኽናን ኣዋጃት ኣውጽኡ ኢሉዎም ዝብል ተውሳኺ ሕአበሬታ ካብ ኣዲስ ኣባባ ተረኺቡ ኣሎ።


እዚ ሕጂ ተመዚዙ ዘሎ ዕማም ምስቲ ውድብ ዓፋር ኤርትራ ኣንጻር ስርዓት ህግድፍ ኣብዚ ሓዲሽ ዓመት 2011 ናይ ሓባር መጥቃዕቲ ከነካይድ ኢና ኢሎም ሎሚ ንማዕክእናት ዜና ዝሃቡዎ ምእግለጺ የተኣሳሰሩዎ።


መንግስቲ ኤርትራ እውን ብወገኑ ማዕረ ማዕሪኡ ምስ ኩነታት ኣተኣሳሲሩ ዝተፈላለዩ ወተሃደራውያንን ዲፕሎማሲያውያንን ናብ ጎረባብቲ ሃገራት ይሰድድ ኣሎ፣ አብ ዝሓለፈ ቅኒያት ናይ ምክልኻል ሚኒስተር ዑደት ናብ ሃገረ ቀጠርን ናይ ወጻኢ ዝምድና ሚኒስተር ናብ ሃገረ ኢማራትን ከም ኣብነት ንምጥቃስ ይኣክል።

December 31, 2010

Rattling the Cage: Calling the Mossad

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 7:36 pm

Rattling the Cage: Calling the Mossad

12/29/2010 22:05

Beduin who smuggle refugees from Sudan and Eritrea through Sinai to the border – abusing and murdering many on the way – are desert Nazis.

Finally, somebody’s come up with a plausible solution for the African refugee problem: Send Mossad agents to kill the Sinai Beduin smugglers who bring them here.

I can’t take credit for the idea; Alex Fishman, the military affairs commentator for Yediot Aharonot, broached it in print on Monday. The day after, MK Ya’acov Katz, chairman of the Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers, spelled the plan out bluntly: “We must arrest all the Beduin [smugglers of refugees], put them in holding tanks and fire a bullet in the head of those who lead the convoys. Three or four Beduin will be shot down and the convoys will stop.”

It wouldn’t be so quick and easy, but – in the absence of any workable alternative – that’s the only way to go. I think Egypt would understand where Israel is coming from; for years now Egyptian border guards have been jailing or shooting African refugees led by Beduin through the Sinai to the border, where they cross over, often under a hail of Egyptian bullets. If Egypt were prepared to tell its border guards to stop killing refugees and start jailing and in the last resort killing the smugglers who enable them to get here, that would be the best arrangement of all. If not, the Mossad will have to handle it.

Murder, you say? Assassination? Yes. The Beduin who smuggle refugees from Sudan and Eritrea through the Sinai to the border are, plainly and simply, desert Nazis. They’ve set up camps where they torture, rape and kill refugees for money and pleasure. They richly deserve to die and there seems to be no other way to stop them.

“For 10 days they chained me to three other people. They treated us like animals. They burned people and told them to get on the telephone to their families so they would hear them screaming [and send more money],” an Eritrean man who made it here told Yediot’s Anat Fishbein last month.

An Eritrean woman said the smugglers beat her to a pulp and got her to call a friend in Sudan for another $500. “But afterward they wanted $1,000 more. They went on beating me and my husband and demanding the money. One man would ask my husband: ‘Do you love your wife?’ If he said ‘yes,’ the man would beat him harder…


“They left me in the house for a week. Every night the man would come, and I had no more strength to resist. He would blindfold me, take me in the car somewhere and rape me… After a week my friend sent them the rest of the money. The man told my husband that even though he got the money, he wanted me to stay, to be his wife. My husband started to cry, and the man beat him.”

GANGS OF smugglers hold thousands of African refugees, mainly from Eritrea, in these sadism-for-profit camps in the Sinai. They kill or abandon many of their victims. Interviewing refugees in the Sahronim facility near the border, Fishbein wrote: “A tall youth in a hooded sweatshirt says [the smugglers] left his group in the desert without food or water for three weeks. Three people died immediately, 15 others died within days and the rest dispersed. Of the 60 in the original group, seven made it to Israel. One got shot to death by Egyptian soldiers near the border.”

Amazingly, they keep coming. “They tell themselves it won’t happen to them,” William Tall, representative in Israel for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told me. More than 1,000 of these Africans cross every month, twice the rate of last year. There are about 35,000 in the country now.

Some 85 percent come from Eritrea and Sudan, and Israel is pledged by treaty not to send them home because they would not be safe there, especially after being here. Egypt, which already has millions of unwanted refugees, does not want these people back. No other country has been willing to take them, either, except the emerging independent nation of Southern Sudan, which, in the last couple of years, has repatriated some 300 of its countrymen who had been living here.

And the void they left behind was filled in a week.

The government is building a border fence that’s expected to be finished in 2 1/2 years, along with a detention camp to hold 10,000 refugees that’s slated to be ready within a year.

But what about in the meantime? By the time the camp is ready, another 10,000 or more asylum-seekers will have arrived, and who knows how many will have been abused or murdered in the attempt.

By the time the fence is complete in 2013, who knows how big the refugee population in the poor neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Arad, Eilat and other cities will be? And even after the fence is built, what will we do with the Africans who reach here? Send them back? To where? Nobody wants them. How many detention camps are we going to have to build, and how long are we going to have to keep those people in them?

This is impossible, obviously. We are on a fast track to an unimaginable reality. And the first idea I’ve heard that makes sense, that seems to be a workable solution – that stops the refugees from reaching our border in the first place, or at least reduces their numbers drastically – is to kill the people, and I use that term loosely, who bring them here.

If Egypt can’t or won’t do it, then the Mossad has to. ASAP. This is an emergency.

Ridding the world of the Sinai smugglers would be a tremendous mitzva, worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. It would spare masses of asylum- seekers who’ve already lived through hell from encountering an even lower depth of it. And it would save this country from becoming a permanent magnet for the desperate of Africa.

I’m sorry, but the refugees from Eritrea and Sudan – and from other African countries later – will have to go elsewhere. Israel, with 1/1,000th of the world’s population and an even smaller portion of the world’s land, has already taken in more than its share of them

December 27, 2010

Mr. President, What will be your promises For 2011?

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 7:53 am

Let me start by saying Merry Christmas and happy New year for you and the entire Eritreans at home and in the Diaspora.

Mr. President:

Year in and year out you continue to make several promises to the people of Eritrea, most of which you do not keep. I am just wondering what will be you promises for 2011?

As most will recall last year you stated no single household and or person would go to sleep hungry in Eritrea, yet many people continue to face hunger. So how true was your promise or your commitment to your promise?

While jobs are scarce and unemployment rampant, and the price of commodities skyrocketing, your statements do not go over well with the common Eritrean. Contrary, life in Eritrea is unbearable and ordinary people continue to suffer.

This is not to say, there have not been progress since our Independence, I am sure there are many accomplishments, but without the rule of law and freedom of the people of Eritrea your efforts remains insignificant.

According to economists Eritrea’s GDP has been negative for the past many years due to a lack of national resources. Gold mining is showing positive results, this is good news to all, however, according your own speech , you stated that revenues from mining are not going to be the remedy to the chronic economical problems that Eritrea is facing at present.

So, Mr. President, let me ask you again, on one hand you said no single Eritrean is going to sleep hungry, yet, by undermining the revenue of mining your are contradicting your own words, so Mr. President what is the truth? If mining revenue is not a remedy then what will generate and or replenish the coffers of Eritrea so the people of Eritrea will not go hungry?

In many developing countries ordinary people are not benefiting from the wealth of their country, for example, Iran makes billions of dollars from oil but the benefactors are the Mullahs while ordinary people continue to go without the basic need of life, thus abandoning their home of origin, the same in Angola, Congo, Nigeria and many other countries where the common person eats unhealthy food, while generals and ministers are living like kings and their children continue to receive the best education available in the west.

The consumption by Eritrean generals is a rip off of the basic needs of the common person and corruption is at the highest levels of governments and the military, among generals, colonels and ministers, and you personaly turn a blind eye to this devastating situation.  Your lack of positive action does not free you from your corrupt generals and ministers, in fact it makes you one of them. So, Mr. President is Eritrea fate going to be like those countries mentioned above? Do you have  a plan to clean up the corruption mess and implement the over due constitution of Eritrea so your generals would know they are no longer above the law?

Mr. President, for the last 20 years you have been leading the country under decree without constitutional law, the constitution is more needed now than ever, before the exploration of other mining. So once again Mr. President, when is it the right time to implement the rule of law?

Many years has elapsed since many Eritreans were imprisoned without due process, so when will it be the right time to bring them into the Court of Law, and when are you going to inform the love ones of those being held of their fate if they are indeed still alive?

Similarly, when are you going to let our younger generation be free, those who are scattered on the mountain under the deception of so-called National Service? You must realize, those young people are the future of Eritrea and they also have loved ones to feed.

Mr. president, there is a word in most dictionaries, the word is enough.

Enough is enough!

So, Mr. President what will be your promises for 2011?

Thank you,

Naz Yemane

Voice of Eritrea.


December 17, 2010

African Union Panel urges new plan to defuse Ethiopian, Eritrean border crisis

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 5:00 am

Algiers, Algeria – The African Union’s Panel of the Wise, which comprises respected statesmen and women, concluded a three-day conference here Tuesday, with a call on Ethiopia and Eritrea to resolve their outstanding differences and repair strained ties.,-eritrean-border-crisis-2010121564241.html

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at