On 4 July 2011, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development issued a statement calling on “the AU and UN to impose additional sanctions selectively on the Eritrean Regime especially on those economic and mining sectors that the regime draws on including the Eritrean Diaspora.” It further directed its Executive Secretary to “formally transmit” its communiqué to the African Union Peace and Security Council.
In its communiqué IGAD bases its call for sanctions on allegations that Eritrea “has taken an active part in destabilizing the region by supporting extremist and other subversive elements.”
The State of Eritrea wishes to bring the following salient points to the attention of the African Union Peace and Security Council:-
1. Although the statement was issued in the name of IGAD, the anti-Eritrea campaign was and continues to be spearheaded by Ethiopia.
2. Ethiopia furnishes no evidence for its preposterous charges against Eritrea, which in any case are totally unfounded. The reports presented at the 17th Summit of the African Union that was recently concluded in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, by the Chairperson of the AU Commission as well as the Peace and Security Council referred to these Ethiopian “accusations”, but did not accept them at face value. The reports also highlighted that Eritrea had accepted and Ethiopia had rejected the demarcation of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border. The reports further made reference to the letter sent to them by Eritrea’s Foreign Minister alerting them to Ethiopia’s threat to use force against Eritrea. Based on these reports, the Assembly of Heads of State passed a decision to work to undertake an effort to bring the Ethiopia-Eritrea issue to a closure.
3. The call for sanctions against Eritrea runs counter to the spirit of African solidarity that pervaded the latest Summit as well as the work of the African Union. This was precisely the consideration that compelled Ethiopia to refrain from pushing for sanctions in the Malabo Summit. (The AU Summit took its anti-sanctions stance even further when it called for the lifting of sanctions against Cuba). The appeal to the AU to urge sanctions “on those economic and mining sectors that the Eritrean regime draws on including the Eritrean Diaspora,” is particularly sinister and detestable, in light of the AU’s efforts –and Summit decisions- to promote economic development and foster the contribution of African Diaspora Communities.
4. Ethiopia is in material breach of the Constitutive Act of the AU and the UN Charter, as it continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territory 11 years after it agreed in the Algiers Agreement to accept “the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission as final and binding,” nine years after the delimitation decision of April 2002 and five years after the Boundary Commission ended its work by demarcating the boundary and depositing the maps of the demarcated boundary at the United Nations.
5. Ethiopia is threatening to resort to force against a member state of the African Union and the United Nations in a flagrant violation of the Constitutive Act of the AU and the UN Charter. Last March, it issued a series of belligerent and reckless public statements proclaiming its preparations to carry out “military action to oust the regime in Eritrea.” In April the Ethiopian Prime Minister and his Deputy summoned Ambassadors of the Five Permanent members of the UN Security Council and the African Permanent Representatives to the AU respectively, and informed them that Ethiopia had changed its policies towards Eritrea and was now intent on removing the Eritrean government by force.
6. Eritrea calls on the AU Peace and Security Council to reject Ethiopia’s anti-Eritrea campaign and to uphold the latest AU Summit decisions. It further urges the Council to condemn Ethiopia’s brazen threat to resort to force and to call for the immediate withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from occupied Eritrean territory.
Asmara, 6 July 2011