EU’s Unwarranted Statement on Eritrea
In a press statement – EU Council Conclusions – issued on 11 March this week, the Council of the European Union alludes to “various multiple reports and sources” to heap offensive accusations against Eritrea.
The EU Council Conclusions was issued pursuant to the Report of the EU Special Envoy of the High Representative who visited Ethiopia and Sudan from 7-10 February 2021.
The EU Special Envoy was not, apparently, mandated and did not visit Eritrea to hold direct consultations with the Eritrean Government at the appropriate levels. In the event, it is inappropriate and imprudent, to say the least, for the EU to indict Eritrea on the basis of “credible” reports collated from dubious and malicious third parties.
This anomalous act of bad-faith indeed contravenes the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement as well as the norms and practices of diplomatic relations that exist between Eritrea and the European Union.
The EU Council Conclusions stresses the paramount importance of maintaining regional peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. These are ideals and objectives that Eritrea cherishes – much more than our international partners outside the region – because Eritrea has shouldered, for almost two decades in the recent past, the brunt of the suffering and destruction that ensued from perennial conflict and mayhem. Indeed, the EU has largely remained silent – and in many instances abetted and supported – the forces culpable for this state of affairs through huge financial succor. The EU cannot, in the event, claim the moral high ground and pontificate to Eritrea on this matter.
In as far as the current crisis in Tigray Region of Ethiopia is concerned, the gravity of the situation and the sole culpability of the TPLF group is beyond any dispute or contention whatsoever. While the humanitarian consequences must be addressed by all concerned to prevent and alleviate any human suffering, downplaying the nature of the crisis and shifting blame to scapegoat others cannot be warranted under any pretext. Nor will it serve the interests of peace and stability in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa as a whole.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
14 March 2021