Eritrea: 26th Newsletter Released
H.E. Ambassador Araya Desta, Eritrea's Permanent Representative to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa
The Press Section of the Permanent Mission of the State of Eritrea to the AU and UNECA has released its twenty-sixth bi-weekly newsletter.
Click here to read the previous newsletter.
Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Araya Desta Permanent Representative of the State of Eritrea to the African Union and UN Economic Commission for Africa
On the ‘Report of the Peace and Security Council on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa,’ at the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, 31 January 2015, Addis Ababa
Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me this opportunity.
Allow me, at the outset, to convey to the august Assembly the warm greetings of H.E. Isaias Afwerki, the President of the State of Eritrea.
As clearly reflected in the Report, our continent is facing multiple security challenges. The rise of extremism, terrorism and human trafficking in many part of Africa is a source of grave concern.
Eritrea believes that it is important to strengthen existing and create new mechanisms of cooperation among countries of the region as well as the relevant regional and international organizations.
On its part, Eritrea plays an active role in promoting peace and security in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea Regions. Eritrea has been actively working for peaceful resolution of conflicts, and it has firmly and consistently been combating terrorism, extremism, piracy, human trafficking and other scourges
bedeviling our continent.
I would like to briefly share Eritrea’s views on some parts of the report.
On the Situation Between Eritrea-Ethiopia
One of the major factors hindering the promotion of peace and security in the Horn of Africa Region is the continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories.
It has been more than 14 years since the Algiers Agreement was signed; and about 13 and 7 years respectively, since the EEBC awarded its Final and Binding Delimitation and Demarcation Decisions.
My Delegation wishes to use this opportunity to reiterate its call on the AU, as one of the Guarantors of
the Algiers Agreement, to urge our neighbor to abide by its treaty obligations and unconditionally withdraw
from sovereign Eritrean territory, including the town of Badme.
I assure you that the end of the occupation will pave the way for the normalization of relations between the two countries, and will have a major impact in stabilizing the region.
On the Situation in South Sudan
The Member States of the Union and the international community need to strengthen their support to the People and Government of South Sudan in order for the country push forward its nation building agenda and overcome the challenges facing the process. It is also crucial that the sovereignty of South Sudan be respected.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm Eritrea’s commitment to contribute its share for the pacific
resolution of conflicts, and for the creation of an environment conducive for the promotion of cooperation
in the Horn of African Region and across the continent.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman!
Interventions by the Delegation of the State of Eritrea On the ‘Annual Report of the Chairperson on the Activities of the AU Commission’ at the AU Executive Council and PRC Sessions
On Year of Agriculture and Food Security
The attainment of food security is critical to safeguard the dignity and security of our continent. We appreciate the work done by the Commission in raising the profile of agriculture and food security over the past year. As the theme year comes to an end, we would like to encourage the AUC to continue and redouble its effort in this area.
Eritrea has put the development of agriculture and the attainment of food security as a priority of priorities, and is making huge investment to realize this objective. As the result of this strategy, it has been almost a decade since Eritrea stopped receiving food aid.
On Access to Modern Energy Services
My delegation appreciates the work being done by the AUC under the Eastern Africa Regional Geothermal Programme which includes providing grants for surface studies and drilling, as well as training of experts.
Eritrea has enormous geothermal potential for power generation in the Red Sea Rift areas. The Government has been making efforts to harness this potential. It is also engaged with the AUC’s Eastern Africa Regional Geothermal Programme, and with other partners to develop the resources.
On Policies for Sustainable Utilization of Mineral and Other Resources
The Report mentions the African Mining Development Center (AMDC), and its objective of ensuring
that Member States obtain optimal revenues from mineral resources.
Eritrea is richly endowed with mineral resources with more than 60% of its landmass covered with
basement rocks rich in minerals. Currently there are about 17 foreign mining and exploration companies
operating in the country. The Eritrean mining law has provisions that optimize the revenue derived from the
sector. Currently, the Government has 40-50% shares in the mining operations, as well as levies 38%
Although Eritrea is an emerging mining jurisdiction, it is ready to share its experience with interested
sisterly countries. To this end, my Government has begun consultations with the AMDC to explore areas
On Combating Human Trafficking
My delegation wishes to express its gratitude to the sisterly Republic of Sudan for hosting the Regional
Ministerial Conference on Human Trafficking and Smuggling in the Horn of Africa, in October 2014 in
Khartoum. We also commend the AUC and the partner organizations for making the necessary preparations
for the success of the Conference.
We would like to use this opportunity to call up on the AUC to facilitate the implementation of the outcome
of the Conference as contained in the Strategy and Plan of Action. Eritrea remains committed to combating the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling, and is ready to cooperate with the participating states, the AUC, and partner states and organizations for the success of the Initiative.
On ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020’
Among the priorities set by the AUC for 2015 are activities to realize the goal of ‘silencing the guns in
Africa by 2020.’ One area of focus mentioned under this priority is the need ‘to renew efforts to resolve the
remaining conflicts.’ Eritrea salutes this initiative.
The achievement of the goal requires Member States to unconditionally abide by Final and Binding arbitration decisions, and for the AU to shoulder its commitment in regard to the Peace Agreements it has guaranteed.
Ethiopia Must be Urged to Vacate Sovereign Eritrean Territories Including the Town of Badme
The Algiers Agreement of 2000 signed by the President of Eritrea and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, guaranteed by the AU and UN and endorsed by the UNSC clearly states that:
“The parties agree that a neutral Boundary Commission composed of five members shall be established with a MANDATE to DELIMIT and DEMARCATE the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902 and 1908) and applicable international law. The Commission shall not have the power to make decisions ex aequo et bono.”
“The parties agree that the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the Commission shall be FINAL and BINDING. Each party shall respect the border so determined, as well as territorial integrity and sovereignty of the other party.”
On the bases of the Algiers Agreement, the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) has delimited and demarcated the boundary between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 2002 and 2007, respectively. There is no longer a border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia. What we have is Ethiopia’s occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories.
The Guarantors and Witnesses of the Algiers Agreement must urge Ethiopia to respect its treaty obligations and immediately and unconditionally vacate from the territories the EEBC has awarded to Eritrea, including the town of Badme.
Eritrea has consistently reaffirmed that if Ethiopia withdraws from the Eritrean territories it is occupying
in the morning, dialogue between the two countries on issues of mutual concern could start the same day in the afternoon.
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