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Part 1: Sanctions Against Eritrea Were Brought By False Premises And They Should Be Lifted

According to leaked US diplomatic cables, the former US ambassador to UN, Susan Rice and her diminutive friend, the late Ethiopian PM, Meles Zenawi orchestrated the illegal and unjust sanctions against Eritrea. 


By Tesfahannes Beyene
August 31/07/2017

WHAT ARE SANCTIONS? Sanctions are punitive measures used to pressure a country to change its policies. They are usually imposed by larger countries upon smaller countries, if the latter is seen a threat to the security of the former. In other words, sanctions are mainly used by powerful nations against countries who do not fall in line with the wishes of that major power. That is, assigning liability to a party who may not even be actively involved in wrong doing and cannot do anything to prevent the sanctions. Eritrea is a good example because it was falsely accused of supporting the Somali terrorist group Al Shebab, this was followed by sanctions imposed by United Nations. Sanctions can also be imposed on countries who follow the path to self reliance, negating the wishes and interests of the major powers. Should these independent minded countries defy the old world order by prioritizing their own nation, then they may at some stage face sanctions with the ultimate hidden goal of regime change. This has now become one of the most frequent foreign policy objectives of economic sanctions. In the 21st century, sanctions are the weapons of the imperial powers that replace the military force of the colonial period. By the way, sanctions take a variety of forms including travel bans, asset freezes, arms embargoes, capital restraint etc.

It is true sanctions are a middle course of action between war and diplomacy. The sanctioned countries include Eritrea, Iran, Cuba, Libya, and Iraq. But one may ask, why would the UN Security Council sanction Eritrea without any evidence. As you will see from the HYPER NORMALIZATION (the documentary by Adam Curtis hosted on BBC iplayer, the link is at the bottom of the page) in today’s world, proof is not required to frame countries, the countries are hung out to dry using international institutions, these same institutions sometimes pit Africans nations against other African nations. Sanctions are not imposed on European countries or the USA. The question that need to be asked here is that were sanctions imposed against America for dismembering Iraq using false allegations of weapons of mass destruction that were never found? Or has America paid any compensations for destroying other countries? The answer is simple America can violate international law and get away with it while other nations watch in silence.

Why? Because America is powerful country and can do what she wants to do with other countries and sanctions do not apply to America or many Western countries. Sanctions are only used against Russia and others because Russia is seen as a rival to American or European hegemony. North Korea is seen as a rogue state. Syria and Iran are not liked by America, Venezuela under Hugo Chavez or his successor are not liked for implementing socialist ideology in their country. In most instances sanctions are used against poor African countries and oil producing countries like Libya. As far as sanctions against African countries are concerned (like Eritrea) it is easy to impose because African leaders would not defend fellow African nation as many African leaders depend on other powers for their survival and at times they seem to be happy to ganging up against fellow African leaders, even on fabricated allegation that won't stand up in court. Perhaps they are not confident enough to tell their masters that any move they take against other African leaders is damaging for the continent as a whole. Sanctions brought by Africans against fellow other African is not new but it is happening as in the case of Eritrea. So why is Eritrea under perpetual UN sanctions from 2009 up to the present day on false premises? One reason may be that Eritrea got her independence by herself without the support of the major powers, it has adopted a policy of self reliance in order to solve its own problems, it has refused to take food aid as Eritrea is fully aware that food aid creates a dependency culture. Such a bold policies may not be welcomed by the major powers. Added to that, countries like Ethiopia have a vested interest in seeing the Eritrean government collapse and they conduct a relentless political campaign both directly and indirectly to make sure Eritrea's progress is dented or halted some how.

If we look back at the 1st set of UN sanctions against Eritrea, they were engineered by Ethiopia after the two countries fought a border conflict. The UN set up a commission to demarcate the border between the two countries which resulted in the town of Badme being awarded to Eritrea. Ethiopia ignored this ruling, claimed Eritrea had taken their land and with this flimsy excuse passed a resolution in the Ethiopian parliament to declare war on Eritrea in 1998.

Of course it may be easy to declare war on others but the outcome of any war may be unpredictable. As military experts would tell us, you can start a war but you will never know how it will end—war is no picnic, its not a day in the park, eating burgers and then returning home to drink Gin and Tonic with ice. On the contrary war is very cruel, devastating, shattering and very costly to both sides. It is a shame that two sides failed to compromise and ended up killing people instead of resolving their difference peacefully by going to arbitration, Ethiopia however, was under the illusion that it can crush the Eritrean Government and install a puppet government, like in Somalia or Djibouti. Thus when Ethiopia's plan of regime change in Eritrea failed miserably, they then created a whole host of scenarios, implications, plots and innuendos, against Eritrea, they used all available means at their disposal, as an alternative to their failed war. So what did the minority Government of Ethiopia come up with? They came up with the concept of sanctioning the Government of Eritrea using dishonorable tactics, alleging that Eritrea is helping a terrorist organization in Somalia.

For instance in December 2009 the 1st set sanctions of UN sanction-- Resolution 1907 was adopted in 2009, the justification was the false accusation that Eritrea supported the Somali terrorist group Al Shebab. The sanctions consisted of an arms embargo, travel restrictions and a freeze on assets of military and political leaders. Then in December 2011, a 2nd set sanctions, UN Sanction, Resolution 2023 was adopted reinforcing the previous sanctions, also no real evidence was brought against Eritrea which could prove that they were supporting Al Shebab in Somalia. Nonetheless the two sets of sanctions were conceived by Ethiopia and implemented by Djibouti and Somalia through the UN. In return, Ethiopia supports them militarily and uses their ports to import goods to landlocked Ethiopia. So the sanction plot against Eritrea was contrived as a tool to undermine and weaken the Government of Eritrea at the behest of Ethiopia. Five years after the first set of sanctions, in 2014, the UN found no evidence that Eritrea is supporting the terrorist organization in Somalia. Yet the UN, with the insistence of Britain and USA refused to lift the sanctions, in order to appease Ethiopia. This tells us that if you are poor and not supported by the veto wielding powers, then they can frame you or toast you easily in order to make you kneel down or change your policy to their liking. Even wiki leaks made it clear that the plot to impose sanctions against Eritrea was hatched by Ethiopia with the tacit agreement of its allies.

As you can see from the above, international law and international institutions are rigged in favor of the veto wielding powers. Some poor countries like Ethiopia are even shielded from sanctions, because they have allied themselves with the veto wielding powers. Countries like Israel/the Gulf states are shielded by the US and Syria is shielded by the Russians. Note the veto held by the permanent five members of the security council can be used to block sanctions against their ally, they use their veto in their own interest and in the interest of their allies. Developing nations who do not follow the wishes of the major powers, face an uphill struggle if they try to break free from the shackles of new colonialism or try to adopt autonomous policy. In response, the big boys of politics may cook up fresh problems or wait until the right time occurs or until you wobble then they will unleash their attack dogs or fabricate stories to strangle you using endless sanctions as we have seen in the case of Eritrea.

To achieve its goals against Eritrea, Ethiopia is using Djibouti and Somalia to push for more and more sanction against Eritrea. One may ask why the two countries are doing this against Eritrea? The answer is simple they are doing it to damage Eritrea economically. Had Ethiopia been on good terms with Eritrea, then she could have used Eritrea's much closer ports rather than the distant Djibouti-an and Somalian ports. Geographically Eritrean ports of Massawa and Assab are much closer to Ethiopia, especially to Northern Ethiopia, as it takes less than half a day to get goods and fresh fish transferred from the Eritrean Port of Massawa to the heart of Mekele-- the provincial capital of Tigrai in northern Ethiopia. Thus so long as there is no peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti benefit handsomely, and their ports are used to transport goods to Ethiopia instead of the much closer Eritrean ports.

Note also the two UN sanctions against Eritrea were discussed and delivered by Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton, the two most politically corrupted women in the Obama administration, who did their level best to frame or scapegoat Eritrea as guilty nation when no crime had been committed. Though these sanctions were devised and desired by Ethiopia, it was the Americans who made them happen, most probably by pressuring their allies into voting for sanctions (not including Russia and China who abstained). The impact of sanctions against any country is simply to create uncertainty that may lead to fertile ground for instability. But Eritrea is a stable country because Eritreans wherever they are would support their nation at any cost. As mentioned earlier, sanctions are applied to the countries that do not follow the wishes of the major powers and they are not applied to allies of the major powers or wealthy nations such as Saudi Arabia.

The last UN sanction on Eritrea was discussed by Security Council in November 2016 and the 15 members of the Security Council were informed by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group that there is no evidence to prove that Eritrea supports Al Shebab, one would then assume that sanctions would be lifted automatically. Not quite so, the then deputy American Ambassador to the UN during the dying days of the Obama administration, said she would still maintain sanctions against Eritrea without giving any reasons. Then guess who jumped on the band wagon with the deputy American Ambassador to the UN to impose sanction on Eritrea. It was the British Ambassador to the UN, Matthew Ry-croft who said, yes there is no evidence that Eritrea is supporting Al Shebab, but his government will support the Americans in maintain sanctions against Eritrea because Eritrea refused to let the experts of the monitoring group visit the country. Then he made it very clear that on what Eritrea must do “he said Eritrea is master of its own destiny” It could either admit the monitoring group and engage in a serious discussion on sanctions or chose continued isolation. And he concluded in saying that he hoped that Eritrea would choose the first course of action. He told the Security Council that the Monitoring Group (who were investigating Eritrea's alleged links to Al Shebab) had built a strong relationship with the Federal Government of Somalia and hoped Eritrea would do the same.

So the claim that Eritrea supported Al Shebab has now vanished into thin air, so they have to invent other things to implicate Eritrea in the hope that Eritrea refuses to allow the Monitoring Group to visit the country so that they can maintain sanction after sanctions for more years to come when there is no evidence that Eritrea supports terrorism. It is quite clear America and the UK knew Eritrea has nothing to do with terrorists but they are the judges and jury and there is no law that challenge them. In short this is an indication of how impotent the UN is; it is designed to benefit the veto wielding powers and there is nothing Eritrea can do except build its nation against all odds. It is also quite appalling, how powerful diplomats can make a mockery of the UN system and use it to benefit themselves and their allies. The aim is simply keep sanctions on Eritrea to satisfy Ethiopia-- the US ally in war against terror.

The sanctions imposed on Eritrea are completely unjust and those who are pushing for sanctions against the Eritrean nation are hoping it will lead to regime change, which will not happen because the people of Eritrea have paid a very high price to get their independence. Regardless of any set back or challenges the nation is facing, the people of Eritrea will always rally behind their nation. That said, the intention of the American and British Ambassadors insisting on sanctions on Eritrea is still mind boggling. Do they want to see Eritrea kept under quarantine of the UN sanction for more years to come? Frankly Eritrea has been right to say NO to the Monitoring Groups visit because the terms and conditions of their mission is not clearly defined. But the British Ambassador made it clear in saying that if Eritrea refuses to accept the Monitoring group's visit to Eritrea, what message is Eritrea sending to other nations? But what the British ambassador is not telling Security Council members or other nations is that: It is Ethiopia that is violating international law in refusing to accept the UN border demarcation and it is still siting on the Sovereign Eritrea territory of Badme. It is Ethiopia who is refusing to engage with Eritrea to solve the border dispute between the two countries claiming that she has accepted the UN ruling, but then insists on dialogue when the decision has already been made and dialogue is not necessary. Frankly Ethiopia's request for dialogue is an empty gesture or con trick to hood wink the International Community. The simple truth is that America and the United Kingdom know that they are taking tough line against the Eritrean nation to satisfy Ethiopia and have become very economical with the truth. Otherwise they could have said first and foremost that Ethiopia must accept the UN border ruling or face sanctions, instead of imposing sanctions on Eritrea. They should have been an honest broker in the dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia, rather to take sides with Ethiopia, impose sanctions on Eritrea and overlook Ethiopia’s non compliance with a UN ruling. So the whole idea of sanctions against countries like Eritrea is simple to weaken her in the hope the people of Eritrea, rise up against their government, it is an attempt to bring regime change indirectly.

The American and British Ambassadors to the UN have gone over the top. What do they expecting the Monitoring group to find in Eritrea? Do they expect them to find containers full of explosive bombs, munitions rocket propelled grenades, destined for Al Shebab with stamped address at the Eritrean Foreign Office. Or is it simply political rhetoric of might is right. It is quite bizarre, Eritrea does not have a border with Somalia and therefore any planes sent to Al Shebab would have to pass over Ethiopia or Djibouti, in which case the planes would be violating the air space of other nations. Eritrea does not have underground tunnels that go under Ethiopia to Somalia. It is quite unbelievable for America and Britain to insist on sanctions against Eritrea but they are doing it in the name of Ethiopia.

Finally, Eritrea poses no imminent threat to any of its neighbors, sanctions against her were brought on the basis of flawed testament brought by Ethiopia, the sanctions were brought by circumstance that were far from satisfactory, therefore these sanctions are illegal unjust and they should be lifted. At the same time I hope Eritrea will call their bluff and allow the Monitoring Group to visit Eritrea and I am positive the Group will not find any evidence to implicate Eritrea and sooner or later Eritrea will bounce back and be able to punch above its weight.

Adam Curtis' Hypernormalisation on BBC iplayer
The documentary is split into six parts, The Colonel, A Cautionary Tale and A World Without Power


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Part 1: Sanctions Against Eritrea Were Brought By False Premises And They Should Be Lifted Reviewed by Admin on 12:01 AM Rating: 5

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