Saturday, 20 October 2012

Speech: “We Must Assist The Malian Authorities…..”

Jan Eliasson; UN Deputy Sec. Gen.

(Being UN Deputy Secretary-General's statement to AU/ECOWAS/UN Meeting of the Support and Follow-Up Group on Mali)

First, we must assist the Malian authorities in designing and implementing a credible political process that addresses the underlying causes of the crisis. Security Council resolution 2071 mandates the United Nations to support Mali in finding a sustainable solution.

Second, we must help the Malian authorities plan and execute military operations which may ultimately be required to return the areas occupied by terrorist groups and criminal networks.  In resolution 2071, the Security Council declared its readiness to respond to a Malian request for an international military force following the receipt of a written report with actionable recommendations. The United Nations will support planning efforts for a possible force.

In doing so, we must ensure that military action does not exacerbate tensions or worsen an already fragile humanitarian situation.  Any military action must also support a coherent political strategy for the country’s reunification.  And for the international community to back an international military force, human rights and humanitarian law must be scrupulously respected.

The aim of the political process should be to build a broad-based national vision for the future of Mali. This will require a roadmap for the Transition so that preparations for elections can begin.

The process should enable the Transitional Authorities to engage in talks with rebel groups in the North, which represent the legitimate grievances of communities which have suffered from years of marginalization.  It is imperative that these groups cut off all ties to terrorist organizations, as called for in Security Council Resolution 2071.  The military forces are to refrain from interfering in the political arena. 

The Malian defense and security forces must be at the forefront of the international effort to combat terrorism and crime in northern Mali.  A critical contribution will be to support the re-organization of the defence and security forces, as requested by the Malian authorities.

Comprehensive reform of the security sector must also be at the core of our collective efforts to consolidate Malian state institutions, as called for in Security Council resolutions.

In resolution 2071, the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to support both the Malian political process and the development of military plans for the recovery of the occupied territories of the North.  The Council called on the United Nations to work in close consultation with authorities in Mali, the AU, ECOWAS and other partners, and to submit a report on the implementation of the resolution within 45 days. This is now less than 40 days away.  

The important work already done by the Malian authorities, ECOWAS and the AU will serve as a solid basis for our joint efforts.  For its part, the United Nations is ready to provide immediate support to a national dialogue and assistance to strengthen national capacities for political negotiations.  We are also in the process of deploying military planners and security sector reform advisers to Bamako.

The presence here today of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel, former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy Romano Prodi, is a tangible expression of the commitment of the UN to helping resolve the crisis in the Sahel and Mali.  The Special Envoy will be working closely with all of you to mobilize international support, coordinate the United Nations integrated regional strategy for the Sahel, and help bring about a comprehensive solution to the crisis in Mali.  He will work very closely and in tandem with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Mr. Said Djinnit, as well as his team and office. He will also coordinate with the Special Representative for Central Africa, Mr. Abou Moussa, and with the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Mr. David Gressly, as well as with the UN Resident Coordinators in the region.

The Strategy on the Sahel aims to stem the terrorist threat, fight organized crime, control the proliferation of weapons, tackle money laundering and improve border management.  It stresses inclusiveness and mediation as the path to decreased tensions. Here, regional fora and networks which bring together government officials, religious leaders, civil society and cross-border communities can play an important role.  The strategy also places emphasis on environmental management, better handling of land and water resources, and greater resilience in the face of extreme climatic conditions and market shocks.

Videonews: Libya Leader Says Country Not Fully Liberated

Article: Ethiopia’s Agenda To Destabilize Eritrea

Flag Of Eritrea. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Sophia Tesfamariam

The Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) kept expanding its allegations against Eritrea, exposing its true motives and objectives-to first get “stand alone sanctions” against the State of Eritrea and then use all kinds of gimmicks and ploys to perpetuate the illegal sanctions against Eritrea, presumably to weaken Eritrea, and to somehow (through the media and propaganda), or legal attrition, give Ethiopia the moral and legal high ground to pursue its agendas vis a vis Eritrea. Knowing full well the extent of Ethiopia’s violations against the State of Eritrea and its people, its 12-year long brazen destabilization efforts and Ethiopia’s decade long occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories, the SEMG, in its latest report had the audacity to accuse Eritrea of attempting to destabilize Ethiopia.

The SEMG knows well that it is the minority regime in Ethiopia and its dead leader Meles Zenawi, that have boisterously expressed dreams of changing the government in Asmara and installing a puppet regime amenable to Ethiopia’s whims. It is the regime in Ethiopia that has armed and harbored groups and individuals that have committed terrorist acts against the State of Eritrea. It is the minority regime that is taking refugees out of UNHCR camps and forcing them to participate in its anti-Eritrea activities. On several occasions, the regime, as the record will show, has also openly and clearly spelled out its destabilization agendas against the State of Eritrea to several US officials, including Donald Yamamoto, Deputy US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi E. Frazer, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Karl Wyckoff, Bureau of African Affairs at the US State Department and with UN Ambassador Susan E. Rice, Meles Zenawi’s friend and confidante.

These myopic and vindictive members of the incompetent Bureau of African Affairs and the US Mission at the UN sought to punish Eritrea because Eritrea did not support all of Washington’s policies in the region. Members of the UN Mission sought to punish Eritrea for standing up to the Security Council. For not remaining silent as the Security Council ignored Ethiopia’s violations of international law and Eritrea’s sovereignty. For some, like the junior diplomats who make up the Bureau of African Affairs, Eritrea was to be punished for not going along with Ethiopia’s plans for Somalia, for having the temerity to sponsor peace talks for Somalis in Asmara, the Eritrean capital. That was a big no-no for myopic diplomats like Jendayi E. Frazer, who wrongly believe that only US’ fingerprints and “AU sponsored talks” bring legitimacy to a peace process. According to US diplomats, Africans don’t have the capacity to think, cannot make sound analysis of their own situations, and are too stupid to know what is good or bad for their people and neighborhood.

Insulting the intelligence of the Ethiopian people and their just and gallant struggles against the minority regime in Ethiopia, today, the SEMG is accusing Eritrea of attempting to “destabilize” Ethiopia.  It is accusing Eritrea of supporting the various armed opposition groups that are struggling to liberate the people of Ethiopia from the Ethiopian dictatorship. This is not only a desperate and rather stupid accusation; it is a deliberate and futile attempt to stifle the struggles of the Ethiopian people and undermine the contribution of the vast Ethiopian Diaspora.

For example, the SEMG presents the Ogaden National Liberation Front as a creation of Eritrea to be used against the minority regime in Ethiopia. Today, in cities across Africa, Europe and the United States, supporters of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) are organizing events to celebrate the founding of the ONLF on 15 August 1984. The ONLF has offices around the world including the United States and its officials frequently come to the US for fundraising activities and to meet with US lawmakers. Despite what the minority regime in Ethiopia claims, its views are not shared by all, not even its handlers.

According to a US Embassy cable authored by Donald Yamamoto:

“…While the GoE [Government of Ethiopia] considers the ONLF a terrorist group, the USG {US Government] views them as a nationalist movement that has predominantly targeted GoE and Ethiopian military entities in response to the marginalization of the Ogadeni people…”

The US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia was for the most part, a pretext aimed at destroying Ethiopian opposition groups in neighboring states. Meles Zenawi’s deceptive regime has perfected the propaganda tactic known as “accusations in a mirror”. In order to hide its illegal activities from the Ethiopian people, and to cover up its lawless behaviors, it usually accuses others of doing what it itself. By now, Ethiopians must know that anytime the regime accuses others of something, it is a signal that, that is what the regime intends to do.

If they accuse someone of rejecting an agreement, it is because they intend to reject that agreement. If they accuse the opposition of violence, it is because they have planned genocide, violence and chaos. When they accused the Ethiopian opposition of cheating in the 2005 elections, it is because they had decided to rob the elections. When they accused Somalia of declaring war, they did so because that is what they were planning to do. When they accused Somalia and the Union of Islamic Courts of violating Ethiopia’s sovereignty, they did so because they intended to violate Somalia’s, and when they accuse Eritrea of destabilizing Ethiopia, it si because they want to justify what they are doing themselves.  In addition to its chronic inferiority complex and mentality, Kenneth L. Marcus’s explanation of “Accusation in a Mirror”, will provide us with a clear definition for the propaganda tactic that the SEMG seems to have borrowed from the regime in Ethiopia. Marcus wrote:

“…The basic idea of AiM [Accusations in the Mirror] is deceptively simple: propagandists must “impute to enemies exactly what they and their own party are planning to do.” In other words, AiM is a rhetorical practice in which one falsely accuses one’s enemies of conducting, plotting, or desiring to commit precisely the same transgressions that one plans to commit against them…It is similar to a false anticipatory to quoque: before one’s enemies accuse one truthfully, one accuses them falsely of the same misdeed…A typical tu quoque involves charging your accuser with whatever it is you've just been accused of rather than refuting the truth of the accusation…”

There are numerous other propaganda tactics that the regime in Ethiopia and its handlers have employed in the past to advance the regime’s domestic and foreign policy agendas. Today we will take a look at the latest accusation by the SEMG and Ethiopia and allow the reader to judge for him/her self.

With the help of its western handlers, the minority regime in Ethiopia has left no stone unturned to vilify Eritrea, to foment ethnic and religious strife, to weaken Eritrea’s economy and isolate Eritrea diplomatically and politically. While that is not new or surprising to the people of the region in general and the people of Eritrea in particular, what is surprising is the SEMG’s shameless regurgitation of the regime’s vile lies and the SEMG’s attempt to mislead the Security Council and the Sanctions Committee with its reports which can be easily refuted since the Ethiopian regime’s destabilization agendas vis a vis Eritrea are well documented.

A 2007 US Embassy cable defines Ethiopia’s agendas clearly and succinctly. The 30 October 2007 secret cable from the US Embassy in Ethiopia[1] details a meeting held between the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) Head of Addis Ababa Office Joseph Stephanides and Yohannes Gebremeskel, the Ethiopian regime’s military liaison officer. According to cable, the Ethiopian cadre “outlined a potential scenario for an Ethiopian overthrow of the Isaias government” [Eritrean Government]. It said:

“…the Ethiopians would conduct a swift military action within a five-phased plan. In phase 1, Ethiopia would promote instability inside Eritrea leading to phase 2 where the Eritrean people would invite the Ethiopians to help them, at which time the Ethiopian military would enter Eritrea and depose Isaias. In phases 3 and 4 the Ethiopians would free the political prisoners and bring in the Eritrean political opposition allowing them to establish a transition government, and in phase 5 the Ethiopian military would withdraw…”

Promoting instability in Eritrea was listed as its primary objective and as this paper will endeavor to show, the regime in Ethiopia and its handlers have sought to implement its stated objectives and the illegal, unfair and unjust US engineered sanctions can be seen within this context.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn told Reuters in 2011 how the Ethiopian regime intended to carry out its agenda vis a vis Eritrea. Reuters reported:

"….This regime change is not by invading Eritrea but by supporting the Eritrean people and groups which want to dismantle the regime. We are fully engaged in doing so," Hailemariam said….Hailemariam did not disclose the extent of Addis Ababa's support, but a few Eritrean groups already operate from northern Ethiopia and have staged sporadic hit-and-run attacks inside Eritrea in the past…”

Professor GĂ©rard Prunier for the Center for International Peace Operations, Berlin, Germany seems to have in depth knowledge of the minority regime’s destabilization activities against the State of Eritrea. According to Prunier:

“…the Ethiopians have managed to create a kind of “federation” (National Alliance of Eritrean Forces or NAEF) composed of about fourteen different opposition movements which include the Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement (EIRM) and the Eritrea Democratic Alliance (EDA). But this “federation” is of extremely dubious efficiency which is why the Ethiopians have created on the side another organization, the Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front (ERDF) which is in fact a big sounding name for a kind of fighting commando…”

Prunier gives further detail about the two organizations and their differences. He writes:

“…NAEF can be considered as a political movement while ERDF is a military one. NAEF is kind of “official” and its leaders are known. But they have no fighting strength. The ERDF is the opposite: it as an almost secret organization with no known leaders and it is more an Eritrean Foreign Legion of the Ethiopian Army than a real political movement. It is just supposed to give a kind of “political local cover” for the Ethiopians the day they would have to fight Eritrea , more or less the way Kabila’s Allied Democratic Forces for a Liberation of Kongo-Zaire (ADFL) gave a local Congolese cover to the Rwandese Army in 1996…”

The Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict in 1998-2000 saw the emergence of the Eritrean Quislings League (EQL), a dubious alliance of the jilted and scorned and those who abandoned the people of Eritrea in pursuit of other personal agendas. This assortment of like-minded defectors, disgruntled runaway diplomats, pedophiles, rapists, self-professed “intellectuals and professionals”, deceitful counterfeiters, information launderers and an assortment of shameless scandalous opportunists have made it their forte to slander and malign the Eritrean people, especially the Eritrean Diaspora, by creating defunct cyber political parties with no constituents to speak of (except family members). With fanciful names, various “human rights” and “democracy” groups [over 47 at last count] have mushroomed in cyberspace to regurgitate and disseminate rehearsed spills provided to them by their sponsors.

The timing of the emergence of such groups in cyberspace suggests that it was aimed at distracting attention from the minority regime in Ethiopia and its incessant attempts to revisit revise and if possible, annul the final and binding Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s (EEBC) delimitation and demarcation decisions. Judging from campaigns and the joint programs conducted with the minority regime in Ethiopia, the Eritrean Quislings League, have played a major role in Meles Zenawi’s 12-year long effort to destabilize Eritrea. Contrary to the picture that the SEMG is trying portray, the regime’s record and those of its surrogates are well documented. They are not merely “accusations from Asmara”.

Ethiopia’s intentions have been spelled out clearly by David Shinn, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia and an avid supporter and apologist for the Ethiopian regime. David Shinn speaking to the Voice of America on 19 March 2012 said:

“…On the other side of the fence, one should point out that Ethiopia also has a record of being supportive of Eritreans who oppose the regime in Asmara…Shinn notes that Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi stated in parliament last April that his government would actively support groups trying to overthrow Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki…David Shinn recalls a similar cross-border incursion when he was U.S. envoy to Ethiopia in 1997.  He says that incident was among those cited by Eritrea the following year when war broke out…”

If David Shinn knows, the US State Department also knows, the US Mission knows and so does the SEMG. Furthermore, judging from the Wikileak documents, the regime in Ethiopia has coordinated all its activities with the US Embassy in Addis and Washington, and they in turn have shared their findings with the P-5 Ambassadors, who are notified of its intentions long before the public announcement and propaganda begin.

At the height of the 1998-2000 Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict, the regime in Ethiopia rounded up individuals and groups that it believed could support its anti-Eritrea propaganda campaign. Patrick Gilkes, UK Citizen and Strategic Planning Advisor to the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia reported the following in a 1999 BBC report[2]:

“…Ethiopia has hosted meetings of various factions of the Eritrean Liberation Front, trying to bring the ELF-Revolutionary Council and the ELF of Abdullah Idris together…It has offered support to three small Eritrean Marxist opposition parties, and to an opposition Kunama party, and has recently set up an Afar Red Sea Democratic Organisation to try and build up Afar resistance to the Eritrean government…

The Global Terrorism Database has recorded the following terrorist acts committed by the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) and Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunamas (DMLEK), the two groups that were organized, financed, harbored and supported by the minority regime in Ethiopia.

·         02/15/2010: On Monday, in Asmara, Maekel, Eritrea, rebels of the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) attacked the 28th Sub-division military camp. It was unknown if the attack caused any damage. Seventeen intelligence agents were killed and 20 others were injured in the attack. The 28th sub-division military camp in Asmara, Eritrea was targeted in this attack.

·         6/01/2008: On Sunday, a military vehicle ferrying food rations was blown up after Red Sea AfarsDemocratic Organization members attacked soldiers in Morad, Eritrea. No casualties were reported. A military truck carrying food rations was targeted.

·         06/01/2008: On Sunday, four Eritrean soldiers, including a senior commander, were killed and more than 10 others wounded when Red Sea Afars Democratic Organization members attacked them in Morad, Eritrea. Eritrean soldiers were targeted.

·         11/05/2007: The Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunamas (DMLEK) destroyed the office of the Shembeko town administration with an RPG in Western Eritrea. No casualties were reported.

·         11/05/2007: Militants using firearms from the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the EritreanKunamas (DMLEK) attacked government soldiers, killing or wounding fifteen of them in Mlzay, Eritrea.

·         02/25/2009: On Wednesday, in Haykota, Gash-Barka, Eritrea, a bomb killed two civilians and injured eight others at a restaurant in the semi-urban centre. The restaurant was damaged in the attack. No group claimed responsibility. A restaurant was targeted in Haykota, Gash-Barka, Eritrea.

·         In 2003, British geologist Timothy Nutt was slain as he worked in Eritrea, by the Eritrean Islamic Jihad, one of the groups financed, harbored and supported by the regime in Ethiopia.

·         Groups financed, harbored and supported by Ethiopia detonated a bomb in Barentu, Eritrea during the 2004 Independence Day celebrations killing 5 people and wounding 88. 

·         A 30 July 2009 Press Release entitled “Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) and RSF (Eritrean Salvation Front) have joined forces to strike At the Eritrean Regime in Asmara” said the following:

“…In the past six months the afar rebel group have carried out more than five attacks, causing significant blow to Afwerki’s regime, last November it has destroyed a military radar system and attacked military camp killing 285 soldiers in a place called Sanafi at the heart of Akale Guzay, with co-ordinated  and simultaneous commando type operation which killed 13 Eritrean soldiers. They have also collected 9 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 1 RPG weapon, 1 Heavy Machine Gun and 3 mobile phones. The combined forces have also captured five elite soldiers and brought them back in to Ethiopia…”

·         Emboldened by the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution, the minority regime in Ethiopia began its destabilization agenda against Eritrea almost immediately. On 29 December 2009, just days after the Security Council adopted the illegal, unjust and unfair Resolution 1907 (2009), a group financed, harbored and supported by the minority regime in Ethiopia boasted of attacks against sovereign Eritrean territories. Sudan Tribune reported[5]:

“…An Eritrean opposition group said prepared to attack the government army as the United Nations decided to impose sanction on Asmara last week. DMLEK is a member of the Ethiopia based coalition Eritrean Democratic Alliance, of which two other groups have also waged a nascent armed struggle often staging hit-and-run attacksThe chairman of the Sena’a Cooperation Forum and representative of the Ethiopian government, Mr. Hubur Gebrekidan, in remarks delivered at the opening sitting of the meeting, praised the merger of the three groups and pledged the support of the Ethiopian government and the regional forum to the meeting…”

·         The Sudan Tribune reported the following in its 3 January 2010 report. This time it was reporting on another group, RSADO, a group financed, harbored and supported by Meles Zenawi’s minority regime in Ethiopia:

“…An Eritrean rebel group, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), has vowed to step up military attacks this year to overthrow the east African nation’s government. RSADO Chairman IbrahimHaron said that the military measures will undertaken jointly with other rebel forces” Some eight political groups have built a joint military front to depose the tyrannical Eritrean government” said Ethiopia-based Ibrahim. He said the coalition “will collectively launch massive military attacks in 2011 and we expect major victories along the year”…The group says it has killed and wounded hundreds of government soldiers in attacks inside Eritrea since early 2009…″

·         Tigray Online posted a Press Release about another attack on Eritrea, by RSADO, a group harbored, financed and supported by Meles Zenawi’s minority regime in Ethiopia. Here is what the 17 February 2010 Press Release said:

“…On Feb 15, 2010, at 5:00 am (RSADO) Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization carried out yet another successful operation on FURI military base, in Central-Dankaliya, Inflicting heavy damage to the military as well as personnel. RSADO’s insurgency group has killed 17 enemy soldiers, wounded 20 soldiers, seized caches of ammunitions and varieties of enemy guns just this passed New Year’s Eve, RSADO, in collaboration with our partnering pastoral societies from ENSF have carried out a massive of operations outside Dankaliya including Sanafee, Akale Guzay, and Area”

·         On 23 April 2010 Reuters reported of another terrorist attack against Eritrea by the Red Sea Afar DemocraticOrganisation (RSADO) and the Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF) – groups financed, harbored and supported by Meles Zenawi’s minority regime in Ethiopia. Here is an excerpt from that report:

“…Two Eritrean rebel groups said they killed 11 government soldiers and wounded some 20 others in a coordinated attack on military camps in southern Eritrea. Both of the rebel groups are members of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), a coalition of 11 Eritrean political organisations, who say they are increasingly working together and coordinating their attacks”

·         According to a document carrying a list of terrorist acts carried out by the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) compiled from RSADO statements and news releases between 1999 and 2010, there have been about 27 attacks against Eritrea causing a total of 958 casualties-448 killed, 501 wounded and 9 captured.

·         On 1 January 2010, there was another armed attack on Eritrea emanating from Ethiopia. The regime denied any responsibility and made public statements to that effect. Despite Ethiopia’s public denials, a 12 January 2010 cable, “Ethiopia Denies Involvement In Skirmish On Eritrea Border”[6] reports on what the regime’s cadres were saying in private. According to the cable:

“…Privately, the GoE has been more candid about the likely source of the attacks. On January 8, Tesfaye Yilma, Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Director General for Europe and the Americas, suggested to A/DCM that the two Eritrean opposition groups that claimed responsibility for attacking Eritrean military installations and killing 25 Eritrean troops, the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) and the Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF), had probably done so…”

The Cable goes on to state the following:

“…In a January 8 meeting with A/DCM, opposition Oromo People's Congress (OPC) and Forum leader Merera Gudina offered two possible explanations for the incident: 1) The GoE ordered Ethiopian National Defense Forces to attack Eritrea to test the international community's reaction in light of recent sanctions; or 2) Eritrean opposition groups operating out of Ethiopia and funded by the GoE carried out the attacks with GoE approval…”

·         In addition, the Global Terrorism Database[7] recorded the following terrorist acts committed by RSADO and DMLEK, groups financed, harbored and supported by Meles Zenawi’s minority regime in Ethiopia.

o   02/15/2010: On Monday, in Asmara, Maekel, Eritrea, rebels of the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) attacked the 28th Sub-division military camp. It was unknown if the attack caused any damage. Seventeen intelligence agents were killed and 20 others were injured in the attack. The 28th sub-division military camp in Asmara, Eritrea was targeted in this attack.

o   6/01/2008: On Sunday, a military vehicle ferrying food rations was blown up after Red Sea AfarsDemocratic Organization members attacked soldiers in Morad, Eritrea. No casualties were reported. A military truck carrying food rations was targeted.

o   06/01/2008: On Sunday, four Eritrean soldiers, including a senior commander, were killed and more than 10 others wounded when Red Sea Afars Democratic Organization members attacked them in Morad, Eritrea. Eritrean soldiers were targeted.

o   11/05/2007: The Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the Eritrean Kunamas (DMLEK) destroyed the office of the Shembeko town administration with an RPG in Western Eritrea. No casualties were reported.

o   11/05/2007: Militants using firearms from the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of the EritreanKunamas (DMLEK) attacked government soldiers, killing or wounding fifteen of them in Mlzay, Eritrea.

o   02/25/2009: On Wednesday, in Haykota, Gash-Barka, Eritrea, a bomb killed two civilians and injured eight others at a restaurant in the semi-urban centre. The restaurant was damaged in the attack. No group claimed responsibility. A restaurant was targeted in Haykota, Gash-Barka, Eritrea.

Ethiopia’s efforts to destabilize Eritrea have also been recorded by various media outlets.

·         In its 19 May 1999 article, “Ethiopia’s war strategy”[8], the BBC reported the following: 

“…It certainly hopes that it can break the strength of the Eritrean army, and an admission, once the war ends, of the serious Eritrean casualty figures, will put pressure on the Eritrean regime…Ethiopia has given support to the opposition Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF), now based in Ethiopia. It anticipates that this will be able to mobilise former Eritrean Liberation Front supporters, and Muslim critics of the present government…It is, however, under no illusions about the AENF's strength, nor its effectiveness…It knows any change of government in Eritrea will have to come from within the ruling and single party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice…”

·         In a May 2000 Patrick Gilkes, UK Citizen and Strategic Planning Advisor to the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia wrote the following in a 23 May 2000 BBC article[9], “Free rein for Eritrean opposition”:

“…Ethiopia appears to be leaving, deliberately, the western provinces to the opposition Alliance of Eritrean National Forces (AENF)…. Ethiopia appreciates the possibilities of the Alliance for weakening the government in Asmara, but is taking considerable care not to provide any overt sign of support which would be widely resented. Instead, Ethiopia and Sudan are leaving the Alliance to respond in its own way to the opportunity created by Ethiopian military successes…Alliance leaders are now trying to mobilise their support in areas once controlled by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) factions which make up most of the Alliance…The Alliance already claims it is widely operating in rural areas…working to organise and build up its support as fast as possible to take advantage of the vacuum...”

·         In another BBC report, “New rebel force in Eritrea”[10], the BBC reported on a meeting sponsored by the Ethiopian government for Eritrean groups and individuals held in the Ethiopian capital. The report also said:

“…An alliance of 13 Eritrean opposition groups says it is setting up a military wing to topple President Isaias Afewerki…The Eritrean National Alliance's general secretary, Hiruy Tedla Bairu, told the BBC that the military wing would attack strategic targets such as television and radio centres…Mr Hiruy said the military wing would not attack the Eritrean army, which he hoped could be won over by the opposition… Mr Hiruy also said that the alliance would not seek to target President Isaias because "the problems [assassinations] produce later are too big to handle"… He was speaking in neighbouring Ethiopia, which he said was one of three countries that had offered his alliance "material support"… He said the others were Sudan and Yemen but denied that the ENA were Ethiopian stooges…”

·         In 2001, the ELF-RC, another group financed, harbored and supported by the Ethiopian government held its 5th congress in Gondar, Ethiopia

·         The Ethiopian Government also supported the establishment of an “opposition” radio that broadcast from Ethiopia and according to news reports[11]:

“…The Broad cast which has been on trial since January is based in northern Ethiopia Tigray region’s Mekelle city… Currently the radio station airs programs to Ethiopia , Eritrea and partly to Arab nations…”

It is preposterous for the SEMG to point its fingers at Eritrea and it is an insult to the people of Eritrea, Ethiopia and the entire region to present the lawless reckless and belligerent entrenched regime in Ethiopia as a victim and Eritrea as the villain. The record speaks for itself. But let’s go on , there is more.

Ethiopia got help from its handlers and according to the Embassy cable, on 3 October 2007, US officials in Ethiopia met and held talks with the Eritrean National Salvation Front (ENSF) Chairman Abdella Adem and ENSF Foreign Relations Director Beyene Kidane. This is not the first meeting between US officials and runaway Eritrean defectors and draft dodgers and they were very cler as to who was sponsoring and directing their anti-Eritrea activities. The Wikileak cable[12] ERITREAN OPPOSITION GROUP SEEKING NEW OPPOSITION ALLIANCE, states:

“…When queried about military training camps, Abdella replied that the EDA had closed their training camps in Sudan at the request of the Sudanese Government and moved them into Ethiopia… Abdella said the EDA groups now received instruction from Ethiopian military personnel in two military training camps in Tigray located in close proximity to Ethiopian military camps. The ENSF, Eritrean Revolutionary Democratic Front, and an Afar group trained at a camp in eastern Tigray near Adigrat, while a number of other groups trained at a camp in western Tigray near Adi Hageray…”

According to the US Embassy cable, Abdela Adem also told the American officials that:

“ … on the political front the government of Ethiopia served as an advisor to the Eritrean opposition…Abdella commented that Meles had given the EDA access to one radio station in Ethiopia that broadcast into Eritrea and divided the airtime between opposition groups… Abdella stated he had met with Meles for more than two hours on October 2…”

Another US Embassy cable[13] details a meeting held by US officials with Eritrean groups financed, harbored and supported by Ethiopia. The cable said:

“…The May 5-11, 2008 Eritrean political opposition congress in Addis Ababa reformed and expanded the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) to serve as the umbrella organization for all Eritrean opposition groups. Embassy officers spoke with more than a dozen opposition leaders and civil society representatives before, during, and after the conference… The conference was attended by 43 representatives from 13 different Eritrean opposition groups and 33 observers…EDA leaders were sensitive to criticism that they were a puppet of Ethiopia and would prefer to hold future conferences elsewhere if given sufficient funding. Lastly, three of the EDA organizations are descendants of the Eritrean Islamic Jihad, and Post would appreciate guidance from Washington, in consultation with Embassy Asmara, on how to deal with this sensitive issue…”

A  US Embassy cable[14] reports on a 26 February 2008 meeting between Joseph Stephanides, the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) Head of Addis Ababa Office and visiting members of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). It said:

“…Stephanides disclosed that the Russian DCM to Ethiopia, who he said often exceeded Moscow's instructions, told Stephanides that the Ethiopian government was attempting to set up an Eritrean government in exile with the Eritrean opposition. The Russian told Stephanides that once established, the government in exile could openly call for Ethiopian assistance and give Ethiopia international justification for removing Eritrean President Isaias. (Note: A counselor at the Russian Embassy here separately told Embassy officers the same thing.)…”

Meles Zenawi openly talked about his destabilization project with several US officials on various occasions and on one such occasion he shared his ideas with Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl Wycoff[15]. This is also the meeting during which he assured the reckless Prime Minister of Susan Rice’s support in getting the “stand alone sanctions” against Eritrea. The Embassy cable said:

“…Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles told visiting AF/DAS Wycoff and CDA on November 19 that he wanted to give the USG a "heads up" that Ethiopia was considering actively supporting armed Eritrean opposition groups if the international community fails to take action to isolate Asmara… Pressed by Wycoff to describe the "pro-active" measures being considered, Meles said one option would be to directly support opposition groups that are capable of sending "armed propaganda units" into Eritrea Meles said that the groups with the most capability to operate inside Eritrea are those "that you don't like from the lowlands, like the Keru" who he said would be "much better able to survive in Eritrea." (NOTE. The Keru are a primarily Muslim ethnic group most of whose members live in Eritrea, although a minority live in Ethiopia. END NOTE.)…”

3 March 2012, Meles Zenawi openly threatened Eritrea when he invited members of the Eritrean Quislings League. He said:

“…We will work towards changing Eritrea’s policies or its government. This could be done diplomatically, politically or through other means…” 

Today, in violation of UN rules and regulations and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter the SEMG is serving anti-Eritrea agendas using the UN as a cover, but there are also others. One such individual is Haile Menkerios, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's special envoy, who participated in a meeting organized by the Ethiopian regime in Awassa, Ethiopia. It took place around the time of Meles Zenawi’s death. For those who do not know this person, he is the former Eritrean Ambassador to the United Nations, one of the architects of the anti-Eritrea vilification and defamation campaigns that began in 2000. He abandoned the Eritrean people and was given a UN post by Kofi Annan, the then UN Secretary General at the behest of the US. Today, he is working with the Ethiopian regime to undermine Eritrea’s sovereignty and weaken Eritrea diplomatically, politically and economically.

The lawless leader of the frightened minority regime in Ethiopia has spelled it out in black and white. Considering these and other evil and bloody activities of the regime in Ethiopia against the people and government of Eritrea, it is a shame and intellectually deceptive and dishonest for the SEMG to try to portray Eritrea in such as negative light.

The UN Security Council must shoulder its moral and legal obligations and call for the unconditional removal of Ethiopia’s forces from sovereign Eritrean territories. The Security Council should also annul and repeal the ill-advised, ill-gotten, illegal, unfair and unjust sanctions against the State of Eritrea and its people.

News Release: Jega Meets Stakeholders In Ondo State Election Today

Thirteen candidates are to contest for the well publicized Ondo state governorship election scheduled for Saturday, 20th October 2012.

Those who are contesting the governorship election are: Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu Esq, Action Congress of Nigeria; Adeuti Stephen Taiye, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria; Hon. Adeyemi Bolarinwa, All Nigerian Peoples    Party;     Comr. Oladimeji T. Adegoroye, African Political System; Olaseguri Gbenga Festus, Better Nigeria Peoples Party; Builder Omoyele A. Olurunda, Change Advocacy Party; Prince O. Ehinlanwo, Congress for Progressive Change; Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Labour Party; Lawrence B. Oladipo, National Conscience Party; Abukanlu James Olusola, National Solidarity Democratic Party; Mr. Adetusin O. Victor, Peoples Democratic Change; Chief Olusola Oke, Peoples Democratic Party; and Omoregha O. Kris, Progressive Peoples Alliance.

One million, six hundred and thirty four thousand, eight hundred and eighty four (1,634,884) eligible voters have been registered by the Commission to take part in the election.

The Commission is deploying eight (8) National Commissioners and ten (10) Resident Electoral Commissioners to superintend over the election.

It is also deploying 8,906 permanent and ad hoc staff to conduct the election. A breakdown shows that the following personnel will be deployed to conduct the election:

1 Returning Officer; 18 LGA Collation Officers; 203 Registration Area (RA) Collation Officers; 19 LGA Supervisors; 3 LGA Supervisors from the NYSC; 203 Supervisory Presiding Officers; 3,009 Presiding Officers and 5,450 Assistant Presiding Officers.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega will today address stake-holders candidates, party leaders, security chiefs, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the media and observers for the last time before the Saturday election.

Emmanuel .I. Umenger,
Director, Public Affairs.