From: Berhan Sium (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 17:49:59 EDT
As we often do here in Dehai, we give credit when credit is due, as well as criticize when we find that shortcomings and mistakes from GoE organs are inexcusable. Today, I want to commend highly the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its latest press statements.
In particular, the one written today, Tuesday April 21, was timely, addressing the latest disinformation put out by shady intelligence outfits of the West and Israel. It's also well written in a measured but higly effective diplomatic language that clearly states Eritrea's position and sheds light on a lot of lies and propaganda that have been dished out against Eritrea lately.
The one on Somalia issued on April 10 was also good and clearly states Eritrea's principled position on the Somali crisis. However, there was one minor glitch in terms of wrong usage of word. In the third sentence of the first paragraph, it is stated thus:
<<It is therefore vital and timely to RECOUP and highlight the critical issues and dimensions of the problem.>> (emphasis mine)
The word RECOUP is not the right one to use here as it means "regain". The right word to use should have been RECAP, meaning to summarize.
Also, it would be good in the future if the MoFA press statements could have short descriptive titles or headlines which makes for easier reference and also alerts readers as to the content of the statement. Other than that, MoFA should continue issuing timely and professional statements like these in the future. Kudos, MoFA, and keep up the good job!
[dehai-news] MFA - Eritrea (via shabait) Press Statement
From: Eri News (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 14:23:58 EDT
By Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Apr 21, 2009, 14:42
Quoting obscure Israeli security officials, the Sunday Times published a report on April 19th claiming that "Israel and Iran are conducting rival intelligence operations in Eritrea."
The Sunday Times report further asserted: "Israel is said to have two Eritrean bases, one a 'listening post' for signals intelligence, the other a supply base for its German-built submarines, (while).. Iran has a naval base in (the Eritrean port) of Assab."
The invective against Eritrea has intensified in the past two months for reasons better known to its authors. It is nonetheless clear that it is driven by ulterior motives that transcend the fabricated, individual, events.
The main sources of these relentless vilification campaigns against Eritrea are, invariably, the key western intelligence sources that have refined the art of disinformation. Indeed, while these stories are originally concocted in the murky offices of these agencies, they are often attributed to some obscure "political dissident", "businessman" etc, in order to give them a semblance of credibility. Selected "human rights groups" (Africa Watch, CPJ etc.) and some NGOs are also being used as convenient conduits. The Sunday Times report is not thus a case of sloppy journalism. It is part and parcel of the disinformation campaign unleashed against Eritrea by these intelligence agencies with frantic intensity.
The facts are otherwise the following:
1. Israel does not have, and it never had, any base in Eritrea. But probably in order to sow discord between Eritrea and some Arab States, Israeli intelligence sources have been deliberately spreading, for the past 17 years, false rumours of a military base in the Dahlak Islands. When this lie was proven wrong beyond any shred of doubt, they appear to have come up with the new story of " two bases" . (The listening post is a throw back to the 1950s when the US acquired such a base at the Kagnew Station in Asmara, Eritrea's capital, in exchange for its support to Ethiopia's impending annexation of Eritrea).
2. Iran does not have a base in Assab or anywhere else in Eritrea. True, Eritrea and Iran have recently cultivated very warm diplomatic ties. But this is not different from the warm diplomatic ties that Eritrea enjoys with all other countries in the Middle East. Furthermore, Iran has resident embassies and much deeper economic ties with all other countries in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Sudan.
3. At a more substantive level and in terms of abstract rights, Eritrea has every prerogative and the inalienable right, as a sovereign state, to enter into military and economic alliances with any other country of its choice and in accordance with the exigencies of its national interests. If Eritrea has not provided a military base to any country so far, this emanates from its own considered choices. No other country has otherwise the right to approve or veto Eritrea's sovereign choices.
4. As pointed out above, the signing of bilateral or multilateral pacts and alliances is a matter of Eritrea's sovereign right. Eritrea does not, however, subscribe to the notion of providing military bases to other countries. Nor does it need them. Eritrea's sovereign choice has always been, and remains, that of aversion to dependency, polarized alliances and suzerainty.
5. In the context of all these well-known facts, it cannot be difficult to imagine the underlying motivation of the incessant smear campaigns.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
21 April 2009
By Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Apr 10, 2009, 14:57
After 18 years of chaos and deception, the trajectory of Somalia's journey appears to be clearer than ever before. Yet, seemingly benign efforts aimed at disrupting the journey continue without let up. It is therefore vital and timely to recoup and highlight the critical issues and dimensions of the problem.
For the last 18 years, external interferences and invasion on the one hand, and acts of warlords with narrow interests on the other, have rendered meaningless the de facto existence of a Somali State.
Eighteen years of vacuum has wreaked immeasurable devastation and suffering on the people of Somalia. Furthermore, this has been, and continues to constitute, one of the principal causes of instability in the Horn of Africa. It has not abated but seems to aggravate with time.
The vacuum that has prevailed in Somalia for the last 18 years has not only created conducive grounds for the perpetration of piracy and banditry. But, these phenomena are being misconstrued to provide suitable pretexts for external interference and to impede a genuine resolution.
In the event, the only viable solution is the reconstitution of Somalia by the Somalis themselves and the facilitation of an enabling environment for launching the process in earnest. All other alternatives, packaged under any mantle, will only corrode the potential opportunities and aggravate the complexity. And above all, they will not have any legitimacy for the following simple and clear reasons:
1. In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, there exists only one, unitary, sovereign Somalia that has hoisted its flag. There is no other Somali entity. In the event, the United Nations and its Security Council have no moral or legal authority to recognize any other reality. The same applies to other international and regional organizations.
2. "Somaliland", "Puntland" and other "lands" may have emerged on the political landscape as a result of well-known causes and their obvious ramifications. Nonetheless, endorsement of the phenomena under the guise of stable "havens" and keeping the matter in limbo while preventing the Somali people from resolving it in a manner of their choosing will only perpetuate their suffering and exacerbate the chaos. The United Nations and Security Council do not have the authority or responsibility to recognize and accept these dispersed "lands" outside, or against the will, of the Somali people.
3. It is the right of, and incumbent upon, the whole Somali people, to determine the issues of "Somaliland", "Puntland" or other lands, by exercising their free will during the process of reconstitution or in its aftermath. This cannot be usurped by any other party.
4. Governments fabricated or installed externally under various labels of "transition" outside the due process of law and contrary to the wishes of the Somali people cannot be imbued with legitimacy and recognition as the duly constituted Government of a sovereign Somalia. Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that these schemes only hamper the opportunity for the people of Somalia to find early solutions besides aggravating the turmoil in the Horn of Africa region.
5. External interventions carried out under any name or pretext on behalf of illegitimate governments cannot have any legal foundation. Their primary objective is in fact to precipitate the fragmentation of Somalia and to forestall genuine efforts at finding a lasting solution. As such, they must be thwarted and deplored.
6. All schemes set in motion and/or conferences convened in the name of these illegal governments with the aim of legitimizing these illicit processes as "fait accompli" cannot be acceptable as they are devoid of any legality.
The people and Government of Eritrea do not have any other stance or policy that deviates from these basic legal considerations and concerns of regional security. Unless they harbour other ulterior motives, any other people or Government would not, for that matter, have a differing stance on this matter.
Attempts at portraying the position and policies of the people and Government of Eritrea as prompted by allegiance to certain individuals are deliberate acts of disinformation that do not merit serious rebuttal.
Moreover, groundless accusations of associating Eritrea with "terrorism" or as pursuing a "proxy war" emanate from the same base motives of stifling the voice and true stance of the people and Government of Eritrea.
In the circumstances and especially at this crucial time, the Government of Eritrea urges the UN and its organs to desist from taking unwarranted measures that exacerbate and prolong the suffering of the Somali people; that maintain the existing vacuum and limbo; and that deepen the crisis in the Horn of Africa.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 10, 2009