The present mandate on Eritrea was established in 2012 as a continuation of the external threats pursued by the US and its western allies. Accordingly, harassment tools including the UN sanction imposed on Eritrea in the pretext of alleged Eritrea’s support to “terrorism/Al Shebab’ were applied to make Eritrea malleable and accept their diktat, especially on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) international award that they wanted to illegally alter at the expense of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
In this context, the SR complemented by the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea until it was retracted after 2 years, were established to vilify, isolate and destabilize Eritrea and served as a continuation of conflict in the Horn of Africa. The TPLF minority government in Ethiopia served this ill intent until it was ousted from power in 2018 ushering for new dynamics of peace.
The fact is however, that human right is mainstreamed in Eritrea’s nation-building program, but like any nation, Eritrea faces human rights challenges which the government continuously works to address. But there is no human rights crisis that warrants its treatment under HRC special mandate as any challenges can better be addressed through the UPR and other engagements.
On the onset, the rapporteur has devoted substantial portion of the report to the situation in Tigray region on Ethiopia overstepping his mandate and thus my delegation will not respond to any part of the extraneous report. We also deeply regret that the mandate holder attacked the national service program which is the backbone of Eritrea’s national defense capabilities ascertaining the right of self-defense, the right to live in peace without any threat and defend its sovereignty.
In essence, the Report at hand as usual lacks objectivity and is compounded by failures that violate the Code of Conduct of Special Procedures. Moreover, it is irresponsible that the SR again comes with unsubstantiated information from selected, anonymous and dubious sources through remote monitoring aiming to label baseless allegations previously clarified and rejected and will not respond again to these outrageous allegations.
After the restoration of the Eritrea-Ethiopia peace in 2018 with implications to the revitalization of the Horn of Africa regional dynamics, the Tigray crisis has been invented to abort this new dynamics and re-assert US and western ally’s geopolitical agendas in the new reality of the shifting global order. Simultaneous failed insurrectional attacks were thus waged to change the Eritrean Government and in parallel reinstate the TPLF clique back into power in Ethiopia. It is unacceptable that the mandate holder fails to condemn the national security threats and the illegal UCMs imposed on Eritrea by the USA and EU.
In the context of the law enforcement measures taken by the Ethiopian government, it is unacceptable that the Tigray crisis has been exploited for scapegoating Eritrea through unfounded human rights allegations including obstruction of humanitarian assistance by Eritrean forces. My delegation totally rejects the allegations.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the SR report at hand is again crafted only to level the ground for the continuation of the unfair and unjust mandate which has not created dividend and my delegation thus calls on delegates to;
1. acknowledge and support Eritrea’s ground reality, and its modest effort to consolidate the emerging regional dynamics of peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa
2. oppose any draft resolution aiming at the extension of the mandate
3. support the ongoing Eritrea’s UPR process and implementation