5,000 Eritreans rally against UN sanctions
Agence France-Presse February 22, 2010
GENEVA – Some 5,000 Eritreans from around Europe rallied on Monday in front of the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva to protest against UN Security Council sanctions on Eritrea, police said.
The demonstrators waved Eritrean flags and carried banners such as “No to sanctions based on lies,” and “Eritrea will never go on its knees”.
The Security Council in December voted for an arms embargo and targeted sanctions against Eritrea, which has been accused of trying to destabilize the Western-backed government in neighbouring Somalia.
One of the organizers of the rally in Geneva, who declined to be named, told AFP that members of the Eritrean diaspora had travelled to the Swiss city from 14 European nations.
A spokesman from police in Geneva said about 5,000 people took part in the protest, which passed off peacefully.
Other demonstrations were staged in the Australian capital Canberra and in San Francisco, while the Eritrean community gathered in Saudi Arabia, according to an Eritrean government website.
Asmara has condemned the sanctions decision, which includes a travel ban on senior officials, as “a shameful day” for the United Nations.
The Security Council accused Eritrean leaders of aiding Somali rebels and pressed Asmara to withdraw troops immediately from disputed territories along its frontier with Djibouti.
Eritreans protest at San Francisco City Hall (ABC/KGO)
Monday, February 22, 2010
San Francisco News
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Hundreds of protesters slowed traffic near city hall
in San Francisco Monday morning.
The group is protesting against new U.N. sanctions on the small African
country of Eritrea. They are part of a coordinated worldwide day of
demonstration. The U.N. accuses Eritrea of supporting Islamist rebels in
The sanctions include an arms embargo, travel ban and freezing the assets of
several businesses and senior government officials.
Protesters say the sanctions are based on false accusations.
Eritrean citizens in the Diaspora voice determination for the success of the national resistance drive
Asmara, 10 February 2010 (Shabait)- Eritrean nationals residing in different parts of the world held meetings during which they reiterated readiness to back up the national resistance drive through standing alongside the people and the Government.
Accordingly, Eritrean citizens residing in the German city of Berlin and the Austrian city of Vienna lauded the implementation of development programs which are essentially aimed at improving the people’s standard of living and ensure economic emancipation. They voiced determination to rebuff enemy acts of conspiracy designed to impede the national development drive. In this respect, the citizens expressed readiness to take active participation in the worldwide demonstration scheduled to be staged on February 22.
In briefings he gave, the Eritrean Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Petros Tsegai, emphasized the paramount importance of reinforcing national unity, raising awareness and demonstrating active participation in national programs connected with the nation-building process.
Similarly, Eritrean citizens living in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel, and the US city of Columbus stated that the Eritrean people have managed to foil the war of aggression and other multifaceted acts of conspiracy over the past 10 years thanks to their firm national unity and steadfastness. The achievements being registered on the basis of the principle of self-reliance fully attest to the nation’s bright future, the nationals elaborated.
Also in a similar meeting they conducted, Eritreans living in Kenya expressed conviction that the temporary challenges would be met through strengthening unity of ranks and steadfastness. They further called on every national to enhance contribution for the success of the national resistance drive.
The Eritrean Ambassador to Kenya, Mr. Saleh Omar, gave briefings on the objective situation in the Homeland, the implementation of development programs and the national resistance drive. He also called on the nationals to step up participation in all-round development endeavors.
Eritrea’s Economic Potential said to be Bright
Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA):
For Immediate Release, January 16, 2010
Action Group for Eritrea (AGE) deplores sanctions against Eritrea
Press Release – 05 January 2010
On Wednesday December 23 2009, the UN Security Council, through Resolution 1907 (2009), imposed a number of sanctions against Eritrea. The pretext behind the sanctions is that Eritrea has been providing support to the insurgents in Somalia as well as refusing to withdraw its troops to the ‘status quo ante’ prior to the little known conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea around their common border.
S/RES/1907 (2009) was passed despite a telling absence of credible evidence to support the allegations that were made against Eritrea. On Wednesday December 23 2009, a few hours before the sanctions were passed, members of AGE and representatives of other British based Eritrean organisations including the Eritrean Youth Association in the UK (EYAUK) and Eritrean Relief Association in UK (ERA-UK), held a meeting with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
During the meeting, the representatives presented a strong case pointing to the flaws of accusations made against Eritrea. We stated that the body of evidence that had been put forward as proof by the UN Arms Monitoring Group was rife with unfounded fabrications and unqualified false claims that cannot be independently verified. According to the FCO however, the British government had in fact evidence to demonstrate that the Eritrean government has been extending financial support to two ‘insurgent’ groups in Somalia. When they were asked to disclose what this evidence is, or indeed what kind of support the Eritrean government has allegedly been providing, we were told that the information was classified and could not be made available to us. Furthermore, the British Ambassador to the UN could not even make the so-called evidence available to other members of the Security Council before it voted on Resolution 1907 (2009). We challenged many of their accusations and whilst we received their seemingly undivided attention, we came away certain that the British government had no evidence available, proving that its aim was just a case of hit-now-and-explain-later, as has been the case in the past.
The Action Group for Eritrea, after careful and detailed consideration of the matter, takes the following stand:
Given that no credible evidence has been presented that could have justified the sanction and that the decision of the UN Security Council is made based on fabricated lies;
Being aware of the fact that the motives for taking the sanctions are not in any way intended to bring peace to Somalia or the region as a whole;
Fully convinced that the conflict in Somalia and the crises in the region as a whole are perpetuated by external forces and that Eritrea is being used as a scapegoat;
Considering that the UN Security Council failed to shoulder its responsibility of taking action against Ethiopia for violating the final and binding legal decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and illegally occupying Eritrea’s sovereign territory to this day;
Noting that the UN Arms Monitoring Group made equal allegations against Ethiopia in violating the Somali Arms Embargo, but has remained unaffected by any threats or sanctions;
Bearing in mind that the UN Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee admits that “eighty percent of ammunition available at the Somali arms markets was supplied by TFG and Ethiopian troops”, as well as AMISOM troops;
Aware of the historical injustices perpetuated by the same international body in 1950 in forcing the federation between Eritrea and Ethiopia which led to the 30 years of bloody war;
Understanding that the consequences of the sanctions would be detrimental to the ordinary people of Eritrea;
We strongly believe, in view of the above, that the decision of the UN Security Council is politically motivated and is intended to weaken Eritrea as well as create an imbalance of power in the region. The sanctions, as well as laying down an arms embargo against Eritrea, the freezing of assets and travel ban on Eritrean government officials, are mainly aimed at creating an Eritrea that is economically and militarily weak. We hold the UN Security Council responsible for any deterioration in peace and security of the region as a result of this irresponsible action.
We also deplore the actions of the British government for being one of the main architects of this historic injustice and for playing a negative role in the region for the past ten years.
Hence, the Action Group for Eritrea joins hands with the overwhelming majority of the Eritrean people in condemning this unmerited action by the UN Security Council which will be remembered as yet another historic betrayal of a member state. We urge the UN Security Council members to reconsider and revoke the unjust sanction and make amends with the people and State of Eritrea.
While the people of Eritrea will no doubt outlive these sanctions, they will never forget those who have played a leading role in this flagrant attempt to harm them. Nor shall the people overlook the role of the peripheral countries which willingly played various parts in this concerted effort to debase Eritreans.
At this historic juncture, we stand with the people of Eritrea and commit ourselves to defend the interest of the people of Eritrea and work to bring peace and stability in the region. We do not have a shred of doubt that the people of Eritrea and justice will prevail yet again.