Sanction Watch: Part 3
The Legal Struggle against PFDJ
What is US government’s understanding of UNSCR- 2023?
By Seyoum Tesfaye
For those who did not see it I would like to share this information with purpose of laying the foundation for the legal campaign we need to wage to concertize Resolution1907 and 2023 and other relevant resolutions in the counties where we reside as required by the UNSC rule and regulation.
The website of the US Embassy in Asmara has managed to summarize the essence of Resolution 2023 in the following manner:
Embassy Statement on UNSCR 2023:
“On Monday, December 5 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolution 2023 imposing targeted sanctions on the Government of the State of Eritrea and condemning its continued support for terrorism and destabilizing acts in the Horn of Africa. The Security Council carefully crafted sanctions that would not harm the Eritrean people.
Resolution 2023 strengthens the provisions of the December 2009 UNSC Resolution 1907, which imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea and a travel ban and asset freeze on some of Eritrea’s military and political leaders. The additional measures are designed to curb the Government of Eritrea’s use of its mining sector and “diaspora tax” to fund and support regional destabilization and terrorism. These sanctions do not burden the Eritrean people because they do not cut off investment or funding flows. Rather, these guidelines are targeted at limiting the Eritrean government’s ability to use these resources to fund its illicit activities.
The UNSC is a multilateral, consensus driven body, and with this resolution it underscores the international community’s resolve to maintain peace and stability in the region. The United States and twelve other nations voted in favor of the resolution to send a clear message to the Government of Eritrea that it must cease all violations of prior UN Security Council resolutions”.
The succinct interpretation presented with clarity and precision conveys the true essence of Resolution 2023 and its organic relation to Resolution 1907.
What is the central reason why this additional sanction was imposed on the Eritrean government?
“United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolution 2023 imposing targeted sanctions on the Government of the State of Eritrea and condemning its continued support for terrorism and destabilizing acts in the Horn of Africa.” (Emphasis added).
We are dealing with a government that is deliberately supporting terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Moving forward we have to assume that American policy vis-à-vis the regime in Asmara has to be anchored on demanding the government of Eritrea “...must cease all violations of prior UN Security Council resolutions”. What can we infer from this precise documentation by the US Embassy (extension of the State Department) in Asmara? One thing is sure: it is not a perfunctory PR posting. The statement has substance and backbone. We can be cautiously optimistic in moving forward to access various US government departments, which share the responsibility of implementing (domesticating) this prolific summation into actual concrete policy based on the tone and seriousness of the statement.
According to the confidential cable sent by Ambassador Rosemery Dicarlo from USUN office on 11/24/2009, almost a month before resolution 1907 was passed by UNSC, the Eritrean representative at UN, Ambassador Desta, repeated the party line accusation that Eritrea has been a “victim of U.S. interest since the 1950s” to Ambassador Dicarlo.
In the same conversation (November 18, 2009) he told here:
“that Eritrea wants good relations with the US and the two countries share the common goal of peace and security in the Horn of Africa.” If this is not an outrageous dark humor what else it could be?
He proceeded by listing the number of possible areas where Eritrea and The US can cooperate:
“…anti-terrorism and anti-piracy, and the use of Eritrean ports by “U.S. Marines” (cable date 2009-11-24-reference 09USUNNEWYORK1068)
He resurrected Girma Asmerome’s “Coalition of the Willing period” proposal of offering US Marines access to Eritrean sea ports- in a desperate attempt at bribing a superpower just to avoid a foregone sanction. A petulant government the kind led by Isaias will offer the same sea ports to the Iranian regime or the Russians without blinking an eye.
What will the Eritrean regime offer US, EU and Australia to get out of jail and still play monopoly this time? Who can say? Desperate regimes do desperate things. The Asmara regime is the most desperate of all.
It is our duty to find the right channels and procedures to convey to the US government (as well as other governments) this kind of unprincipled government cannot be a partner in the noble effort of constructing peace in the Horn of Africa. The strong and principled summation of Resolution 2023 by the US embassy in Asmara must be the guiding light and line moving forward. As US moves out of Iraq and Afghanistan the Horn of Africa will become even more strategic in the humongous effort to contain and defeat terrorist of all kind hovering around the strategic Horn zone. The fancier and organizer of Al Shebab has to be denied access to all illicit funds and revenues sources. The first place to start is for the US government to bring an end to the illegal collection of “Diaspora Tax “within its border”. We can help to some extent.
Disclaimer: The opinion presented in this posting is my point of view and only my point of view.