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At UN, Eritrea Gets “Bashed” Despite Badme Land Claim, Sanctions Threatened

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 -- Last month Eritrea asked the UN Security Council to meet with it, and on Tuesday the meeting was granted. Also present, however, were representatives from Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda, who “bashed Eritrea” as one Permanent Representative leaving the meeting told Inner City Press.

The Council wanted the meeting to be closed to the press and public, but cannot invite non Council members into its consultations. So it was called an interactive dialogue and was held not in the Council chambers but on the second floor of the UN's temporary North Lawn building.

  Chinese Deputy Permanent Representative Wang shook his head and told Inner City Press he did not think the Council could solve this problem.

  In the middle of the meeting, French Ambassador Gerard Araud emerged, bought a pastry and stood eating it while studying a three dimensional carving of the 1269 B.C. treaty of Hattusilis and Ramses II, given to the UN by Turkey in 1970. Next to him was a stone carving given to the UN by Syria, a topic he's said to have raised in the Council's consultations on July 18.

  Passing to reporters, Araud quipped of the Eritrea meeting, “They are not kissing each other.”

  Another Permanent Representative bemoaned the format that developed for the meeting, saying that further “Eritrea bashing is not productive."

Eritrea Perm Rep Araya Desta, present at the meeting

  Another added, of Eritrea, “they are isolated in their neighborhood, their neighbors do not like their foreign policy including in Somalia.”

  Inside Eritrea emphasized that while it had won a court decision that Badme and other land belongs to it and not Ethiopia, the decision has not been implemented. One Council member said that additional sanctions may be imposed on Eritrea.

This seems like a spiral: where will it end? Watch this site.

Footnote: the last we heard from Eritrea at the UN, one of their representatives gave a long speech at dawn before the meeting to approve the UN Peacekeeping budget could be approved. Eritrea at the UN is always well spoken....

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At UN on Eritrea, Badme Is In Eye of Beholder, Meles Ego Blocks a Deal?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- On Eritrea's request the UN Security Council will meet on July 19. But the meeting is now turned against Eritrea, with not only Ethiopia and Somalia but also Djibouti, Uganda and other set to attend.

  “Eritrea is going to get its [behind] kicked,” a Security Council member told Inner City Press on Monday night. “They're not going to know what hit them.”

When Eritrea's president met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on July 8, he asked for “three hours” to make his case, including against sanctions. But sanctions aren't set by Ban Ki-moon, but rather by the Council.

Just like last September, when Eritrea got thrown out of a meeting on Somalia at the last minute at the insistence of Uganda, now it will be barrage on Tuesday afternoon.

   But as more than one Council member told Inner City Press, why not pressure Ethiopia to give back the strip of land in Badme that Eritrea won? “They they'd have no leg to stand on,” as one member put it. “Meles Zenawi is ready to give it back, but he doesn't want Eritrea gloating about it.”

  This from a person who called Eritrea repressive, accusing it of not giving passports to any male between 20 and 40 years old.

  Will the solution to this problem have to await the next generation of leaders? Watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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