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CAR Sanctions Half-Public, Somalia Eritrea Entirely Closed, But Leaked in Memo

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 10, more here on Beacon Reader (also on Palestine, here) -- The UN Security Council met on July 10 on two sets of sanctions: Somalia - Eritrea and Central African Republic. But only on CAR was the briefing made public. Why?

  The chair on Somalia Eritrea sanctions is South Korea; on CAR it is Lithuania. The latter's Permanent Representative Raimonda Murmokaite asked to make the CAR sanctions briefing open.

  But even then, while she described a June 23 "security incident" on the Chad - CAR border, she provided no more details except alluding to a note verbale from Chad. (On CAR, also see this.)

  The CAR sanctions committee website has 15 member states' reports, but none from Chad nor the reference note verbale. The new Free UN Coalition for Access asks why not - and why even greater secrecy on Somalia and Eritrea?

  This secrecy makes more prominent a leaked Ethiopian Minister of Foreign affairs memo about Eritrea and sanctions.

  As obtained by Inner City Press, the memo by Ethiopian Minister Berhane Gebrekiristos bragged that “the P3 countries have been supportive of sanctions against Eritrea... The former US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Susan Rice, was instrumental in adopting the sanctions. The current US Permanent Representative, Ambassador Samantha Power, may not be as strong on Eritrea. But since Ambassador Susan Rice is serving as the National Security Adviser of President Obama, she will ensure the continuation of the US's policy of sanctions Eritrea.”

Inner City Press covered the 2011 Eritrea sanctions fight, here.

   The memo goes on, “France has supported the imposition of sanctions against Eritrea, primarily due to the conflict with Djibouti.” It says “meetings with the UK Permanent Representatives have confirmed that the UK will not change its position.”

  Non-permanent members are also reviewed: “the Eritrean president has participated in the independence day of Chad in 2011 but we don't believe Chad will be supportive of Eritrea's efforts to lift the sanctions.”

  Then, “Lithuania has a good relationship with the US and as a member of the EU it tends to implement the common position of the Union... Australia and South Korea tend to take positions similar to that of the US. Jordan has assigned non-resident Ambassador to Eritrea... During its previous membership of the UNSC, Chile had expressed that in accordance to international law Eritrea has a better legal case.”

  One problem, the memo says, is the last report of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group: “Italy, Norway, Kenya and Somalia who were mentioned in the report also criticized the Group. The Group's reports exposed the rampant corruption in the Somali Government.”

  As Inner City Press first reported, Somalia asked that the chair of the SEMG be fired; Kenya declared one of the Group's members persona non-grata.

  So, the Ethiopian memo counsels, Ethiopian diplomats should “facilitate the resolution of the misunderstanding the group has with Kenya and Somalia.” Good luck.

 Ethiopia's Mission to the UN, for the record, directed Inner City Press to its Foreign Ministry's publication "A Week in the Horn of Africa," while denying "conspiracy theories involving the CIA." Inner City Press has not reported in this connection at all on the CIA, so it is not clear to it what is being denied. And while the memo is from February 2014, the "Week in the Horn" section of the Ethiopian ministry's website jumps from January 2014 up to April 2014. Watch this site.



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