(Joint Eritrean Memorandum)
In a joint memorandum dated 18 September 2018, three Eritrean organizations urged the new UN Human Rights Commissioner, Ms Michele Bachelet, to keep the Eritrean regime "under close scrutiny” and never allow it to escape accountability on the monstrous human rights abuses it perpetrated against its own people during the past quarter of a century.
Also copied to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and to the African Union Commission chairman, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the memorandum asked the UN system and concerned international and regional humanitarian bodies to do more than simply asking the rogue regime in Asmara to end its military conscription project.
The Eritrean message alluded to the case of G-15 prisoners and the tens of thousands of Eritreans prisoners who were joined by ex-Finance Minister Berhane Abrehe on 17 September 2018, and called for the full attention of the UN towards implementing the 2016 findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry and the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council.
Issued by the Eritrean National Salvation (ENS-Hidri), the Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP), and the Unity of Eritreans for Justice (UEJ), the joint memorandum also referred to the ongoing 'under-the-table-deals' of the unrepresentative Eritrean regime with Ethiopia and other countries and said such deals will not be acceptable to the voiceless Eritrean people.
The joint memorandum emphatically added: "Peace in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea basin can and should start with peace at home. So far this is not the case in Eritrea".
Reproduced below is the full text of the joint Eritrean memo of 18 September 2018.
Joint Eritrean Message to the UN Human Rights Chief
To: H.E. Ms. Michele Bachelet,
UN HR Commissioner, OHCHR Geneva
CC: H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres,
UN Secretary General, New York
CC: H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman
African Union Commission, Addis Ababa
18 September, 2018
Your Excellency Ms. Michele Bachelet,
Please accept from us, Eritreans struggling for democratic change and justice, heartfelt congratulations for your deserved election to lead the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a UN body from which Eritreans expect as much action as they wait for the appropriate action of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to act on the 2016 findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea.
We appreciate, Madam, your 10 September statement in support of the peace accord between Eritrea and Ethiopia although we also expected you to say more than just reminding the repressive Eritrean regime to act on its indefinite military conscription.
What Eritreans still expect from your esteemed office is, Madam High Commissioner, to mobilize the international community towards implementing the decisions of the UN Human Rights Council and the repeated recommendations of the UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur on Eritrea whose periodical updates confirm that nothing is changing in our country.
Dear OHCHR High Commissioner,
We are taking the liberty of confirming to you that arbitrary arrests and all kinds of criminal abuses are continued to this day in Eritrea, and one finds it needless to remind the OHCHR that the Eritrean regime must be kept “under close scrutiny” until all the abuses are stopped. In this regard, we wish to point out that your esteemed office as well as the UN Secretary General’s office are expected per the conclusions of the UN Human Rights Council to “Ensure accountability for those responsible for serious human rights violations in Eritrea.” Eritreans always find it important to underline that our people are expecting the UN system as a whole and all concerned actors like the African Union to see to it that the border ruling between Eritrea and Ethiopia is implemented as agreed two decades ago, and that no ‘under the table deals’ between the unrepresentative regime in Eritrea and Ethiopia will be acceptable to the Eritrean people. Peace in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea basin can and should start with peace at home. So far this is not the case in Eritrea.
Finally, we wish to note that it was on 18 September, 17 years ago to the day, that the repressive regime in Asmara arrested 11 top officials of the regime and attended their number to the tens of thousands of Eritrean political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who languish in incommunicado prisons without a day at court. Ex-Finance Minister Berhane Abrehe, who recently published a book on the sad situation in Eritrea, was reportedly taken to prison yesterday, 17 September 2018.
That is why, Madam, that Eritreans expect more from the UN system than just asking the Asmara regime to act on its “indefinite military conscription”.
The Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP)
United Eritreans for Justice (UEJ)
The Eritrean National Salvation (ENS-Hidri)