In a timely appeal addressed to the UN Secretary General as well as to the UN Security Council and copied to all heads of delegations to the 41st Session of UN Human Rights Council opened in Geneva today, 24 June, the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) urged the UN to act upon its pledges, including the so far “forgotten” conclusions of its own Commission of Inquiry on human rights abuses in Eritrea which were believed to be “crimes against humanity.
The message, issued by the EPDP Chairman Menghesteab Asmerom, took note of the growing “Enough is Enough” wave of protests by Eritreans everywhere, and urged the UN system to kindly help a smooth change in Eritrea by putting more pressure on the reckless regime in Asmara. The 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council was also urged to follow up on the conclusions of its own commission of inquiry. (Full text of the relatively short EPDP message is printed below).
UN Security Council has the duty to act upon findings of the commission of inquiry on Eritrea
To: H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres,
UN Secretary General, New York
CC: Member States of the UN Security Council,
The UN Human Rights Council,
Dear UN Secretary General Guterres,
Dear UN Security Council Members,
As the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council opens in Geneva today, 24 June, the vast majority of Eritreans, who are now rallying for democratic change under the slogan of “Enough is Enough,” deserve the attention of your esteemed offices. Eritreans still hope that UN system, which faltered on Eritrean issues several times in the past, may now help in finding a peaceful resolution for its current problems before the already disastrous situation gets much worse, trailing it very bad consequences on the region as a whole. Acting now, even belatedly, on the 2016 recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea could be a helpful first step to end the human suffering in small and still poor Eritrea.
Dear SG and Madams/Sirs,
The international community is well aware that the UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in Eritrea concluded in its report of June 2016 that it had reasonable grounds to believe that “crimes against humanity” have been committed in Eritrea since 1991. It listed the crimes to have included enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, rape and murder. The commission affirmed that without substantial legal and institutional reform, Eritrea is not capable of providing accountability to these crimes and violations. It therefore recommended that “the [UN] Security Council refer the situation in Eritrea to the Prosecutor of the International Court [of Justice] for consideration, and that the States Members of the United Nations exercise their obligation to prosecute or extradite any individual suspected of international crimes present on the territory.”
It is now three years since the conclusions and recommendations of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea have been submitted for further action of the UN Secretary General and the Security Council. Sadly, the Eritrean people have not yet heard a word on this from both.
All recent reports confirm that nothing is changing in the Eritrean situation. On the contrary, everyone is watching it worsening by the day, probably until it eventually becomes a real cause of instability in the Horn of Africa region and beyond.
We therefore call upon the esteemed offices of the Secretary General and the Security Council to pick up the forgotten report of the UN COI on Eritrea and act upon its pertinent conclusions and recommendations without further delay.
In the meantime, the current 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council is urged to consider asking again the UN Secretary General and the Security Council to act upon those recommendations for action on Eritrea.
Menghesteab Asmerom, Chairman,
The Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP) in exile.
24 June, 2019