From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jan 15 2010 - 11:01:35 EST
Why is the Sanction on Eritrea Illegitimate?
Kalekristos Zerisenay, Jan 15, 2010
The Security Council has adopted a resolution that imposes sanction over
Eritrea. Following this, media outlets and analysts were busy commenting
about the consequence of the sanction on Eritrea. It is amazing not to
hear comments that question the legality of the adopted resolution. For
practical reasons, however, looking into the legitimacy of the decision
is better than worrying about its effects.
By all parameters the adopted resolution is illegitimate as the tabled
accusations are baseless. The Uganda-tabled first draft resolution had
claimed Eritrea to have supported Somali insurgents militarily,
financially and politically. Moreover, the draft resolution has included
a long-shelved file that accuses Eritrea of occupying Djiboutian
territory. Despite being out of procedure to table different cases as
one document, the Council tolerated this break of rule of procedure
certainly in an attempt to appease those behind the motion who want to
complicate the matter. But the claim "Eritrea arms Somali insurgents"
did not last long as there was no evidence of arms shipment from Eritrea
to Somalia. As such, although the "perpetrators" could not bring
evidence that proves Eritrea's financial support to "insurgents", making
use of its fluidity, the final draft resolution relied more on matters
that suit confusion.
The very concern of the countries which masterminded this resolution was
not peace and security. Rather, it was devised to achieve some kind of
political goal. Few western nations and their African surrogates have
long been devising a mechanism to attack Eritrea not because of what
they call "its destructive role" in Somalia's situation but due to the
country's unprecedented independent political line in black Africa.
The mandate of the Security Council was to serve as enforcing machinery,
which international law lacks. But its undemocratic nature mainly
attributable to the system of the veto power, and its permanent and
non-permanent membership mechanism has complicated world politics.
Instead of enforcing justice according to the rules of international
law, the world body's session hall has become a market place where
national interests are traded. The final days of the resolution prove
this. During those days the Security Council was busy negotiating
interests. Some African nations agreed to sell their vote in exchange
for bribe or tolerance from the super power for their "wrong doings" in
domestic and regional politics. And perhaps some of the countries may
have bartered their vote for genetically modified corn. But the major
exchange of interests was between the permanent members. There is no
doubt that the Five-P have compromised over Eritrea in a bid to narrow
their divergent positions on other "major" issues.
By adopting a resolution that imposes sanction on Eritrea, the Security
Council has blatantly violated international law. The following are some
of the many questions that the world body should ask itself:
. If the Security Council sanctioned Eritrea for unfounded "occupation"
of the Djiboutian territory, which, has an 18 months life span, why did
it keep silent on Ethiopia that occupied Eritrean territory, which the
International Court of Justice has given its verdict upon eight years
. How does the arms embargo correspond with Eritrea's sovereign right to
defend its territorial integrity, and perhaps reclaim its occupied
territory? Would not this decision encourage Ethiopia's act of
aggression, and be a threat to international peace and security?
In view of this, the Security Council, which inherently has a law
enforcing mandate has itself violated international law. Unless the
sanction on Eritrea is lifted soon, the decision will have dire
precedence in the Horn of Africa and in the world as well, and may
become a cause for further instability in the region.
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