The Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea is NOT “Dead” Yet

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After three years of work, the COI report on Eritrea have failed miserably to impress its chief sponsor, the U.S, and many of the Council members for lack of accuracy, objectivity, partiality, integrity and credibility. But that doesn’t mean the report is defeated altogether. 

By Aghade*,

Two weeks ago, Eritreans around the world celebrated soon after it was announced that the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) did not accept the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (COIE) as something accurate and well researched. Now that the dust has settled and the anti-Eritrea groups and their sponsors have begun to re-group again, it’s important for Eritreans and friends of Eritrea to know what happened at HRC meeting and what’s awaiting around the corner.

Though the report of COIE was not accepted by the council for being biased, flawed and full of exaggerated stories, it’s surely not “dead” yet, as some have stated. This is because the sponsors of the Commission have not given up on the underlying objective through the COIE – mainly the US, UK and the Ethiopian regime. Don’t take my word for it, read the HRC resolution (A/HRC/32/L.5/Rev.1) and listen to the speeches given at the meeting.

Overall, the HRC subtle rejection of the key elements of the report and the language of the resolution they adopted without a vote only highlighted the new strategy of the sponsors: to pursue a witch-hunt campaign against Eritrea. After heavy lobbying by the US, UK and the three members of COIE, the HRC resolution went to a great length to rationalize the decision to extend the mandate of Special Rapporteur (SR), Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth, for another year. Just as I predicted in my previous writings, the HRC resolution explicitly asks the SR to conduct “further investigations” and travels to Eritrea to supposedly collect evidence of “systematic” human right violations.

Knowing what we know today about Ms. Keetharuth’s work with the COIE and her politically biased views on Eritrea, clearly, the same danger is lurking around the corner. Ms Keetharuth has been given her marching orders to pick up the pieces and try all over again. And this time the sponsors are going to be a bit tricky, since they are taking the case to both UN General Assembly and African Union. Eritrean diplomats and their advisors have their work cut out for them.

Indeed, the report of COIE is far off from “dead”.

At this juncture, I strongly believe that the general public has a critical role to play in the fight against this upcoming case to expose the lies, calculated disinformation, and false rumors that will soon target Eritrea and its leaders. This time we know, more or less, what is coming and there is no excuse for each and every-one of us (Eritreans and friends of Eritrea) to sit and wait for Keetharuth and her sponsors to lay the groundwork (as usual by spreading the same/new lies) to achieve their original objectives – i.e. destroy the institutions the Eritrean government draws its strength from, mainly patriotism, unity, confidence, work ethic, national service, etc.

At a risk of overstepping my bounds, I am challenging everyone (especially those with skills and access to information) to roll up your sleeves and write, and write and write (early and frequently) with laser-focus to:

1) expose each lies (large and small) that will soon begin to swirl in the world-wide-web,

2) call attention to implicit and explicit anti-Eritrea bias of the SR and her sponsors, and make it difficult for them to deflect attention from their politically motivated approach, and

3) inform the world at large that Eritrea has the willpower to march on and defeat any aggression (foreign or domestic).

As always, together we can and we will defeat this challenge… as this is the challenge of this generation and challenge that we must win to face the next challenge of building a peaceful, unified, prosperous and democratic Eritrea.