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  • Eritrea escapes U.N. Security Council referral over human rights

    GENEVA (Reuters) - Eritrea may escape censure by the U.N. Security Council over its human rights record after the U.N. Human Rights Council passed a watered-down resolution against the African state on Friday.

    A U.N. investigation set up by the Human Rights Council said last month that Eritrea's leaders should be tried for crimes against humanity, including torture, rape, murder and enslaving hundreds of thousands of people.

    The investigators, who published a 484-page report a year ago detailing the crimes and the country's use of a "vast security network", recommended that the situation in the country to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

    But the resolution on Eritrea passed by the Human Rights Council on Friday merely requested that the U.N. General Assembly in New York submit the investigators' work to "relevant organs of the UN for consideration and urgent action".

    An earlier draft had said the General Assembly should involve the Security Council to hold wrong-doers accountable via the "appropriate international and/or regional criminal justice mechanism".

    The council did "strongly encourage" the African Union to mount an investigation and bring suspects to justice, but its treatment of Eritrea is more conciliatory than its actions against North Korea, subject of an earlier U.N. investigation.

    The text of the Eritrea resolution, which was initiated by Somalia and Djibouti, was watered down after several countries - among them the United States and China - objected to the tough language.

    At a drafting meeting earlier in the week, U.S. diplomat Eric Richardson said the Eritrea report did not have "the same level of sophistication and precision" as the report on North Korea and the United States could not support the language of the text without revisions.

    Eritrea has rejected all the allegations in the U.N. investigators' report. Ghebreab Yemane, an adviser to President Isaias Afwerki, told the council the resolution was unfair, unjust and a deliberate U.S. and European attempt to "ratchet up harassment of Eritrea."

    "Its grave consequences will not be limited to Eritrea but will engulf the entire region," he said. "This resolution will be used and abused to fan the flames of war."

    Eritrea and its neighbour Ethiopia have both accused the other of sparking a border clash on June 12.

    Yemane blamed Ethiopia for "some of the worst human rights abuses and massacres of its people", saying it was ironic that Ethiopia could use the council to lobby for the adoption of the resolution against Eritrea.

    (Reporting by Tom Miles, editing by Larry King)

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  • Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia protest against their president

    (BBC) Hundreds of Eritrean refugees living in Ethiopia are demonstrating in the capital, Addis Ababa, in support of the UN's recent human rights report into Eritrea, known as the Commission of Inquiry, that said there were systematic crimes against humanity. 

    "It is not law that rules Eritreans - but fear," the report said, which details allegations of extrajudicial killings, sexual slavery and enforced labour. 

    The government described the report as "politically motivated and groundless".   

    The protesters are carrying banners calling for Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to be taken to the International Criminal Court. 

    Read more at BBC 

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  • Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of contemplating full-scale war

    Ethiopia is contemplating full-scale war against Eritrea, an Eritrean official told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday, as he defended his country against allegations of crimes against humanity.

    Last week, Eritrea's Foreign Ministry blamed the United States for playing a role, referring to "Washington's instigation" of the attack by Ethiopian forces. Eritrea also said at least 200 Ethiopian troops were killed.

    "As we speak, Ethiopia is making preparations for a bigger military offensive and contemplating a full-scale war," Yemane Ghebreab, an Eritrean presidential advisor, told the U.N. council on Tuesday.

    "Ethiopia reckons that the gross accusations against Eritrea afford it with the perfect pretext, and that it may be now or never. It reckons that those who are only too eager to blame Eritrea will as usual look the other way and fail to act as Ethiopia commits what are truly crimes against humanity against its people and unleashes another war."

    Asked what prompted Eritrea's warning about Ethiopia's military preparedness, he told Reuters: "They've been saying that for a long time, but we also see the reinforcements they are making on the ground. There are massive reinforcements coming to the border."

    He said it was a large build-up of troops and Eritrea was prepared to defend itself.


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  • Ethiopia to demand Isaias Afeworki leave Eritrea

    With patience running thin the Ethiopian government is almost at a decision point to demand the removal of Isaias Afeworki from power. Sources familiar with the issue told Aigaforum the government  has floated the idea to key western nations as a comprehensive plan for the horn of africa region. The Ethiopian government has informed many western nations that if Isaias Afewroki is not removed from power there will be war and Ethiopia will defend vigorously. 

    The issue of Isaias Afewroki's removal from power gained momentum over the last few weeks with Al- Shabaab deadly attempt to overrun Ethiopia's AMSOM military camp in Somalia. However, our sources told us the recent clash between Eritrea and Ethiopia  in Tserona Northern Tigrai region may have given the proposal more ammunition. 

    It is unclear if western nations will support the idea but the EPRDF government is not new to such diplomatic undertaking. The once strong military man Col Mengstu Hailemariam was removed from power  and sent to Zimbabwe  when the then rebel EPRDF fighters  encircled Addis Ababa. The late PM Meles Zenawi who was chairman of the EPRDF negotiated Mengsitu departure in London. Our sources told us it is highly possible the American and British  government will support the plan to avoid bloodshed. The sooner Isaias Afeworki packs and leaves Eritrea the less casualty on the Eritrean people.

    If war breaks out, Ethiopia is on the record,  that it will make sure this will be the last war. Our sources told us this means the war will be a war of attrition and it is such scenario Ethiopia is trying to avoid and convince key western nations to go along with the plan. Recently President Abay Woldu from Tigrai the region that is mostly affected by the no war no peace policy of the Ethiopian government  said to residents of Adwa town, that Ethiopia is planning to bring to an end the conflict with Eritrea  soon. He said either peacefully or otherwise this conflict will come to an end sooner than many think. 

    It is not clear if Isaias Afeworki will accept such demand but our sources told us even if he does not accept such demand it will have  a huge impact on the Eritreans and its defense forces.  Many in the government of Ethiopia are convinced the Eritrean army may rebel against Isaias Afeworki and if they are convinced about Ethiopia's disinterest of overrunning Eritrea then they may reform and establish a government of their own that is willing to live in peace with its neighbors. 

    Source: Aigaforum

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  • Ethiopia: "Prepared for more military action"

    Ethiopia's government has confirmed troops have clashed along the border with Eritrea.Information Minister Getachew Reda says there've been significant casualties on both sides. He has warned, Addis is prepared for more military action.CCTV's Girum Chala has this update.

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