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GENEVA (HAN) June 21.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By Tom Miles.  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.

Eritrean and Ethiopian troops clashed along their border on June 12. Each has accused the other of starting the hostilities .

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.

Yemane said 18 Eritreans were killed in the recent fighting, and it had lodged a formal complaint with the U.N. Security Council.

Ethiopia has said both sides suffered casualties but would not discuss specifics. It has also said does not expect the situation to escalate.

“We are capable of waging a full-scale war against Eritrea, but simply we don’t choose to. That is why we have withdrawn our forces once our objectives were achieved,” Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda told a news briefing on June 14.

U.N. human rights investigators have accused Eritrea’s leaders of crimes against humanity, including torture, rape and murder, over the past 25 years and called for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

They have also accused Eritrea of enslaving 300,000 to 400,000 of its own people and operating a shoot-to-kill policy on its borders to stop people from fleeing abroad.

Eritrea has rejected all the allegations, and Yemane said 200,000 people had signed a petition supporting the government. Thousands more were protesting on a square outside the U.N.

Representatives of Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya told the Council that they favoured setting up a new U.N. mechanism to protect and promote human rights in Eritrea.

“There is an urgent need to ensure accountability,” said Ethiopian Ambassador Negash Kebret Botora, calling the U.N. report conclusive, robust and extensive. He did not respond to Yemane’s comments on Ethiopia’s military posture.



 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Eritrea should be divided among neighboring countries of Ethiopia , Sudan and djibouti . The northern tribes whose brothers live in The Sudan should go backNorth Sudan and South Sudan , the Afar should be divided between Ethiopia and Djibouti and the Habashas should be reunited with their brothers and sisters in Tigre Kilil and Amhara kilil of Ethiopia . This grand plan was discussed between East african leaders and EU. and the US in 20015 in Nairobi . This enclave can not stand as a country . It has become the biggest center for sex tourism ,illegal arms trade , and drug trafficking .

  2. The criminal tyrant and cold blooded murderer ISAYAS AFEWORKI is trying to divert our attention and rally support by igniting and instigating war with our neighbor again. The criminal regime is beating the drum of war a lot louder this time again, to divert our attention from the critical recommendation made by the COMMISSION OF INQUIRY. Not this time though, the noose is tightening up and the era of tyranny, slavery, dictatorship, rape theft, lie and killing is coming to an end.

    UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea

    Press Statement

    John Kirby
    Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs

    Washington, DC

    June 10, 2016

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    The United States takes note of the recently issued report by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Eritrea, in particular its conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Eritrea. We have repeatedly expressed grave concern about the human rights situation in Eritrea, and that concern has been reinforced by the COI’s findings.

    We strongly encourage the Government of Eritrea to engage fully with the international community and UN bodies to address the human rights situation. The Government’s willingness to work on several Universal Periodic Review recommendations is a step in the right direction. We also urge Eritrea to implement its constitution, hold national elections, honor its commitment to limit the duration of national service to 18 months, develop an independent and transparent judiciary, and release persons arbitrarily detained including political prisoners, journalists, and members of religious groups.

    We continue to support international efforts to improve the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Eritrea and will work to promote these efforts within the context of the upcoming Human Rights Council session.

  3. Former DR Congo VP sentenced to 18 years for war crimes

    7 hours ago

    The International Criminal Court has sentenced the former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba to 18 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

    The atrocities were carried out in the neighbouring Central African Republic by his private army.

    Maud Jullien reports.

  4. please Ethiopia we beg you to free us from Afewerki’s hell . Ethiopia has given us refuge and freedom to live anywhere in Ethiopia and earn a living like the locals do . Thank you Ethiopia for your magnanimity ,generosity and help . Please ,Go to Asmara and collect the criminal bunch from their rabbit hole and put them on trial . We need help .We are the same people and I believe Eritrea should be another Kilil of the federation and not the biggest prison in the world worst than North Korea . Please help . Go to Asmara and take over .

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