Salem Solomon article in NYtimes, invites Amb. Araya Desta & Amb.Tekeda Alemu to the border debate.

Salem Solomon Salem Solomon article in NYtimes, invites Amb. Araya Desta & Amb.Tekeda Alemu to the border debate.

Permanent Mission of Eritrea
To the United Nations, New York

14 December

To the Editor of New York Times
Re: “Susan Rice and Africa’s Despots” (Op-Ed, Dec. 10)

In a response to an op-ed of New York Times of 10 December, titled
“Susan Rice and African Despots” by Salem Solomon, the distinguished
Ambassador of Ethiopia to the United Nations, Dr. Takedu Alemu, in his
letter of 12 December to the Editor, attempted to justify the
sanctions on Eritrea when by now it has become a matter of public
record that Ambassador Susan Rice and the deceased Prime Minister
Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia were the architects of the sanctions regime
as revealed in the US confidential cable of 28 September 2009(1).

The assertion by the Ambassador that Eritrea supported terrorism in
Somalia has never been proven by solid evidence; and this accusation
has already run out of steam. The ambassador knows full well that the
punitive measures against Eritrea were taken not for the alleged
violations reported by the ´independent´ UN experts, but to cover up
his government´s refusal on the basis final and binding verdict of the
Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission, established on the basis of the
Algiers Peace Agreement, brokered mainly by the US. Eritrea´s
objection to endorse the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia and its
refusal to recognize the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia
were also incredulously the underlying reasons for the sanctions on

Let´s not complicate matters. The problem between Eritrea and Ethiopia
is a question of occupation. The way to move forward on this issue has
always been and remains to be for Ethiopia to withdraw unequivocally
from sovereign Eritrean territory. It is important to underline that
peace, stability, mutual respect and better cooperation could prevail
in the Horn of Africa if Ethiopia respects its treaty obligations.

Eritrea remains commited to regional peace and cooperation.

Araya Desta
Ambassador of Eritrea to the United Nations


Address: 800 Second Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10017;
Tel.: (212) 687 3390; Fax: (212) 687 3138, e-mail:


Sanctions on Eritrea

To the Editor:
Sanctions on Eritrea: Re “Susan Rice and Africa’s Despots”
(Op-Ed, Dec. 10):

Salem Solomon, an Eritrean-American journalist, has tried to inject
the ugly side of the politics in the Horn of Africa into the American
political debate. Her major preoccupation appears toward the end of
her article, and it zeros in on the alleged unfairness of the
sanctions imposed on Eritrea by the Security Council.

She doesn’t mention two matters: that the sanctions were imposed at
the request of the African Union, which has troops in Somalia fighting
Al Shabaab; and that a group set up by the Security Council found that
Eritrea was aiding and abetting terrorism in Somalia.

Ms. Solomon could help Eritrea better by advising it to show a pacific
disposition toward Djibouti, Somalia and Ethiopia and respond to the
call for dialogue between Ethiopia and Eritrea repeated recently by
the Ethiopian prime minister, who also expressed readiness to go to
Eritrea for that purpose.

Ambassador of Ethiopia to the U.N.
New York, Dec. 10, 2012.


Susan Rice and Africa’s Despots

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