Full report of Somalia and Eritrea monitoring Grou
July 28, 2011-
According to the report “Asmara’s containing relationship with al Shabaab, appears designed to legitimize and embolden the group rather than to curb its extremist orientation or encourage its participation in a political process. Moreover, Eritrean involvement in Somalia reflects a broader pattern of intelligence and special operations activity, including training, financial and logistical support to armed opposition groups in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan and possibly Uganda in violation of Security Council resolution 1907(2009).
Eritrea's support for such groups …. is also symptomatic of the systematic subversion of Eritrean Government and party institutions by a relatively small number of political, military and intelligence officials, who instead choose to conduct the affairs of state via informal and often illicit mechanisms, including people smuggling , money laundering and extortion.
These irregular financial practices, combined with direct financial contributions from ruling party supporters and some foreign States, as well as the imposition of a 'Diaspora tax' on Eritreans and foreign nationals of Eritrean origin living abroad, help to explain how a country as poor as Eritrea manages to sustain support for a variety of armed opposition groups across the region. From 2011 onwards, however, Eritrea's newly emerging mining sector- especially gold-is likely to become the country's principal source of hard currency. ”
More disturbingly and proving what Ethiopia has been saying, the report further makes it clear that “in January 2011, the Eritrean Government conceived, planned, organized and directed a failed plot to disrupt the AU summit in Addis Ababa by bombing a variety of civilian and governmental targets. The report further emphasizes that “since the Eritrean intelligence apparatus responsible for the AU summit plot is also active in Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, the level of threat it poses to these other countries must be revaluated”.
It concludes “The plot to disrupt the African Union summit in Addis Ababa in January 2011 represented a qualitative shift in Eritrean strategy and tactics. Whereas Eritrean support to foreign armed opposition groups has in the past been limited to conventional military operations, the planned conduct of mass casualty attacks against civilian targets, and the strategic use of explosives to create a climate of fear represents a qualitative shift in Eritrean tactics. Such actions cannot be justified in the context of Eritrea's bilateral dispute with Ethiopia.
The fact that the same Eritrean officers responsible for the planning and direction of this operation are also involved, both in supervisory and operational roles, in external operations in Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and Sudan implies an enhanced level of threat to the region as a whole. The Addis Ababa plan appears to suggest that networks under their supervision that have in the past been used for intelligence collection, illicit financial operations, people smuggling and other forms of support to conventional armed groups, may now be employed as support networks for move violent and destructive operations. The Monitoring Group therefore recommends, ways and means to curtail the capability of the Eritrean external operations directorate to conduct future operations of this nature.”
The Monitoring Group finally recommends that:
“a) The Security Council should consider encouraging Member States to introduce rigorous due diligence guidelines for international financial institutions, including multinational banks, which handle funds or host correspondent accounts for Eritrean banks, and embassies of the State of Eritrea, PFDJ entities or affiliates, and request them to cooperate with the Monitoring Group in its investigations;
b) The Security Council should consider encouraging Member States to introduce rigorous due diligence guidelines for mining companies operating in Eritrea with respect to payment of taxes and royalties, and any other form of revenue accrued form mining production to the State of Eritrea, in order to prevent the use of such funds in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions;
c) National Governments should demand that the Eritrean Government cease to violate the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations through the collection extraterritorial taxes by its diplomats, should examine domestic legislation to determine whether the collection of funds by party agents or community wardens' in their territories is in fact legal- especially where it is accompanied by intimidation or coercion – and, if not, instruct law enforcement authorities to take appropriate action;
d) National governments should consider waiving Eritrean privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention, until the Government of the State of Eritrea officially acknowledges and enacts its own responsibilities under the Convention, principally to prevent the illicit transfer of PFDJ funds via diplomatic pouch;
e) National law enforcement and intelligence agencies, especially in the East African region, should sensitize their personnel to the potential threat posed by the Eritrean external operations directorate, assign higher priority to monitoring its activities, and enhance information sharing with their partners.”
The IGAD region and Africa is expecting an action from the UN Security Council based on this report, which has, beyond any reasonable doubt and with incontrovertible evidence, made it clear Eritrea is caught red-handed engaging in terrorist activities. This report has proved it yet again to the world that the regime in Asmara is acting adventurously, with colossal disrespect to the international law and norms. Now is the time for action and action only.