[Global News: Africa]
sum: These officials are once again seeking to have the United States
declare Eritrea a "state sponsor of terrorism," an objective they failed
to achieve only a few months
Bush: Eritrea Is Not Terrorist State
By Eritrean Foreign Ministry
In the waning days of the Bush Administration, and as the world awaits a
breath of fresh air in US global engagement, some US officials are making a
last-ditch attempt to tie beforehand the hands of the incoming
Administration in the strategic Horn of Africa region.
These officials are once again seeking to have the United States declare
Eritrea a "state sponsor of terrorism," an objective they failed to achieve only a
few months earlier, when many in and outside the administration were unconvinced
by the accusations and thought the whole idea counter-productive and detrimental to
the cause of peace and stability in the Horn of Africa as well as US
The allegations against Eritrea, which has a solid track record of fighting
terrorism, of which it has been a victim, are preposterous in the extreme.
Moreover, Eritrea’s position on Somalia, on which these officials base their
accusations, has been clear from the outset: (i) end foreign intervention as
it will only aggravate the situation; and, (ii) allow Somalis to find
homegrown solutions to their problem.
We opposed the US-Ethiopian military adventure in December 2006, stating that
Somalia will be a "quagmire" for the occupation force. We consistently called for
constructive engagement with all relevant Somali actors. While others tried to divide
them, branding some "moderates" and others "extremists", we questioned the wisdom of such
an approach and encouraged Somalis to establish an inclusive and broad
alliance to reconstitute their country. Our perspective has been proven
right on all accounts.
In light of these facts, it is clear that the motives of the US officials who are trying
to slap the terrorism label and impose sanctions on Eritrea, go beyond the blame game.
They intention, at this late hour, and the outcome can only be to obstruct any move to
bring US-Eritrea relations back on track.
In his congratulatory message to President-Elect Barack Obama, President
Isaias Afwerki had stated: "Let me further avail of this historic occasion
to express my ardent hope that US policy in our region will indeed change
under Your Excellency’s Presidency to pursue a constructive path to advance
the cause of regional peace, justice and legality".
This hope of mutually constructive engagement and cooperation, which indeed
is the hope not only of Eritrea, but also of the people of the entire
region, should not be allowed to be dashed by last minute decisions.
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