UN Monitoring Report: Eritrea Still Violating UN ResolutionsJuly 22nd, 2012
The Eritrean regime is behind a "clandestine exercise" of a "criminal networks" to smuggle weapons and people out of Eritrea and once the "migrants are routinely taken hostage, tortured, raped or killed" with their kidnappers demanding up to $40,000 in ransom, it facilitates the negotiations and mediation to manage the exchange of funds for people. The Eritrean regime also "remains a destabilizing influence throughout much of the region" and "continues to violate resolutions 1844 (2008) and 1907 (2009) by deploying Ethiopian armed opposition groups via Somali territory" as well as hosting Ethiopian opposition groups such as Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (DemHit), concludes the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, in a report it submitted on June 27, 2012.
The Monitoring Group also reports that the so-called "rehabilitation tax" imposed on Eritreans in the Diaspora is still "routinely" being collected using "threats, harassment and intimidation against the individual concerned or relatives in Eritrea."
The report, which has been viewed by awate.com, attributes the decline of Eritrean support for Somalia’s al-shabab to three factors: (a) friction between the leadership of the terrorist group and the Eritrean regime; (b) military setbacks of Al-Shabab and (c) international scrutiny of the Eritrean regime.
The Monitoring Group also reports that some members of the Ethiopian armed rebel group Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) who had conducted the deadly raid on European tourists in January of this year had "recently been based at a training camp near Assab, Eritrea" and all but rules out ARDUF’s claims that those who were killed were killed by Ethiopia.
With respect to Djibouti, the Monitoring Group says that after more than "three years of detention in Eritrea" (in Shabay Mandar, near Afabet) two Djibouti prisoners of war escaped from Eritrea, and were registered by Sudanese border posts at Qarora, placing in question the Eritrean regime’s position that the conflict is a "fabrication" and there was no conflict and therefore no prisoners of war.
Regarding April’s Ethiopian military foray into Eritrea, the Monitoring Group reports that the target appears to have been the Ethopian opposition group DemHit (the Tigray People’s Democratic Movement.)
The Monitoring Group addresses the issue of arms embargo on Eritrea’s military readiness by citing the case of the Eritrean air force:
The Monitoring Group has been able to determine that the Eritrean air force fleet currently includes 22 fixed-wing and 7 rotary-wing aircraft. Of these, only 7 are currently known to be operational. The Monitoring Group believes that the remainder are currently non-serviceable.
The Monitoring Group recommends that the governments of Egypt, Eritrea, Israel and Sudan testify to the UN regarding the arms and human smuggling managed by General Manjus; that the Security Council should remind Member States of their obligation to prevent the Eritrean regime from "using extortion, threats of violence, fraud and other illicit means" to collect the Diaspora tax; that the Eritrean regime be mandate to disclose its revenues from mining and that it provide information on Djibouti prisoners of war to the International Red Cross or to Qatar which is allegedly mediating the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea. --Awate