The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Djibouti to the United Nations would like to provide the following clarifications in response to the press release issued by the Permanent Mission of Eritrea on 23 June 2016 rejecting the Commission of Inquiry’s report and recommendations about Eritrea.
At the outset it should be recalled that the African Union, gravely concerned by the erratic behavior and continued activities of Eritrea aimed at undermining peace and security in the region and in line with the African Union Peace and Security Council and IGAD communiqués, referred Eritrea to the Security Council to take immediate measure under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. Security Council resolutions 1907 (2009), 2023 (0211) and 2244 (2015) were subsequently adopted but Eritrea has failed to implement any of the provisions contained in those important resolutions. Furthermore, the Constitutive Act of the African Union establishes the principle of non-indifference particularly in situations where possible crimes against humanity may have been committed.
Djibouti and Somalia have held extensive informal consultations with the member states on a proposed draft resolution in response to the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Eritrea to the Human Rights Council on 21 June 2016. It should also be recalled that by resolution A/HRC/RES/26/24 the Human Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry on 14 July 2014 by consensus and it presented its first report on 4 June 2015. In light of the extremely grave findings by the Commission, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry for one year to investigate the systematic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights in Eritrea with the view to ensuring full accountability including those violations that amount to crimes against humanity.
After a thorough and impartial investigation, it was concluded that:
“The commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Eritrea since 1991. Eritrean officials have engaged in a persistent, widespread and systematic attack against the country’s civilian population since 1991. They have committed, and continue to commit, the crimes of enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, rape and murder.”
Furthermore, the Permanent Mission of Djibouti would also like to recall the founding principles of the NAM as well as the Movement principled positions concerning all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all and in this regard recall para 574.1 of the 16th Summit of the Heads of States and Governments by which, “they reiterated the Movement’s dismay and unequivocal condemnation of gross and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and situations that constitute serious obstacles to their full enjoyment, as well as violent acts and activities that infringe upon their full enjoyment”.
The proposed draft resolution tabled by Djibouti and Somalia urges Eritrea to fully implement the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission of Inquiry and proposes an accountability mechanism be created to address impunity and hold perpetrators into account in Eritrea. It further calls on Eritrea to immediately release the thirteen (13) remaining Djibouti prisoners of war that remained unaccounted for.
The proposed draft resolution is currently under discussion with broad support among members of the Human Rights Council.
Djibouti is a credible, responsible, and reliable member of both the African Union and NAM and has always upheld their principles.
New York, 24 June 2016