November 12, 2011

Press Release

There are some quarters who try to imply the draft proposal that is being co­ sponsored and circulated by Gabon and Nigeria, requesting the UN Security Council to further a sanction against Eritrea, as being presented on behalf of Africa. This insinuation is entirely wrong and sheer deception.

Eritrean issues, in relation to Ethiopia and Djibouti, were discussed and received a decision by AU Assembly in Malabo, this year, in which, there was no indication, whatsoever, for the matter to be reviewed in the Security Council. To this effect, Gabon and Nigeria are neither mandated by the African Union to speak on behalf of Africa in the UN Security Council meeting nor are they Member States of IGAD to symbolize the Authority. For the two countries to take African issue straight into the UN Security Council by sidelining the appropriate instruments of the African Union is procedurally defective. When viewed in light of its attitudinal ramifications, this venture undermines the capacity and degrades the value of the Union in dealing with its domestic problems.

Thus, if Gabon or Nigeria is claiming to speak on behalf of Africa, the action violates basic tenets of the AU rules and procedures. For any matter to be presented to an international forum on behalf of Africa, it must, first, be discussed at the level of Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) or Peace and Security Council (PSC) or Executive Council meetings and must, finally, be endorsed, adopted and decided upon by the Assembly of the African Union.

Therefore, unless mandated and sanctioned by the AU Assembly, all African countries that are non-permanent members to the UN Security Council do not represent Africa but only their own respective countries.

Furthermore, it is legitimate and logical to ask a simple question: Why did Gabon and Nigeria decide to present a draft proposal to put additional sanction against Eritrea while they are parties to the decision of AU to lift the sanction against Cuba?

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
11 November 2011

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