Our Wishes for Eritrea and the Region for 2007

Our Wishes for Eritrea and the Region for 2007
Top on the List: Change in Direction of U.S. Policy for the Horn of Africa


Ethiopia’s naked invasion of Somalia the last few weeks and its aftermath has given us some indication of how 2007 is going to look like for the troubled Horn of Africa.  The West also seems bent on further destabilizing the region in the name of “the war on terror.”  However, we believe if the minority regime of Ethiopia is not forced to withdraw its troops from Somalia and let the Somalis deal with their own problems, this invasion may lead to the creation of an Iraq in Africa. 
But, it does not have to be that way.  That is why, in this time of renewal and rededication, the Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) wishes:

  • A year of peace: First of all, we wish 2007 to be a year of peace and prosperity for Eritrea and the long-suffering Eritrean people.
  • A change in direction of U.S. policy for the Horn of Africa:  The buzzwords among  foreign policy makers, Washington think tanks, and the media in the capital these days are “A Change in Direction” in foreign policy.  However, the discussion seems to be directed towards Iraq and Iraq alone. That is why we say it should also be directed towards the next potential Iraq—Somalia in particular, and the rest of the region in general. Right now, U.S. policy for the region is based on a blind support of a minority regime that is willing to do anything to ensure external aid, but has little internal support. We think this short-sighted policy jeopardizes long-term U.S. interests in the region, and even the rest of the
    continent.
  • A balanced approach: We wish the United States would correct the imbalance in its approach towards Eritrea and Ethiopia. As many have pointed this before, the tension between these two neighbors is central to the tension in the region and the best way to bring it down and eventually remove it is by an even-handed policy toward the two nations, and by being an honest broker in the dispute between them.  An imbalanced approach will continue to breed mistrust among the parties and of Washington.
  • Demarcation on the ground: We wish to see a closure to the Eritrea Ethiopia boundary case by demarcating the border—on the ground—immediately and unconditionally.  We call upon the guarantors/witnesses to the 2000 Algiers Peace Agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, especially the United States, to shoulder their
    responsibilities and force the minority regime in Addis Ababa to fully and unconditionally implement “the final and binding” ruling on the Eritrea Ethiopia border by the independent and neutral  Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission. 
  • Neighbors: Since what happens next door is likely to have a direct or indirect impact on Eritrea and the Eritrean people, we wish 2007 to be a year of peace in the Sudan, especially in its Darfur region, as well as the rest of the subregion.

In this time of renewal and rededication, OEA also resolves to:

  • Work to help improve Eritrea-US relations:  Since this is at the heart of our mission as an organization, we rededicate our effort to improve the relationship between our homeland and our adopted country. 
  • Eritrea’s sovereignty: Our efforts are geared toward the preservation of Eritrea’s sovereignty and independence. As a result, here today, we resolve to continue our struggle against the criminal regime in Ethiopia which continues to occupy sovereign Eritrean territory, forcing thousands of Eritreans to languish in IDP camps, unable to return to their homes and farms.