Tigrai Online March 29, 2013
To reduce the risk of instability in Eritrea and its neighborhood, a broad coalition of international actors should take precautionary moves, including immediate and decisive efforts to promote dialogue on avoidance of internal power struggles and mediation of a peaceful transition. This could lead to opening of political space and normalization, both domestically and internationally. Any opportunity should be seized to bring Asmara in from the cold. UN-imposed sanctions (imposed for support of Al-Shabaab in Somalia and other destabilizing activities) should be kept under active review. The European Union (EU) and U.S. should work with others, such as Qatar and South Africa that have better relations with Eritrea’s ruling elite and could facilitate constructive engagement. Member states of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should welcome Eritrea back and encourage normalization of relations.
1. Accept Eritrea’s request to rejoin the Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD), and so reactivate regional dialogue as per the organization’s mandate.
2. Re-evaluate UN Security Council sanctions on Eritrea in light of the latest UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea report, so as to incentivize improvements in Eritrean behavior.
3. Enhance the European Union (EU) Horn of Africa strategy to promote regional economic integration and dialogue through the mediation capacities of the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, and include Red Sea security in his mandate.
In the event of a transition
4. Coordinate U.S. and EU efforts with countries that have special relations with Eritrea’s current leadership (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Uganda, South Sudan and China).
5. Support a frank assessment of the country’s socio-economic situation and development needs, including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform programs, as well as projects for the reintegration of asylum seekers scattered around the world.
6. Engage Eritrea’s direct neighbors, with African Union (AU) leadership, regarding their strategic response if a transition occurs, and seek to preserve Eritrean national unity.
7. Engage with the Diaspora – including refugee youth and opposition groups – and promote their proactive engagement with an eventual new government.
8. Promote dialogue with the new leadership and encourage a national conference to open space for inclusive political developments.
Source: International Crisis Group - Please read the whole article before you comment on it.