Human Security versus National Sovereignty in Eritrea ?

By Fesseha Nair

Sovereignty has been the catchphrase for the perils and promises facing Eritreans in fighting against the tyranny in Eritrea. Sovereignty is understood by the Eritreans as something taboo that comes from the political elites and should not be discussed by the citizens.

What is sovereignty what does it include, how long will Eritrean people be mislead by this catchphrase and live under oppression? In this article, I would like to deal on the issues of human security versus national sovereignty based on the rule of law. Concepts such as human security, human development, human emergency intervention, imply the idea of a transnational responsibility for human welfare and safety.

Protection of people and civil society by the state was according the old “Westphalia Treaty[1]” is no longer functioning and many studies  show that many states ruled by dictators has committed crimes against its citizens by applying destructive policies, policies of displacement, wars , civil wars and internal persecutions. We, Eritreans are still in the thinking of Westphalia- state- centric, sovereignty –oriented and territorially bounded but this stage at this time of when the world is labelled as global village shows us how much we are back from the world of the 21st century. The war going between Eritreans in the cyberspace is of those who think beyond Westphalia and those still are in Westphalia ideas of sovereignty. What is sovereignty if it does not respect and protect its citizens? The Eritrean people are under destruction by our failure to react to the Nazi policies of persecution and more systematic mass cleansing is occurring today in Eritrea.

The ideas of sovereignty and territorial integrity are giving safe haven to the dictator in Eritrea to commit all kinds of crimes against the Eritrean people. It is time to challenge the state sovereignty and work for the concepts of human security, human development, human emergency and humanitarian intervention meaning that we need international support to save the people from the current Nazi-like persecution occurring in Eritrea.

According the late international law, there are two types of intervention: (1) when a conflict constitutes a threat to regional and international peace, and (2) when the behaviour of the regimes in conflict fundamentally violates human rights or humanitarian law.

The case of Eritrea under the dictatorship need international intervention because the regime in Eritrea has been and still a threat to regional and international peace and its behaviour in conflict violates human rights and humanitarian law. The writer of this article proposes that the Eritrean political and civil society organizations must collect all relevant lists of situations that call for intervention. The list can be from mass killing policies, policies of displacing, wars and civil wars, internal persecutions, violation of minorities, funding and supplying weapons to terrorists. The Eritrean case must come to the attention of the international community, if not Eritrean people shall gradually abandon the country and there will be no more so called Eritrea.

I would like to conclude my article by quoting some of Thomas Jefferson’s phrases from the  USA’s declarations of independence.

“ All men are created equal and they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable  rights, among these are, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that  whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these rights, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. “

The Eritrean people has the right to abolish the dictatorship before the dictator abolish them. Let the promise of the new year 2011 be the year of abolishing the dictator and transfer the power to its owners- the people.

[1] Originated in Europe after the thirty years war( 1648) and later enlerged after the world war 2 including the Asian and African countries after  de-colonization designated as state-centric, sovereignty oriented, territorially bounded global order.

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