ERITREA: Prayer Needed for Efforts at the UN This Week to Secure a Commission of Inquiry

Eritreea map

On Thursday the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) will discuss, and hopefully adopt, a strong resolution condemning the continuing, severe and widespread human rights violations committed by Eritrea against its citizens and calls for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violations outlined in reports by the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea. This is a bold step and one which needs to be underpinned by prayer if it’s to be successful.

Why a Commission of Inquiry?

The human rights situation in Eritrea is one of the most serious in the world, yet one of least reported. A Commission of Inquiry would change that. Only a handful of countries, with some of the worst human rights situations in the world, have been the focus of such an Inquiry – it’s one of the most serious steps the UN can take to hold a country to account. Eritrea has refused to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and hasn’t implemented recommendations from its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR), so we need to use all the avenues available  to hold them to account and to help end the suffering of the Eritrean people.

When CSW addressed the human rights council last week we argued that there is “…compelling evidence of violations of such gravity as to constitute crimes against humanity” and we urged the Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry to further investigate these crimes.

Why now?

We believe there is a window of opportunity to secure UN action on Eritrea and expose the suffering of thousands of Eritreans.  More than a year has gone by since we secured a Special Rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea and the Eritrean government has refused to allow her to visit the country or to cooperate in any way with her. In that time, the suffering of the Eritrean people has continued daily.  We can’t let it go on any longer.

Please pray:

– That the resolution calling for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry would be adopted by consensus at the Human Rights Council this week;

– That if the resolution goes to a vote this week, Human Rights Council members would vote unanimously for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry;

– That the UN would take bold steps to hold the Eritrean regime to account for crimes against humanity;

– For wisdom and protection for all those who are working to secure a Commission of Inquiry.

(Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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