The US Embassy in Asmara released three statements today concerning the Eritrea – Djibouti Agreement, the recently released Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, and a reiteration of US policy regarding the Eritrean Ethiopian Boundary Commission.
Eritrea – Djibouti Agreement
The Embassy of the United States of America welcomes the signing of the June 6, 2010 agreement between President Isaias of Eritrea and President Guelleh of Djibouti allowing the State of Qatar to mediate the border dispute between the two countries. The Embassy views this agreement as an important first step toward achieving renewed peace and stability in the region. It is encouraging that the two countries have shown willingness to resolve this dispute peacefully. The Embassy urges Eritrea and Djibouti to work together for a rapid, peaceful settlement.
On June 14, 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The TIP report classifies each country into one of three tiers, largely based on each government’s efforts to combat human trafficking within its borders. Eritrea was rated a Tier 3 country, the lowest possible classification. According to the report, acts of forced labor (a kind of Trafficking in Persons) occurred in Eritrea, particularly in connection with the implementation of the country’s National Service program. National Service conscripts are obliged by Eritrean law to serve for only 18 months, but some are forced to serve in their positions for over 10 years under the threat of inhuman treatment, torture, or punishment of their families, the report states.
Human trafficking exists in the United States, and, for the first time, the United States was ranked in the report. It was classified as Tier 1 because it is meeting the standards for enforcement and victim assistance as required by the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act, a law passed by the U.S. Congress. The United States is making significant efforts to address trafficking, and the Tier 1 rating is not a reprieve from further positive action.
You can read the entire report here. (http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2010/ )
Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission
The Embassy would like to reiterate long-standing United States Government policy regarding the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s decision.
The Algiers Peace Accord, ending the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, must be respected without qualification. Both Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to accept unequivocally the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) decision as final and binding. The United States expects each government to uphold its commitment to abide by this agreement. The United State urges both parties to implement the EEBC decision peacefully, fully, and without delay. As the process moves forward, communication directly between the two countries will be imperative.
The United States values its relationships with Eritrea and Ethiopia. We are committed to helping the two nations realize the political freedoms and economic prosperity that their people deserve. Peace is the prerequisite for achieving these goals.