President Issias Aferwerki Vs. Al Jazeera; February 2010

Mareeg.com-This transcript is from an interview done by Eritrean President Issias
Aferwerki and Al Jazeera “journalist” Jane Dutton in February 2010,
shortly after the UNSC passed punitive sanctions against Eritrea based
on what has now been proven to be fabrications. The sanctions are now
history and this interview stands as an example for aspiring
journalists of just how low their seniors will stoop. Every one of the
charges levelled by Ms. Dutton against Issias were fake, yet this
racist white South African woman continued to insult Africa’s leading
statesman for the entire interview. Would she even have considered
treating a white European leader the same way, to rudely insult and
sling falsehoods and fantasy at such a prominent and respected African
leader as Issias Aferwerki? See for yourself…

SATURDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2010

“Following is a transcript of an interview that Eritrean president
Isaias Afwerki had with Al-Jazeera television of February 20. In this
interview, which Jazeera’s Jane Dutton rightly describes as “rare”,
Isaias tells her that all accusations leveled against him, including
the recent UN sanctions against his country are the work of none other
than the United States.
This time around the United States was also accused by Isaias of
instigating the border war with Ethiopia. Accusations against him, the
Eritrean president said, were mere “fantasies, lies and boring jokes,”
calling the Al-Jazeera journalist an insane liar serving the agendas
of others.” (the above comments are from the original post/not this
authors)

Jane Dutton;
Mr. President, in December the United Nations imposed sanctions on
Eritrea for supporting armed groups such as Al-Shabbab. Do you feel
that you have been unfairly victimized?

Pres. Issias;
No, it is a mockery of justice and history. In our political culture
we have never believed and we don’t believe that religion is a
substitute for political problems in any one country or any society.

We have never entertained the idea of Sharia or Islam being a solution
for what many would like to believe. How can anyone possibly accuse
Eritrea of sympathizing or supporting one group over the other? We
have never done that.

The Al-Shabbab themselves claim that your defense ministry visited
them; the African Union has complained about your activities in
Somalia, as has the United Nations. Are you saying that they are all
lying?

Where are these evidences in the first place? We never went into
Somalia. The French have two kidnapped hostages there and they asked
our good offices if we ca‰n do anything there. We never promised
anything and we did not want to get involved. But because of that
initiative we went and contacted everybody in Somalia.

Dutton;
Are you, therefore, saying that the Al-Shabbab, the African Union and
the United Nations are all lying?

Pres. Issias;
We believe that Al-Shabbab are Somalis in the first place, whether
they are radicals or moderates, whether they are part of the Islamic
horse or not, we believe that every Somali should be involved in the
inclusive political process.

Dutton;
Why would the United Nations and the African Union say that you are
doing these things?

Pres. Issias;
Where are these evidences in the first place? What are they saying?
This is where I come to say that this is a mockery of justice.

Dutton;
You talk about religion and a lot of people talk about your support
for Al-Shabbab, you being a Christian leader, that being a Muslim
organization…


Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com