Award-winning Eritrean journalist on why Eritrea needs to recognise Kosovo

tnIn an interview to the Albanian news agency Presheva Jone, the award-winning Eritrean journalist Dessale Berekhet Abraham, recipient of the 2013 International Press Freedom Award, says there are no reasons for Eritrea to oppose Kosovo’s independence.   


GENEVA, January 19, 2015 – The Eritrean journalist Dessale Berekhet Abraham, said to Presheva Jone that Asmara needs to accept Kosovo’s independence.


Kosovo declared independence February 17, 2008 from Serbia by Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Hashim Thaqi.


108 UN member-states have currently recognized Kosovo’s independence representing more than half of the world’s states.

Eritrea is yet to recognize Kosovo’s independence, but the Eritrean expert believes there are no reasons for Asmara to continue opposing Kosovo’s independence.


“Declaring one’s independence is more than just a political decision. It is an absolute right of the people. If the people of Kosovo Republic have decided for their full independence the acceptance and denunciation of other governments should completely remain subordinate.


“Eritrea, or any other country for that matter, will have no option but to accept the verdict of the Kosovo people. Maybe, they can denounce the claim if they have reasonable historical facts; I don’t think Eritrea can come up with any accepted reason to reject the independence.


“So they have to accept the right of the Kosovo people. I personally stand high for the rights of any masses on this globe,” Mr. Abraham said to Presheva Jone.


People’s verdict should not be put under any compromise


The Eritrean journalist also gives strong support to the right to principle of self-determination stating “if the majority of Kosovo’s people accept independence as the best and main solution for its self-determination – what reason can we have to reverse this historical fact?! We should not put people’s verdict under any compromise.”


The right to self-determination is stipulated in international law as a human right and allows a people the right to determine their political destiny.


According to renowned international law experts, the principle of self-determination has become jus cogens, a legally binding principle on states.


In 2010, The International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on Kosovo’s declaration of independence ruled in favour of Kosovo concluding that the adoption of the declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 did not violate international law.


Despite the court’s ruling, Kosovo is yet to become a member of United Nations (UN) as Pristina needs the support of 2/3 of UN’s member states in accordance with Chapter II of the UN Charter.


tn11To increase the amount of states recognizing Kosovo, the Kosovo-born pilot James Berisha launched a flying expedition after Kosovo’s independence declaration in 2008, “Flying for Kosovo” visiting more than 50 countries, including Eritrea, to raise awareness about Kosovo’s independence.


In September 2011, Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Eritrean authorities detained Mr. Berisha. He was later released.


Mr. Abraham praises Berisha’s efforts believing he has managed to increasingly raise awareness about Kosovo’s cause.


”I know and remember that James Berisha has done his best to raise public awareness about Kosovo’s choice of independence.


“The more we address our ends to our subjects properly the more we influence our causes which will lead to our inevitable victory. But to do so we have to hammer our objectives time and again.


“My humble criticism to James is that his work lacked follow-ups. He had to do it enthusiastically and vigorously,” Mr. Abraham stated to Presheva Jone.  


The community has to fight for their right to exercise press freedom


Violation of press freedom continues to remain a hot topic in many Balkan states as well as in many other countries around the world.


On April 12, 2014, The Economist ran an article on this subject pointing out media outlets are increasingly loosing their autonomy to report independently.


The 2014 World Press Freedom Index issued by Reporters Without Borders ranks Slovenia (34), Serbia (54), Croatia (65), Bosnia (66), Kosovo (80), Albania (85), Greece (99), Montenegro (114) and Macedonia (123) in terms of press freedom.


In relation to a 2014 UN review on press freedom in Eritrea, the exiled Eritrean journalist pronounced to AFP that his country is violating press freedom.  


Mr. Abraham is a strong supporter of freedom of expression underlining it must not be violated as it is considered a basic human right.


“It is the community which has to fight for their rights to exercise their freedom for the freedom of press.


“With the growing public awareness on the freedom of expression, I am sure that our united efforts can bring about a sounding and reasonable change.

“As we know freedom of expression is one of the basic human rights, so we have to snatch it at any cost,” Mr. Abraham stated to Presheva Jone. /Blerim Mustafa

* This article was written by the author in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent the view of Leidar

Link to original article (Presheva Jone, also available below):

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