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Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) online

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ERITREAN GROUPS

The Eritrean Bloc for Independence was heard
on October 7, with Sultanali Ibrahim I as its
spokesman. His group proposed to represent a co-
alition of eight parties and associations, all of
which desired unity and independence."' lie de-
nied that uiuisual class ties and similarities between
Ethiopians and P^ritreans existed and argued that
the organization of the Ethiopian state was not
such as to bring benefits to P^ritrea if Ethiopia
obtained that territory.'"* Speaking for the repre-
sentative committee of Italians in Eritrea, Dr.
DiMeglio said his group favored an independent
and sovereign state of Eritrea. His group felt
that the Italians of Eritrea could do much to help
build a stable economy but that annexation to Ethi-
opia would have unfortunate effects, including the
exodus of the important Italian element.""



May 29, J 950



837



Tedla Bairu (Unionist Party of Eritrea) as-
serted that the Independence Bloc was merely a
cover for Italy's designs on the territory and that
it had no real popular support. The Unionist
Party could point, he said, to overwhelming sup-
port in the central plateau region and to support
from at least half of Eritrea's total population.
It desired that eastern Eritrea be united with
Ethiopia; if the people of the western province
did not desire such union, it was up to the First
Committee to find some appropriate solution for
them.^°

Mr. Hammodi (Independent Moslem League)
advocated union with Ethiopia with recognition of
equal rights and duties for the Moslems. He
sketched the background of political organizations
among the Moslems of Eritrea, asserting that his
gi'oup was distinct from the parent Moslem
League. The latter, said Mr. Hammodi, was sub-
servient to the pro-Italian parties."

Decision To Establish a Subcommittee

After concluding its hearings of the local groups,
the First Committee was prepared, on October 11,
to consider the Argentine proposal for a Subcom-
mittee to develop a draft resolution or resolutions.
A Subcommittee would, in discharging its task,
consider all suggestions submitted to the First
Committee or to a Subcommittee itself.

Argentina had suggested a membership of 15
states on a basis of geographic distribution.^- Mr.
Santa Cruz (Chile) felt that a membership of 21
would be better and that those delegations previ-
ously represented on a similar Subcommittee at the
earlier session of the Assembly should be inclucled
among the members. At Mr. Jessup's suggestion,
Czechoslovakia would also be included. It was
also agreed that the Subcommittee should re2)ort
on October 15; during the interval between the
11th and the 15th, Committee I would suspend its
meetings. As thus amended, the Argentine resolu-
tion was adopted by 54 to 0, with 1 abstention.^^

Draft Resolutions Put Forward

Six proposals or draft resolutions had been in-
troduced into the First Committee before the
newly established Subcommittee began its work.
The first of these, the Soviet draft," has already
been outlined in the present article. The proposal
of Iraq related entirely to Libya and called for the
immediate proclamation of a "united, sovereign
state of Libya." It further called for the British
and French administering authorities to transfer
governmental authority to the new state within
"as short a period as practicable." ^^ A Liberian
draft, presented on October 4, dealt solely with
Italian Somaliland for which it asked independ-
ence at the end of 10 years with a direct United
Nations trusteeship administi-ation during that
period.^



The draft resolution of India concerned Libya
alone." It called for creation out of the terri-
tories of Libya of a "single, united, independent
group" and for a constituent assembly to draft the
needed constitution. A United Nations commis-
sion of from three to five persons who, acting in
their individual capacity as experts, would (a)
study local conditions and arrange a plan for the
calling of a representative constituent assembly,
(b) review and approve the constitution to be
drawn up by the constituent assembly, and (c)
report its actions to the Secretary-General and to
the administering powers (Britain and France).
After the constitution had been approved and
the administering powers had been so notified, the
latter would arrange to give effect to the constitu-
tion. The entire process was to be completed
within 2 years after the General Assembly had
appointed the commission.

The United States proposal,*^' submitted on
October 10, dealt with all three of the former
colonies. Part A called for the independence of
Libya in 3 years. Prior to independence, the ad-
ministering powers were to assist in the process of
preparing the 3 parts of Libya for independ-
ence and were to coordinate their activities to that
end. At least a year before the attainment of inde-
pendence, the administering powers would be asked
to arrange for representatives of the inhabitants of
Cyrenacia, Tripolitania, and the Fezzan "to meet
and consult together to determine the form of gov-
ernment" under which they wished to live when
independence was achieved. A council of seven
(Egypt, Fi-ance, Italy, U.K., U.S., and two local
representatives, one from Cyrenaica and one from
Tripolitania) would advise the administering
authorities on "how assistance might be given to
the inhabitants with regard to the formation of a
government for an independent Libya and such
related problems as common services." The coun-
cil, as well as the administering powers, would re-
port annually for the information of United Na-
tions members on the carrying out of their func-
tions.

Part B of the United States proposal prescribed
the reuniting of Eritrea, except for the western
jirovince, with Ethiopia. The plan called for
aj^plication by Ethiopia of measures for the pro-
tection of minorities and the guaranty of human
rights as laid down in pertinent articles of the
Italian Peace Treaty. In addition, appropriate
municipal charters would be provided for the



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 64 of 116)