Friday, 24 August 2018

Highlights from the report of the UN Commission to Eritrea 1950

Highlights from the report of the UN Commission to Eritrea 1950

Resolution 289 (a) (IV) consisting of three parts, each dealing with one of the ex-Italian colonies. Section (C), relating to Eritrea, was adopted by the plenary session of the general assembly on 21 November 1949, which established the United Nations Commission for Eritrea to ascertain more fully the wishes of the inhabitants of Eritrea and the means of promoting their future welfare. 
The five-power-commission consisting of representatives from Norway, the Union of South Africa, Burma, Pakistan and Guatemala was established to ascertain the wishes of the Eritrean people and to solicit the views of interested governments. The commission established its head- quarters in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, and held some seventy public and private meetings between 15 February and the end of April 1950.                                                                                             

Members of the commission with Haile Sellasie and the British Ambassador

During the same period, it visited various parts of Eritrea and travelled to the capitals of Ethiopia, Egypt and, Italy to consult with these governments. At the end of April, the commission retired to Geneva to prepare its report and recommendation for submission to the interim committee for its meeting on 15 June.

The commission members were too pressed for time to prepare a joint proposal and, instead, they agreed, on 8 June, to submit some selected  documents along with their individual recommendations. The Norwegian member (Erling Qvale) proposed that Eritrea be united with Ethiopia; the South African (F.H. Theron) and Burmese (Aung Khine) that Eritrea be federated with Ethiopia; and the Pakistani (Mia Ziaud-Din) and Guatemalan (Carlos Garcia Bauer) commissioners that Eritrea be an independent state. The reports of the commission was presented to the Secretary General (Trygve Lie)of the UN on June 9, 1950.

This report is in French, but easier to read the tables about the population breakdown by language and religion, the names of the members of the political parties they met and other relevant info.

Summary of AG-048 United Nations Commission for Eritrea (1950), files

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