Eritrea: Cohen, “Port of Assab, Ethiopia Have a Right to Use it”

Asmara (HAN) December 30, 2014 – Public diplomacy and Regional Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Church News for regional Partnership and Cooperation. By. Herman Cohn – The Port of Assab is Eritrean Land, but Ethiopia Should Have Right to Use it for regional transport and commodities access.  Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen said he wanted to set the record straight about his recommendation during the 1991 London Conference on Ethiopia, Eritrea and Port of Assab of Eritrean Red Sea Coast.

After being part of Ethiopia for forty years, the people of Eritrea held a referendum in April 1993 and decided to establish an independent state. The referendum took place in the aftermath of a thirty-year insurgency against two successive Ethiopian regimes waged by the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF). At the same time, an allied insurgent group, the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), took over power in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after the military collapse of the Soviet-supported regime headed by President Mengistu Haile Mariam.

FORMER U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen  said he did not say the port belongs to Ethiopia, contrary to what some in Ethiopia had attributed to him, and that he only recommended Ethiopia and Eritrea maintain a common economic union after Eritrea’s independence allowing Ethiopia to use the port.

“There are some people in Ethiopia who said that during the London Conference of 1991 I recommended that the Port of Assab belonged to Ethiopia. This is not correct. What I recommended was Ethiopia and Eritrea maintain a common economic union after Eritrea’s independence and, in that way, Ethiopia could use the Port of Assab,” he said.

FORMER U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen  said that before the war of 1998, Ethiopia used a section of the port for their imports and exports, which means that Assab did not belong to Ethiopia, but it had access to an exclusive zone.

You can comment on the above article by posting your comments on the space provided below . Feel free to express your views regarding the security issues of the Article.


Background Story of 2014: Ethiopia’s Right to Sea,  an Article 125 of Geneva Convention


1. Land-locked States [Ethiopia] shall have the right of access to and from the sea for the purpose of exercising the rights provided for in this Convention including those relating to the freedom of the high seas and the common heritage of mankind. To this end, land-locked States shall enjoy freedom of transit through the territory of transit States [Eritrea] by all means of transport.
2. The terms and modality for exercising freedom of transit shall be agreed between the land-locked States [Ethiopia] and transit States [Eritrea] concerned through bilateral, sub-regional or regional agreements.
3. Transit States [Eritrea], in the exercise of their full sovereignty over their territory, shall have the right to take all measures necessary to ensure that the rights and facilities provided for in this Part for land-locked States [Ethiopia] shall in no way infringe their legitimate interests.  tesfa news


Photo: Herman Jay Cohen is a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs


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4 Responses to Eritrea: Cohen, “Port of Assab, Ethiopia Have a Right to Use it”

  1. tazabe

    December 30, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    This person has no right to say anything about Ethiopia. He managed to destroy our livelihood our tradition and our respect in the eyes of the World with his grandkids tplf and eplf. Shame on him how he forgot what the Nazis did to the Jews in Europe. I am sure he is aware of all the ethnic cleansing of the Amhara ethnic group. Knowing his position and influence he must have seen the Wayne’s manifesto. No more help. Ethiopia will be taken care of by her own true Ethiopians.

  2. Gudu kassa

    January 3, 2015 at 8:38 PM

    Mr.cohn is playing “cat and rat” senderom . He is trying to stire volcano with his genocide red blooded hand.Cohn, you forgeret the dynamic nature of human beings through time. On top of this the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia geographcally ethinographically, sociologicaly are impossible to separate. They had lived together,can live and will live inharmony. Mr.Cohn mission impossible!!

  3. Zerai

    January 5, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    Mr. I don’t know why you have to come back after over 20 years and say this is what I meant to say. You said what ever you said and it has been used for good or bad. Coming back after 20 years with remorse won’t help. What has been said has been said.

  4. wedeba

    January 10, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    Yessssssssssss thanks mr herman assab belongs to Eritrea it has never been Ethiopia port. God bless you from your Eritrean