I wish to apologize at the outset for compounding your job by sending this second letter in such a short time when you are under pressure and grappling with tasks of enormous importance.
The reasons that have impelled me to do so are the intensive campaigns underway to create obstacles at this decisive juncture when the Eritrean people are preparing to conduct the referendum in order to assert their right to self-determination through a legal and fair process and when the United Nations has signaled its willingness to participate in the undertaking as an observer. In the event, I wish to put on record the following fundamental precepts.
1) We have been working under the presumption, especially so following the visit of the technical team to Eritrea, that the participation of the United Nations in the process is a foregone conclusion.
2) As we have stressed it repeatedly, the assertion of the right of self-determination of the Eritrean people is the sole prerogative of the people concerned and does not fall within the jurisdiction or authority of any other party. And as such, although the changes that occurred in Ethiopia and the formation of the Transitional Government have been positive developments, the right of self-determination of the Eritrean people and its exercise is not predicated on the good will, authority, or permission of the Transitional Government or any other government in Ethiopia. An approach that alludes to, or gives the slightest hint that, the forthcoming referendum or the participation of the United Nations as an observer as stemming from the permission of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia would constitute a grave historical mistake. Because such a course of action would not bring a lasting solution to the conflict, or be tantamount to a resolution that would breed potential tension, instability and war.
3) That elements bent on expansion and war are, and have been, dong their utmost to impede the constructive participation of the united nations, obstruct its adoption of a judicious resolution, and created loopholes that could be exploited in the future is a well-known fact. We abhor war. We are accordingly extremely apprehensive to situations that may potentially lead to war. Under the circumstances, I urge the United Nations to take stock of this situation and not adopt a resolution that carries the seeds of potential conflict, and humbly point out that historical responsibility for such an undesirable outcome would not rest with us.