May 18th, 1949- The Bevin-Sforza plan and Eritrea:
The Bevin-Sforza plan named after the British and Italian Foreign Ministers at the time, Ernest Bevin and Carlo Sforza, was devised by the two as another possible fate for Eritrea and Eritreans as decided by everyone EXCEPT the Eritrean people— To partition Eritrea into two parts: the Western part would go to Sudan and the Eastern part to Ethiopia.
The heated debate began in early April and continued through May until the vote where the plan failed. Although the Ethiopians were reluctant to accept this plan instead of federating Eritrea to Ethiopia, they did agree to it. A small number of Eritrean opposition were present and voicing their opinions however being outnumbered, the opinions of the Eritrean people were simply ignored. Massawa (a seaport city) and Asmara (the now Capital city of Eritrea) were to be given special status as municipal charters. On the day of the vote, there were also a number of other proposals being made under the Bevin-Sforza plan they were:
1. Eritrea, except the western province, to be incorporated to Ethiopia, with the cities of Asmara and Massawa to be granted a special status with municipal charters. The incorporation of the rest of Eritrea to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan would be open for further discussion.
2. Somalia to be placed under Italian trusteeship for a period left to be defined by the General Assembly.
3. Libya to be granted independence after 10 years. But during those 10 years, the provinces, of Cyrenaica, Fezzan and Tripolitania would be under the trusteeship of Britain, France and Italy, respectively.
On May 17th, 1949 the vote failed to pass in the UN, coming as a shock to some. Soon thereafter, however, Eritrea was federated to Ethiopia (1952) and in 1961 the Eritrean opposition began the uprising that would become the bloody 30 year war for Eritrean Independence ending in 1991 with the Eritrean people finally gaining their independence from Ethiopia, the final country/power in a long line to colonize and oppress Eritrea and the Eritrean people.
More info: http://www.nharnet.com/Editorials/TodayinEriHistory/may_erh_050204.htm