Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

New hope for ERITREA as UN Security Council lifts sanction

Since 2009, the cordial relationship which existed between the UN Security Council and Eritrea became so tense and unfriendly. The burden of bearing the consequences of sanctions became heavier on the east African Nation. However, history has favoured Asmara again. The government of Isaias Afwerki smiled with great relieve after the United Nations Security Council UNSC in one accord resolved to lift sanctions meted on Eritrea some years ago.

During one of its routine gatherings, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday November 14th, 2018 unanimously accepted to relax sanctions imposed on Eritrea about a decade ago. This overwhelming move follows the recent thaw in relations between nations in the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia and Somalia. The rebirth of new ties led to the subsequent inking of a peace accord between the government of Ethiopia, under the patronage of the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s president Isaias Afwerki. The Eritrean government also signed a joint cooperation agreement with the central government in Mogadishu. The latest political developments which unfolded in the horn of Africa this year, stemming from the change of leadership in Ethiopia attracted the attention and admiration of the world’s most hailed bodies like the United Nations Security council.  The latest UN resolution was tabled by the UK and backed by the united States among others.

UN Security Council on Eritrea

It has become a common phenomenon in today’s world to reduce or stop arms proliferation across the world, as such, organs like the UNSC have vowed to crackdown on dissent and server ties with them if the rule is violated.  With suspect that the State of Eritrea was backing the al-Qaeda linked group Al-Shabaab and the denial to withdraw troops from a disputed border with neighbouring Djibouti in 2008, the 15-member council under Resolution 1907 in December 2009 imposed a series of sanctions against Eritrea for backing and providing arms to the Islamist militants fighting the Somali government. The sanctions included the following:

  • Arms embargo on Eritrea
  • Travel restrictions placed on political leaders
  • Assets freeze (on people suspected of having links with al-shabaab)

In the meantime, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the continental bloc African Union have hailed the UN Security Council for lifting the burden on Eritrea. According to some pundits, this is a milestone in reshaping and making the state a fertile hub for investment. Reacting to lifting of the sanction, Eritrean Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amanuel Giorgio said, the lifting of the Sanctions marks an end of a difficult period and opens a new beginning for Eritrea and nations in the Horn of Africa. However, the Council has vowed to closely monitor how things evolve between Eritrea and other neighbouring countries like Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

AFRIC Editorial Article.

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