23 December 2009
Security Council
SC/9833

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6254th Meeting (AM)


Security Council Imposes Sanctions on Eritrea over Its Role in Somalia,

 

Refusal to Withdraw Troops Following Conflict with Djibouti

 


Resolution 1907 (2009) Stipulates Arms Embargo, Travel Restrictions, Asset Freezes


Gravely concerned about findings that Eritrea had provided support to armed groups undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia and that it had not withdrawn its forces following clashes with Djibouti in June 2008, the Security Council today imposed an arms embargo on that country, in addition to travel restrictions on and a freeze on the assets of its political and military leaders.


Adopting resolution 1907 (2009) by a vote of 13 in favour to 1 against (Libya), with 1 abstention (China) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council reiterated its demand that Eritrea withdraw its forces to the positions of the status quo ante in the area where its conflict with Djibouti had occurred, acknowledge its border dispute and cooperate fully with the Secretary-General’s good offices.  It further demanded that the country cease all efforts to destabilize or overthrow, directly or indirectly, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.


The Council demanded that all States, in particular Eritrea, cease arming, training and equipping armed groups and their members, including Al-Shabaab, which aimed to destabilize the region or incite violence and civil strife in Djibouti.  It further demanded that Eritrea cease facilitating travel and other forms of financial support to individuals or entities designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) regarding Somalia and other sanctions committees, in particular the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) regarding Al‑Qaida and the Taliban.


Imposing an embargo on arms and associated materiel to and from Eritrea, the Council called upon all States to inspect all cargo to and from Somalia and Eritrea, and upon discovery of prohibited items, to seize and dispose of them.  It decided that travel restrictions and an asset freeze should apply to individuals, including but not limited to, the Eritrean political and military leadership, so designated by the Committee on Somalia Sanctions, as well as to governmental and parastatal actors and entities privately owned by Eritrean nationals living within or outside Eritrean territory, so designated by the same Committee.  Also by the text, the Council expanded the Committee’s mandate to undertake those additional tasks, as well as that of the Monitoring Group assisting the Committee.


Libya’s representative, in explaining his negative vote, said more time and concerted cooperation were needed to persuade all countries in the Horn of Africa to establish mechanisms to deal with their problems.  Libya had advocated the use of international legal bodies to resolve border disputes, which were the main cause of disagreement in the region.  Describing the resolution as unrealistic and too hasty, he said sanctions were not the ideal way to solve the current problem and their humanitarian effects would exacerbate current tensions.  Libya would have preferred that the Council wait until the African Union Summit in January, which would consider the problems of the Horn of Africa.


China’s representative said he had abstained from the vote because the Council should always act prudently in imposing sanctions.  The priorities in the region were dialogue between countries and restraint from violence.  China supported international efforts to encourage reconciliation in Somalia, but the resolution of that country’s problems required the cooperation of all countries in the region.  In addition, the African Union was better suited to address conflicts in the Horn of Africa through diplomatic methods.


Djibouti’s representative said that, by adopting the resolution, the Council had further highlighted its growing cooperation with the African Union in maintaining peace and security on the continent.  Noting that the July 2009 African Union Summit in Sirte, Libya, had called upon the Council to impose sanctions on foreign actors, particularly Eritrea, supporting the efforts of armed groups to destabilize Somalia, he said Eritrea had also refused to implement resolution 1862 (2009) regarding its border dispute with Djibouti.  The Government of Djibouti today warmly welcomed justice at last against the “unprovoked, naked and blatant aggression against my country by Eritrea almost two years ago”.  Hopes were high in the Horn of Africa that today’s action would be the beginning of the end to prolonged, destructive, senseless and wasteful wars and hostilities.


Somalia’s representative said Eritrea had been a major negative factor in prolonging the conflict in his country.  Eritrea had been giving refuge and safe haven to known terrorists, rebels, spoilers and violators of human rights, whose purpose all along was to destabilize Somalia.  It had been providing, financing and facilitating the flow of arms and other resources to the extremists and terrorist elements in Somalia, as well as economic, political, moral and propaganda support to the armed insurgents and spoilers.  However, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia stood ready to enter into serious dialogue with Eritrea in order to solve any outstanding matters.


Other speakers welcomed the Council’s adoption of the resolution following the request of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development.  Noting that the measures imposed by the resolution were not comprehensive but targeted and corrective, and that designation of individuals and entities to be subjected to its measures was in the hands of the Somali Sanctions Committee, they expressed hope that future actions by Eritrea would allow the Council to review the measures in a positive way.


Also speaking were the representatives of Uganda, Viet Nam, Austria, Japan, United Kingdom, Mexico, Turkey and Burkina Faso.


The meeting began at 10:40 a.m. and ended at 11:25 a.m.


Background


The Security Council met this morning to consider a draft resolution submitted by Uganda regarding the situation between Djibouti and Eritrea, as well as the Djibouti Agreement and Peace Process for a resolution of the conflict in Somalia.  Also before it was a letter dated 15 December from the Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the Council President (document S/2009/658), in which he urges Council members to use their influence to ensure the rejection of the draft in its entirety.


Action on Draft Resolution


The Council adopted the draft resolution with 13 members voting in favour to 1 against ( Libya), with 1 abstention ( China).


The full text of resolution 1907 (2009) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its previous resolutions and statements of its President concerning the situation in Somalia and the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea, in particular its resolutions 751 (1992), 1844 (2008), and 1862 (2009), and its statements of 18 May 2009 (S/PRST/2009/15), 9 July 2009 (S/PRST/2009/19), 12 June 2008 (S/PRST/2008/20),


Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence and unity of Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea, respectively,


Expressing the importance of resolving the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea,


Reaffirming that the Djibouti Agreement and Peace Process represent the basis for a resolution of the conflict in Somalia, and further reaffirming its support for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG),


Noting the decision of the 13th Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Sirte, Libya, calling on the Council to impose sanctions against foreign actors, both within and outside the region, especially Eritrea, providing support to the armed groups engaged in destabilization activities in Somalia and undermining the peace and reconciliation efforts as well as regional stability (S/2009/388),


Further noting the decision of the 13th Assembly of the AU in Sirte, Libya expressing its grave concern at the total absence of progress regarding the implementation by Eritrea of, inter alia, resolution 1862 (2009) regarding the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea (S/2009/388),


Expressing its grave concern at the findings of the Monitoring Group re‑established by resolution 1853 (2008) as outlined in its December 2008 report (S/2008/769) that Eritrea has provided political, financial and logistical support to armed groups engaged in undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia and regional stability,


Condemning all armed attacks on TFG officials and institutions, the civilian population, humanitarian workers and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) personnel,


Expressing its grave concern at Eritrea’s rejection of the Djibouti Agreement, as noted in the letter of 19 May 2009, from the Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2009/256),


Recalling its resolution 1844 (2008) in which it decided to impose measures against individuals or entities designated as engaging in or providing support to acts that threaten peace, security and stability in Somalia, acting in violation of the arms embargo or obstructing the flow of humanitarian assistance to Somalia,


Expressing its appreciation of the contribution of AMISOM to the stability of Somalia, and further expressing its appreciation for the continued commitment to AMISOM by the Governments of Burundi and Uganda,


Reiterating its intention to take measures against those who seek to prevent or block the Djibouti Peace Process,


Expressing its deep concern that Eritrea has not withdrawn its forces to the status quo ante, as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 1862 (2009) and the statement of its President dated 12 June 2008 (S/PRST/2008/20),


Reiterating its serious concern at the refusal of Eritrea so far to engage in dialogue with Djibouti, or to accept bilateral contacts, mediation or facilitation efforts by sub-regional or regional organizations or to respond positively to the efforts of the Secretary-General,


Taking note of the letter of the Secretary-General issued on 30 March 2009 (S/2009/163), and the subsequent briefings by the Secretariat on the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict,


Noting that Djibouti has withdrawn its forces to the status quo ante and cooperated fully with all concerned, including the United Nations fact-finding mission and the good offices of the Secretary-General,


Determining that Eritrea’s actions undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia as well as the dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea constitute a threat to international peace and security,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Reiterates that all Member States, including Eritrea, shall comply fully with the terms of the arms embargo imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992), as elaborated and amended by resolutions 1356 (2001), 1425 (2002), 1725 (2006), 1744 (2007) and 1772 (2007) on Somalia and the provisions of resolution 1844 (2008);


“2.   Calls upon all Member States, including Eritrea, to support the Djibouti Peace Process and support reconciliation efforts by the TFG in Somalia, and demands that Eritrea cease all efforts to destabilize or overthrow, directly or indirectly, the TFG;


“3.   Reiterates its demand that Eritrea immediately comply with resolution 1862 (2009) and:

(i)   Withdraw its forces and all their equipment to the positions of the status quo ante, and ensure that no military presence or activity is being pursued in the area where the conflict occurred in Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island in June 2008;

(ii)  Acknowledge its border dispute with Djibouti in Ras Doumeira and Doumeira Island, engage actively in dialogue to defuse the tension and engage also in diplomatic efforts leading to a mutually acceptable settlement of the border issue; and,

(iii)Abide by its international obligations as a Member of the United Nations, respect the principles mentioned in Article 2, paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, and Article 33 of the Charter, and cooperate fully with the Secretary-General, in particular through his proposal of good offices mentioned in paragraph 3 of resolution 1862 (2009);


“4.   Demands that Eritrea make available information pertaining to Djiboutian combatants missing in action since the clashes of 10 to 12 June, 2008 so that those concerned may ascertain the presence and condition of Djiboutian prisoners of war;


“5.   Decides that all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply to Eritrea by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial and other assistance, related to the military activities or to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of these items, whether or not originating in their territories;


“6.   Decides that Eritrea shall not supply, sell or transfer directly or indirectly from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft any arms or related materiel, and that all Member States shall prohibit the procurement of the items, training and assistance described in paragraph 5 above from Eritrea by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, whether or not originating in the territory of Eritrea;


“7.   Calls upon all Member States to inspect, in their territory, including seaports and airports, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law, all cargo to and from Somalia and Eritrea, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 5 and 6 of this resolution or the general and complete arms embargo to Somalia established pursuant to paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and elaborated and amended by subsequent resolutions for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions;


“8.   Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items prohibited by paragraphs 5 and 6 above, seize and dispose (either by destroying or rendering inoperable) items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 5 and 6 of this resolution and decides further that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts;


“9.   Requires any Member State when it finds items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 5 and 6 of this resolution to submit promptly a report to the Committee containing relevant details, including the steps taken to seize and dispose of the items;


“10.  Decides that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals, designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) and expanded by resolution 1844 (2008) (herein “the Committee”) pursuant to the criteria in paragraph 15 below, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a state to refuse entry into its territory to its own nationals;


“11.  Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 10 above shall not apply:


(a)   where the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that such travel is justified on the grounds of humanitarian need, including religious obligation; or,


(b)   where the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that an exemption would otherwise further the objectives of peace and stability in the region;


“12.  Decides that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned and the direct or indirect supply of technical assistance or training, financial and other assistance including investment, brokering or other financial services, related to military activities or to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance or use of weapons and military equipment, to the individuals or entities designated by the Committee pursuant to paragraph 15 below;


“13.  Decides that all Member States shall freeze without delay the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories on the date of adoption of this resolution or at any time thereafter, that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the entities and individuals designated by the Committee pursuant to paragraph 15 below, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or their direction, and decides further that all Member States shall ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories to or for the benefit of such individuals or entities;


“14.  Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 13 above do not apply to funds, other financial assets or economic resources that have been determined by relevant Member States:


(a)   to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges, in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after notification by the relevant Member State to the Committee of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within three working days of such notification;


(b)   to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination has been notified by the relevant Member State(s) to the Committee and has been approved by the Committee; or


(c)   to be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment, in which case the funds, other financial assets and economic resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgment provided that the lien or judgment was entered into prior to the date of the present resolution, is not for the benefit of a person or entity designated pursuant to paragraph 13 above, and has been notified by the relevant Member State(s) to the Committee;


“15.  Decides that the provisions of paragraph 10 above shall apply to individuals, including but not limited to the Eritrean political and military leadership, and that the provisions of paragraphs 12 and 13 above shall apply to individuals and entities, including but not limited to Eritrean political and military leadership, governmental, and parastatal entities, and entities privately owned by Eritrean nationals living within or outside of Eritrean territory, designated by the Committee:


(a)   as violating the measures established by paragraphs 5 and 6 above;


(b)   as providing support from Eritrea to armed opposition groups which aim to destabilize the region;


(c)   as obstructing implementation of resolution 1862 (2009) concerning Djibouti;


(d)   as harbouring, financing, facilitating, supporting, organizing, training, or inciting individuals or groups to perpetrate acts of violence or terrorist acts against other States or their citizens in the region;


(e)   as obstructing the investigations or work of the Monitoring Group;


“16.  Demands that all Member States, in particular Eritrea, cease arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members including Al-Shabaab, that aim to destabilize the region or incite violence and civil strife in Djibouti;


“17.  Demands Eritrea cease facilitating travel and other forms of financial support to individuals or entities designated by the Committee and other Sanctions Committees, in particular the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), in line with the provisions set out in the relevant resolutions;


“18.  Decides to further expand the mandate of the Committee to undertake the additional tasks:


(a)   To monitor, with the support of the Monitoring Group, the implementation of the measures imposed in paragraphs 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 13 above;


(b)   To designate those individuals or entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 10, 12 and 13 above, pursuant to criteria set forth in paragraph 15 above;


(c)   To consider and decide upon requests for exemptions set out in paragraphs 11 and 14 above;


(d)   To update its guidelines to reflect its additional tasks;


“19.  Decides to further expand the mandate of the Monitoring Group re‑established by resolution 1853 (2008) to monitor and report on implementation of the measures imposed in this resolution and undertake the tasks outlined below, and requests the Secretary-General to make appropriate arrangements for additional resources and personnel so that the expanded Monitoring Group may continue to carry out its mandate, and in addition:


(a)   Assist the Committee in monitoring the implementation of the measures imposed in paragraphs 5, 6, 8,10, 12 and 13 above, including by reporting any information on violations;


(b)   Consider any information relevant to implementation of paragraphs 16 and 17 above that should be brought to the attention of the Committee;


(c)   Include in its reports to the Security Council any information relevant to the Committee’s designation of the individuals and entities described in paragraph 15 above;


(d)   Coordinate as appropriate with other Sanctions Committees’ panels of experts in pursuit of these tasks;


“20.  Calls upon all Members States to report to the Security Council within 120 days of the adoption of this resolution on steps they have taken to implement the measures outlined in the paragraphs 5, 6, 10, 12 and 13 above;


“21.  Affirms that it shall keep Eritrea’s actions under review and that it shall be prepared to adjust the measures, including through their strengthening, modification, or lifting, in light of Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of this resolution;


“22.  Requests the Secretary-General to report within 180 days on Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of this resolution;


“23.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


Statements


RUHAKANA RUGUNDA ( Uganda) recalled that, at its 2009 Summit in Sirte, Libya, the African Union had called on the Council to impose sanctions against foreign actors both within and outside the region, especially Eritrea, who provided support to armed groups in Somalia, thus undermining peace and reconciliation efforts as well as regional stability.


He said the resolution just adopted was a clear manifestation of the cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in efforts to resolve conflicts on the continent.  The measures imposed by the text were not comprehensive, but targeted and corrective, and it was to be hoped that Eritrea would take sufficient actions to enable the Council to positively review the measures imposed today.


LE LUONG MINH (Viet Nam), noting that he had voted in favour of the text, called on the parties concerned to show maximum restraint in implementing relevant Council resolutions, and to engage in dialogue to resolve the border dispute between them.  International conflicts, including border disputes, should be resolved by peaceful means and in compliance with international law and the provisions of the United Nations Charter.  He urged the Council to keep the situation under constant review.


ABDURRAHMAN MOHAMED SHALGHAM ( Libya) said more time and concerted cooperation was needed to persuade all countries in the Horn of Africa to establish mechanisms for dealing with their problems.  Libya advocated the use of international legal bodies to resolve border disputes, which were the main cause of disagreement in the region.  It supported Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government and the proposed creation of a Government of National Unity there, under the Djibouti Agreement.  Libya called on all parties to sign up to and implement that accord.


Describing the resolution just adopted as unrealistic and too hasty, he said his own country had been subject to sanctions and knew well their counter-productive effects.  Sanctions were not the ideal way to solve the current problem, and their humanitarian effects would exacerbate current tensions.  The African Union would hold its next Summit in January, when it would consider the problems in the Horn of Africa.  Libya would have preferred that the Council wait until the results of that meeting were known, he said.


ZHANG YESUI ( China) said he had abstained from the vote because the Council should always act prudently in imposing sanctions.  The priorities in the region were dialogue between countries and restraint from violence.  China hoped that countries in the region would make stronger efforts to create a harmonious environment so that reconciliation could take place in Somalia and the wider region.


Expressing support for international efforts to encourage reconciliation in Somalia, he said, however, that resolution of the country’s problems required the cooperation of all countries in the region.  China called on them to engage with each other in that spirit.  In addition, the African Union was better suited to address conflicts in the Horn of Africa through diplomatic methods.


CHRISTIAN EBNER ( Austria) said he had voted in favour of the text as his country condemned all acts undermining the peace process in Somalia.  It was significant that the targeted sanctions were based on a two-step approach.  Designation for targeted sanctions would be determined by the Somalia sanctions Committee, but beyond the imposition of sanctions, it would be important to seek solutions to the underlying problems.


YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said he had voted in favour of the resolution as his country respected African initiatives to address the conflicts in the Horn of Africa.  The disputes should be resolved through diplomatic means, including mediation.  There was a need to accelerate efforts to resolve conflicts in the Horn of Africa, and it was to be hoped that all States in the region, including Eritrea, would comply with the resolution.  The Council would keep the measures under constant review in light of future developments.


MARK LYALL GRANT ( United Kingdom) said the resolution had created a new sanctions regime in response to continued violations of Council resolutions in the Horn of Africa.  It followed requests by two regional organizations, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).  The Monitoring Group on sanctions regarding Somalia had presented evidence that Eritrea was providing support to armed groups undermining the country’s peace process.  Moreover, Eritrea had failed to comply with resolution 1862 (2009) regarding its border dispute with Djibouti.  The United Kingdom urged the Government of Eritrea to stop its illegal actions and engage with international partners to increase stability in the region.  Future Council actions would depend on its response.


CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said the sanctions regime would improve chances for reconciliation in Somalia, and his country, which chaired the Sanctions Committee, would continue working to ensure that the measures provided incentives for the various regional actors to join a process leading towards stability in the region.


ERTUĞRUL APAKAN ( Turkey) said that, in principle, disputes should be solved through diplomacy and dialogue, and it was therefore to be he hoped that the resolution would be used by all parties to encourage dialogue and to resolve all outstanding issues in the Horn of Africa.


Council President MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso), speaking in his national capacity, said that while his country considered sanctions as a mechanism of last resort, he was deeply concerned by the serious deterioration of the security situation resulting from attacks by the Al-Shabaab movement, which was supported by foreign entities.


He said he remained convinced of the African Union’s importance in resolving the continent’s conflicts, noting that the resolution included review mechanisms.  He urged Eritrea to work with others in the region to foster a diplomatic solution to the problems in Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa.


ROBLE OLHAYE ( Djibouti) said that by adopting the resolution, the Council had further highlighted its growing cooperation with the African Union in maintaining peace and security on the continent.  The Sirte Summit had called on the Council to impose sanctions on foreign actors, particularly Eritrea, that supported the efforts of armed groups to destabilize Somalia and minimize reconciliation efforts.


Noting that Eritrea had refused to implement resolution 1862 (2009) on its border dispute with Djibouti, he said there had been a convergence of views between the Council and the African Union on the lack of cooperation and dialogue on the part of Eritrea, which had shown nothing but disdain while refusing to cooperate, in spite of the offers of good offices made by the two organizations.


The part of Djibouti’s territory now occupied by Eritrea had been the subject of a previous contention in 1996, he recalled.  A decade later, in 2008, there had been a military confrontation between the two countries, followed by the occupation of Ras Doumeira and Domeira Island by Eritrean forces.  The conclusions of a Security Council fact-finding mission had been clear, unmistakable and far-reaching.  They were a damning indictment of the Eritrean regime’s erratic behaviour and its dishonest and deliberate distortions of facts.


Recalling Eritrea’s rejection of resolution 1862 (2009), which demanded that it implement specific actions within six weeks, he said it was inconceivable that a year had passed without any implementation of the resolution.  Today, justice had been done at last against the “unprovoked, naked and blatant aggression against my country by Eritrea almost two years ago”.  Rarely had a sanctions resolution involved three countries, impacting on a whole region, and hopes were high in the Horn of Africa that today’s action would be the beginning of the end of the prolonged, destructive, senseless and wasteful wars and hostilities.  The measures outlined in the resolution targeted only the Eritrean regime’s destructive role in Somalia and its infringement of Djibouti’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.


He went on to point out that Eritrea had been “stonewalling” for one and a half years to avoid providing information about the conditions and whereabouts of 19 Djiboutian prisoners of war, while denying access to them by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  However, Djibouti continued to treat Eritrean prisoners of war humanely, allowing access to all concerned.  He demanded that Eritrea, as a Member State of the United Nations, accept its international obligations under the Third Geneva Convention.


ELMI AHMED DUALE (Somalia) said Eritrea had been a major negative factor in prolonging the conflict in his country, while, on the Djibouti front, it had had demonstrated an unfriendly and non-neighbourly attitude all along.  Eritrea had been giving refuge and safe haven to known terrorists, rebels, spoilers and violators of human rights, whose purpose all along was to destabilize Somalia.  It had been providing, financing and facilitating the flow of arms and other resources to the extremists and terrorist elements in Somalia, as well as economic, political, moral and propaganda support to armed insurgents and spoilers.


He said Eritrea’s hostile activities of the past two decades included blatant sabotage of peace efforts and reconciliation, as well as frustrating the efforts of the previous Transitional National Government and the current Transitional Federal Government.  Despite all those hostile activities, however, the Transitional Federal Government was ready at any time to enter into serious dialogue with Eritrea to solve any outstanding matters, although that country’s past actions did not give confidence that it would change its hostile attitude.  Somalia therefore sought the support of the Council, the United Nations and the international community in confronting Eritrea squarely, now rather than later, and encouraging it to join the ongoing international efforts to enhance the ongoing peace and stabilization process in Somalia.


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For information media • not an official record