Security Council imposes sanctions on Eritrea

Amb. Abdurrahman Shalgham of Libya addresses Security Council after voting against sanctions imposed on Eritrea

23 December 2009 – The Security Council today imposed arms and travel sanctions on Eritrea for supporting insurgents trying to topple the nascent government in nearby Somalia.

The resolution, supported by 13 of the 15 members of the Council, places an arms embargo on Eritrea, imposes travel bans on the Horn of Africa nation's top political and military officials, and freezes the assets of some of the country's senior political and military officials.

China, one of the five permanent members of the Council, abstained from voting for the resolution, while Libya voted against it.

In the resolution, the Council expressed concern over Eritrea's rejection of the United Nations-facilitated Djibouti Agreement, a 2008 peace accord between Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS).

Despite that pact, fighting and humanitarian suffering continue to engulf Somalia, which has been without a central authority for nearly two decades. Eritrea and Djibouti are also engaged in a border dispute.

Today's resolution “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.”

It also calls on all nations to support the Djibouti peace process and support the TFG's reconciliation efforts in Somalia.

Further, the document demands that Eritrea acknowledge its dispute with Djibouti and actively take part in talks to defuse tensions.

The Council also reiterated 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 the sub-regional or regional organizations or to respond positively to the efforts of the Secretary-General.”


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