Posted On November 11, 2016 By In Business, Eritrea, News With 146 Views

UN renews Eritrea sanctions despite push by China for lifting

United Nations, United States, Nov 10, 2016 (AFP) – The UN Security Council on Thursday renewed sanctions on Eritrea despite a push by China to lift the measures imposed seven years ago over Asmara’s involvement in Somalia.
A British-drafted resolution was adopted by a vote of 10 in favor in the 15-member council, but five countries abstained after China’s demands for a timeframe to end sanctions was rejected.
China, Russia, Angola, Egypt and Venezuela abstained in the vote, pointing to a report by sanctions monitors who said there was no evidence that Eritrea was backing Shabaab militants in Somalia.
The resolution instead states that the council will “review measures on Eritrea” after the next report by the sanctions monitors due in April.
“The UN Security Council has once again committed a grave injustice against the people of Eritrea by extending the unjustified sanctions,” said Eritrea’s charge d’affaires Amanuel Giorgio.
Describing the sanctions as “unfair, unjust and counterproductive,” Giorgio said his country did not support the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group and had taken steps to mend ties with Djibouti with a prisoner release.
Eritrea and Djibouti fought a brief border war in 2008.
The Security Council in 2009 imposed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions on Eritrea for its alleged support of Shabaab militants, deepening the Horn of Africa country’s international isolation.
Sanctions monitors, who have not been allowed in Eritrea since 2011, presented their latest report to the council last month.
British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the sanctions resolution “could have looked very different” for Eritrea if the government had agreed to allow sanctions monitors into the country.
“Council members who regret the lack of movement on this sanctions regime should look to only one place, to Eritrea,” he said.
Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1991 after a three-decade independence war, which saw Eritrean rebels battling Ethiopian troops which were backed first by Washington and then by the Soviet Union.
The hardline regime in Asmara is accused of jailing thousands of political prisoners while Eritreans make up one of the largest contingents of refugees fleeing their country to seek a new life in Europe.

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