Eritrea rejects sanctions

2009-12-02 08:47
New York - Eritrea said a proposed UN resolution calling for sanctions against the tiny Red Sea nation for supplying arms to opponents of the Somali government is "politically motivated" and based on "unfounded accusations".

In a letter to the Security Council circulated on Tuesday, Eritrea's UN Ambassador Araya Desta said his government is convinced there can be no military solution in Somalia and does not favour one party over another.

"Eritrea firmly holds that a durable and sustainable solution requires the participation of all key Somali actions in an inclusive political process," he said.

A UN panel monitoring an arms embargo against Somalia has accused Eritrea of secretly shipping large quantities of arms, including missiles and explosives, to Islamic insurgents trying to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed transitional government.

The United States and Britain have also accused Eritrea of supplying weapons to al-Shabab and other militias trying to destabilise Somalia in violation of the UN arms embargo. Britain and the African Union have called for sanctions against Eritrea.

Violence or terrorist attacks


Somalia has not had an effective government since 1991 when warlords overthrew longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other, plunging the country into chaos and anarchy. The fragile UN-backed government and an undermanned, poorly resourced African Union peacekeeping force have struggled to defend government buildings, the port and airport in the capital, Mogadishu - most recently rebuffing an offensive by al-Shabab and the allied Islamic Party.

The draft resolution circulated by Uganda to the 14 other Security Council members would impose an arms embargo, call on UN member states to inspect all suspect cargo between Eritrea and Somalia, and impose a travel ban and asset freeze on Eritrea's political and military leadership. It would also freeze the assets of government and private companies that violate the arms embargo.

The draft resolution also calls for financial and travel sanctions against any Eritrean individuals or entities that support Somalia's armed opposition, obstruct implementation of a council resolution demanding that Eritrea pull its troops back from the Djibouti border, or support acts of violence or terrorist acts in the region.

Some council members are privately concerned that the proposed resolution is too tough and might make it even more difficult to deal with Eritrea.

Desta, the Eritrean ambassador, said the decision to seek sanctions when the UN panel of experts hasn't concluded its investigation of alleged violations of the arms embargo against Somalia "shows that it is indeed a politically motivated move by the authors of the draft text in order to exert pressure on Eritrea for extraneous objectives."

Unfounded accusations

"The draft resolution is based on unfounded accusations against Eritrea on the issue of Somalia," he said.

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war. It has been feuding over its border with Ethiopia ever since, and uncertainty over its border with the tiny port nation of Djibouti led to hostilities between the two countries twice in the 1990s.

In June 2008, the Security Council condemned Eritrea for launching an attack against Djibouti, a key US ally in the Horn of Africa, which the U.S. said left 44 Djiboutian soldiers dead and many more missing. The council called for a cease-fire and urged the two countries to withdraw their forces from the border, which overlooks key Red Sea shipping lanes. Djibouti did, but Eritrea has not.

The draft resolution demands that Eritrea withdraw its forces from the Djibouti border.

Desta stressed the importance of the international boundary commission's 2002 ruling on the Eritrea-Ethiopia border which awarded the key town of Badme to Eritrea. Ethiopia has refused to accept the ruling.

"The matter cannot remain shelved in perpetuity if peace and stability are to take root in the region," Desta said. "Not only is it important on its own merit, but it is at the heart of the turbulent situation in the Horn of Africa, including the current difficult relations between Djibouti and Eritrea."

Eritrea therefore is urging the Security Council to ensure that Ethiopia honours the boundary commission ruling and withdraws its troops "from sovereign Eritrean territories that it is illegally occupying," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    al-shabab  |  eritrea  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.