Eritrea rejects sanctions

2009-12-02 08:47

  • Reef Fishes and Corals
    This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along... Now R175.00
    buy now
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.


Read more on:    al-shabab  |  eritrea  |  east africa


Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24

  • Thursday Montague Gardens - 13:03 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive
    DELAYS through Montague Gardens area due to roadworks
  • Thursday Muizenberg - 12:29 PM
    Road name: Atlantic Road
    TRUCK ACCIDENT near Main Road - expect delays
More traffic reports...

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! - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. 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

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2790.00

I'm shopping for:


Your heart is big and you are sensitive to the needs of those around you. Your humanitarian side is emphasized today and you more

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


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 network.


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.