BY ARABS TODAY
Members of the UN Security Council have begun discussions and consultations to determine the circumstances under which sanctions imposed on Eritrea could be lifted since 2009 in the light of reconciliation between Asmara and Addis Ababa.
In this regard, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee for Somalia and Eritrea, Ambassador Khairat Umarov of Kazakhstan, will brief the Council on the work of the Committee next Monday, followed by closed consultations.
He also made his remarks after his visit from 4 – 10 May to Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, accompanied by representatives from Ethiopia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Sweden and the four non-permanent members of the Security Council.
The delegation was unable to visit Eritrea.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki met recently in Asmara and signed a peace deal ending a 20-year conflict.
Under the deal, the two leaders decided to restore diplomatic ties and agreed to open embassies, resume aviation services and allow Ethiopia to use the port facilities in Eritrea.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who visited Ethiopia the next day, said that “this” could lead to the lifting of UN sanctions against Eritrea.
The Ethiopian ambassador to the United Nations, Tikida Alemu, whose country holds a non-permanent seat in the council, last week briefed members on recent developments concerning reconciliation between his country and Eritrea, which the other members felt Addis Ababa was now pushing for lifting sanctions against Eritrea.
International sanctions on Eritrea include the arms embargo, asset freeze, and restrictions on the travel of certain officials.
In its resolution 1907, the Security Council accused Eritrea of providing “political, logistical and financial support to the Somali armed movements, not recognizing the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and not withdrawing its forces from its common border with Djibouti, especially in Ras Dumiera and the island of Dumiera.”
Eritrea rejects these accusations and considers them unjust.