In a remark she made at the UN Security Council Stakeout on Somalia, Syria, Eritrea, and Sudan, the US special representative to the UN, Ambassador Susan E. Rice, says her country is very much pleased to impose additional pressure and sanction on Eritrea.
This is what she has said when asked by a reporter:
Reporter: On Somalia, it is said that the U.S. is seeking additional sanctions against Eritrea. Is that true? And if so, why?
Ambassador Rice: The United States is very, very concerned about Eritrea’s behavior in the region. Its support for Al-Shabaab, its support to destabilize its neighbors is documented quite thoroughly and persuasively in the report of the special panel. We heard during the session last month from virtually all of Eritrea’s neighbors that they face a pattern of destabilization that is quite troubling and quite disturbing.
Moreover, we’re profoundly troubled and we have clearly condemned the support that Eritrea lent to the terrorist attack that was planned for—to coincide with the African Union summit last January in Addis Ababa. We think that’s an absolutely abhorrent development, and we think it merits the full attention of the Council.
Yes, the United States is very much interested in additional pressure and sanctions being applied on Eritrea. This is something that we’ll continue to discuss and debate in the Security Council. But from the U.S. point of view, we think that that is timely.
Reporter: …is there a famine in Eritrea? The idea of imposing sanctions …
Ambassador Rice: Well, first of all, any measures to be contemplated would be carefully targeted and would not go in any way to harm the people of Eritrea, who are suffering enough as it is. We believe there is a famine in Eritrea, but we’re deeply concerned that none of us know because they have barred UN agencies, barred NGOs. It has become a black hole in terms of governance and humanitarian ground truth. And the people of Eritrea, who must…most likely are suffering the very same food shortages that we’re seeing throughout the region are being left to starve because there is not access, there’s a clear cut denial of access by the government of Eritrea of food and other humanitarian support for its people.