UN Security Council to lift sanctions on Eritrea amid warming Horn of Africa relations

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UN Security Council to lift sanctions on Eritrea amid warming Horn of Africa relations

November 14, 2018| Arlaadi Online

The relief comes as Eritrea repairs ties with Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia

The presidents of Somalia and Eritrea met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday to cement regional economic ties as relations warm between the once-rival nations. AFP

The presidents of Somalia and Eritrea met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday to cement regional economic ties as relations warm between the once-rival nations. AFP

The UAE has welcomed a decision expected by the United Nations Security Council to lift sanctions placed on Eritrea following a rapprochement with its neighbours in the Horn of Africa.

The UN Security Council is due to vote on Wednesday on a British-drafted resolution to lift the sanctions placed on Eritrea following accusations of support to armed groups in Somalia. Eritrea denied the accusations and has since fought the restrictions.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation welcomed the move, saying it would promote a historic reconciliation in the Horn of Africa.

The sanctions, placed in 2009, restricted arms sales to the country and slapped travel bans and asset freezes on the country’s top officials.

A 180-degree tilt in the relationship between the capital Asmara and its neighbours has paved the way for the removal of sanctions, Ahmed Soliman, a research fellow at Chatham House’s Africa Programme told The National.

“The regional picture is improving,” Mr Soliman said. “There is consensus being developed and the governments are wanting to work together towards political and economic integration.”

Today’s political landscape is different to what it was when the sanctions were first imposed.

“There has been a 180-degree tilt,” said Mr Soliman. “The environment in which the actors were engaging has changed, which ultimately signals the fact that it’s time for those sanctions to be removed.”

In July Eritrea made peace with Ethiopia – a long-time rival it had been at war with for more than twenty years – partially facilitated by the UAE, leading to the reopening of embassies, border crossings and communications.

Following the detente, Ethiopia’s revolutionary Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lobbied UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to remove the sanctions and a Security Council statement in November 2017 said a peaceful resolution to the border dispute would be a factor in a review of the sanctions. Read more UN Security Council to lift sanctions on Eritrea amid warming Horn of Africa relations

Source: The National

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