Security Council Expresses Intention to Review Eritrea Sanctions

The Security Council Extends Arms Embargoes on Somalia, Eritrea, Adopting Resolution 2317 (2016) by 10 Votes in Favour, with 5 Abstentions.

 Monitoring Group Report
The Resolution expresses the intention of the Security Council to review sanctions on Eritrea in light of the upcoming midterm update by the SEMG due by 30 April 2017

By TesfaNews,

The UN Security Council extends on Thursday (10) its arms embargoes on Somalia and Eritrea, Adopting Resolution 2317 (2016) by a vote of 10 in favour, none against, and with 5 abstentions (Angola, China, Egypt, Russian Federation, Venezuela).

The Council also extended the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) until 15 December 2017, and urged the Government of Eritrea to facilitate the Group’s entry into that country.

The SEMG reported that it had not found any evidence that the government of Eritrea is supporting Al-Shabaab during the course of its current and two previous mandates and as such recommended that the Council consider the disassociation of Eritrea and Somalia sanctions.



As penholder of the resolution, the United Kingdom refused to take up the recommendation to disassociate the regimes.

While the main aspects of the resolution concerning Somalia were uncontroversial and largely agreed upon, finding consensus on several issues concerning Eritrea led several council members to withdraw their support to the resolution, even though they agree on elements of the resolution on Somalia.

Perhaps the most difficult issue that led five member states to disassociate themselves from the resolution was regarding the request for a review of the sanctions on Eritrea.

China earlier proposed a complete review of the Eritrea sanction based on three consecutive reports of the monitoring group. The group’s reports concluded that all the relevant issues that led to the imposition of sanction on Eritrea are now non-existent.

China’s proposal requests the SEMG to present a report within 120 days to the Committee on recommendations for lifting sanctions on Eritrea, including benchmarks and a timeframe for lifting the sanctions.

Again, the proposal was rejected by the penholder. The United Kingdom along with the US wanted the sanction on Eritrea to continue any way.

The politically motivated rejection by the United Kingdom then led to the complete withdrawal of support to the entire Somalia Eritrea Resolution 2317 (2016) by Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela, although they support elements of the resolution on Somalia.

That was a disappointment to the United Kingdom representative as he was certain to to get a unanimous vote for his resolution.

As a compromise, however, the penholder [UK] quickly incorporated text in the resolution expressing the Council’s intention to review sanction on Eritrea by April 2017.

“34. Expresses its intention to review measures on Eritrea in light of the upcoming midterm update by the SEMG due by 30 April 2017, and taking into account relevant Security Council resolutions;

Speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group, Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno of Venezuela was critical of the United Kingdom as penholder for using the sanction measure as a collective punishment against Eritrea. He said,

“[…] the sanctions imposed on Eritrea had no further political purpose beyond serving the national interests of permanent members.”

“The Monitoring Group had submitted a professional opinion that pointed to the case for lifting the sanctions,” he said, pointing out that for three years in a row, no evidence had been found of Eritrea lending support to Al-Shabaab.

Qatar was working to obtain the release of a number of prisoners of war and to settle the dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti, and a roadmap was needed for lifting the sanctions. China’s proposal to address that issue had won the support of five members, but the penholder [UK] seemed to believe it was not appropriate,” he noted.

The United Kingdom’s representative, however, said, “we don’t welcome the progress because nothing has changed,” while emphasizing that the lack of cooperation on the part of the country’s authorities had “tied the international community’s hands”.

Statements

MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said the lack of cooperation by that country’s authorities had tied the international community’s hands. “We don’t welcome the progress because nothing has changed,” he declared, adding that the Council had engaged with regional stakeholders in order to balance views on the text.

WU HAITAO (China) said his country hoped the Security Council would pay close attention to changes on the ground and make timely adjustments, while remaining responsive to the legitimate concerns of States.



JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) said his delegation had abstained from the vote because the Monitoring Group had found no evidence of Eritrea’s support for Al-Shabaab. While a constructive proposed roadmap towards changing the sanctions regime would encourage the Government of Eritrea to engage with the international community, that proposal had not been considered, he noted.

ISOBEL COLEMAN (United States), emphasizing her strong support for the resolution, which targeted causes of instability in the Horn of Africa, said that sanctions regimes were an important part of the international community’s response to the situation there. Eritrea had called for an end to the sanctions but its lack of cooperation was not the path to lifting them, she said. While no evidence had been found that Eritrea supported Al-Shabaab, that was difficult to corroborate because the Monitoring Group had not been allowed to visit the country. No information had been provided on the fate of Djiboutian prisoners of war.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said his delegation had been forced to abstain from the vote because the Monitoring Group had affirmed that there was no evidence of Eritrean support for Al-Shabaab in Somalia. The allegations of its support for regional armed groups simply did not exist anymore, he emphasized, suggesting that a roadmap be drawn up on the matter.

AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) emphasized that the resolution’s wording should have been more balanced. Acknowledging positive developments, including the absence of support for Al-Shabaab, he called upon Council members to use clear criteria when determining sanctions, adding that it should be done in such a way as to promote peace and security, while resolving regional concerns. Stressing that sanctions must not continue forever, he said they must be flexible enough to be responsive to changes on the ground.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said he had abstained from voting on the resolution because the section on Eritrea was unfair. The Sanctions Committee’s workings were a clear example of imposing sanctions as an end in itself, he said, speaking in his capacity as Chair of that subsidiary body. Such measures should not be used for the collective punishment of a country, he said, emphasizing that the sanctions imposed on Eritrea had no further political purpose beyond serving the national interests of permanent members.

The Monitoring Group had submitted a professional opinion that pointed to the case for lifting the sanctions, he said, pointing out that for three years in a row, no evidence had been found of Eritrea lending support to Al-Shabaab. Qatar was working to obtain the release of a number of prisoners of war and to settle the dispute between Eritrea and Djibouti, and a roadmap was needed for lifting the sanctions. China’s proposal to address that issue had won the support of five members, but the penholder [UK] seemed to believe it was not appropriate, he noted. Venezuela supported the resolution’s elements on Somalia, he added.

AMANUEL GIORGIO (Eritrea) said the Council had committed a grave injustice against his country’s people, declaring: “There is no reason to maintain sanctions against Eritrea.” The Monitoring Group had proven the justification for the measures non-existent, he pointed out, emphasizing that the sanctions had been detrimental not only to Eritrea, but also to the wider Horn of Africa region. Sanctions encouraged zero-sum approaches and imparted a sense of impunity on the part of some countries, he said. Turning to Djibouti, he said Eritrea supported the State of Qatar’s mediation, which had resulted in the release of all prisoners of war.

MOHAMED SIAD DOUALEH (Djibouti) expressed concern about his country’s combatants missing in action since the 2008 clashes with Eritrea. That country’s release of prisoners in March had raised hope, but unfortunately, its past practices continued. Furthermore, Al-Shabaab continued to pose a serious threat to peace and stability in Somalia, he noted, expressing support for extending the sanctions regime.

Resolution 2317 (2016): Eritrea

“30. Welcomes the SEMG’s ongoing and significant efforts to engage with the Government of Eritrea, in that context recalls the two meetings between the Representative of the Government of Eritrea and the SEMG, reiterates its expectation that the Government of Eritrea will facilitate the entry of the SEMG to Eritrea, to discharge fully its mandate, in line with its repeated requests, including in paragraph 52 of resolution 2182 (2014); and underlines that deepened cooperation will help the Security Council be better informed about Eritrea’s compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions;

“31. Urges the Government of Eritrea to facilitate a visit of the SEMG to Eritrea, and thereafter to support regular visits to Eritrea by the SEMG;

“32. Calls on Eritrea to cooperate fully with the SEMG, in accordance with the SEMG’s mandate contained in paragraph 13 of resolution 2060 (2012) and updated in paragraph 41 of resolution 2093 (2013);

“33. Stresses its demand that the Government of Eritrea allow access and make available any detailed information, including to the SEMG, pertaining to the Djiboutian combatants missing in action since the clashes of 2008 so that those concerned may ascertain the presence and conditions of any remaining Djiboutian prisoners of war;

“34. Expresses its intention to review measures on Eritrea in light of the upcoming midterm update by the SEMG due by 30 April 2017, and taking into account relevant Security Council resolutions;


27 thoughts on “Security Council Expresses Intention to Review Eritrea Sanctions

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  2. ERITREA’S STATEMENT

    I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for giving my delegation the opportunity to address the Council. Allow me also to congratulate Senegal for assuming the Presidency of the Council for the month of November.

    Mr. President,

    Excellencies,

    The UN Security Council has once again committed grave injustice against the people of Eritrea by extending the unjustified sanction.

    There is no reason to maintain sanction against Eritrea, as the justification for its imposition has long been proven nonexistent, a fact that has been asserted by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group. In four of its reports, including during its present mandate the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group, has affirmed that “there is no evidence of Eritrean support to Al-Shabab in Somalia.”

    On Djibouti, Eritrea remains committed to the mediation of the State of Qatar, which resulted in the release of all Djiboutian prisoners of war last March. The report of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group makes it clear that all its interlocutors only mention seven prisoners of war in Eritrea, who are all accounted for. For its part, Eritrea has confirmed that there are no more Djiboutian prisoners in its hand.

    In light of the reports of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group and serious regional developments, it is incumbent on the UN Security Council to lift the unfair, unjust and counterproductive sanction on Eritrea without further delay.

    Mr. President,

    Eritrea is keenly aware that failing to find any substantive argument to continue the sanction, some members of the Council have resorted to procedural matters, particularly the inability of the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group to visit Eritrea. If truth be told, this is not the real reason for their determination to keep the sanction in place. In fact, some of them have made it clear that even if the Group were to visit Eritrea, they would still not support the lifting of the sanction.

    Mr. President,

    The sanction, which has been in place for the past seven years, has been detrimental not only to Eritrea, but also to the Horn of Africa region. It has encouraged zero-sum approaches and imparted a sense of impunity to some countries and emboldened them to violate international law as well as externalize their problems instead of cooperating with their neighbors to address the serious challenges of regional peace and security. Unfortunately, the UN Security Council has once again missed the opportunity to contribute positively to regional peace, stability and amity by maintaining the sanction on Eritrea. On its part, Eritrea will continue making its positive contribution to regional peace, stability and security in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.

    In conclusion, Eritrea wishes to sincerely thank those delegations who have advocated for the immediate lifting of the sanction and those who have dissociated themselves from this unfair and unwarranted resolution.

    I thank you, Mr. President

      1. TN:
        If that was the case,can’t Russia or China or Venezuela draft a separate resolution on Eritrea?
        BTW,the Somali Arms Embargo is there only as a cover up to punish Eritrea as Somalia is not ready for any Military aid now until the TPLF moves out.

        1. Refusing to detach the Eritrean case from Somali case was a trick to force members to vote for the resolution because of the more compelling case–the Somalia case. Both the US and the UK politicians are experts on this. That’s how they pass laws that have no chance of passing or vice-versa.

    1. Abstain means in THIS CASE suspended till next time (April 30, 2017). So we expect to have a compromised (reform) settlement from which UK as a penholder (USA right hand) proposed resolution and China’s a reviewed proposal. On tap of this 15 countries (security consul members) have to vote unanimously for a proposal resolution to be adapted. Or else if there is no a set date to talk about a proposal, abstain means the resolution is adapted. Eritrea is working to Lift the already adapted resolution while the Uk and USA are working to continue the sanction (not to be lifted) unless Eritrea is cooperating with SEMG.
      Cooperating to SEMG means:
      To materialize hidden agenda by USA and UK for prolonging the sanction and roll back to their needs and interest. This is a mechanism by which sanction could be re-imposed right away in the event Eritrea is not complied with the SEMG’s mandate. Once they get an access and put their foot in Eritrea, their mission will become a clandestine information gather committee. Ones you open your door to SEMG, it means you are exposing your military and hardware depot {strategies}, Revenues (which westerns are eager to find out), and other information collecting mission such as, Eritrea supporting Anti-Ethiopian forces…etc.

      1. I totally agree with you My Selam .It has a personal motivated Agenda .How on earth in a first place give sanction and then want go to Eritrea.The SEMG didn’t follow the protocol , the hell the Western and SEMG with them.

  3. You’re sounding ‘smart’ when you say “Life at the end of the day is choice”….
    But, what would be your opinion on this:-

    Al Amoudi’s 20 million dollars paid on behalf of Woyane to buy American support just went up in smoke.

  4. LOL … “Life at the end of the day is choice” — I see the sad choices (Begging for FooD Stamp) your kind ask from the west.

  5. Hello all:

    Few points to debate on:

    1)That the SEMG and the UNSC have no further evidence that Eritrea supports the al Shebab,but the irony is that the UN has enough evidence that Kenya is supporting the al Shebab Terrorist Group

    2)The SEMG has no Mandate on the Ethio-Eritrea issue.BUT if it does,it has also to include the destabilizing role of Ethiopia against Eritrea in its report

    3)Gedeb News said:”Qatari Diplomats are frustrated by the mediation efforts that it embarked on and couldn’t resolve. Eight years after the clash, the border issue between Eritrea and Djibouti is not yet resolved.But I thought that the Qataris testified to the UN that it has resolved the Eri-Djibouti Issue,didn’t it?

    4)the USA has confirmed that Ethiopia invaded Eritrea last Summer…and if so,how can the USA sanction Eritrea on Arms or insists on Arms Embargo on Eritrea.

    1. Every UN member including Woyane know that Eritrea has never supported Al-shebab. If they had proof, they would have presented in using their Satellite Images. The fact they kept fabricating 2000 Eritrean soldiers in Somalia, planes full of weapons landing in Al-shebab controlled Somalia, money transfer from middle east to Al-shebab, etc, etc would not have been necessary; they kept that fabrication only because they don’t have a proof.
      .
      In short, Eritrea has refused to be an East African House Negros and thus paying for it. I rather die with dignity than live as a house nigger.

    2. Appears that TPLF has blackmailed Djibouti. Little Djibouti succumbed to TPLF bluff about taking its port business to Berbera if it doesn’t defy Qatar’s report to the UN. TPLF is a cancer and should be dealt with before even more harm is done to the region.

      The end is coming, throwing 60,000 plus Ethiopians to jail in just the last few weeks is a sign of weakness.

  6. you should be hiding inside your shell ….

    A board entrusted with overseeing the martial law declared by the repressive regime in Ethiopia says over 11,000 people were arrested since the state of emergency was declared in early October, according to the state media.

    But opposition political parties say the figure is much higher than what the government bodies report. Dr. Merara Gudina, who gave his testimony at the European parliament on Wednesday put the number of arrested at 60,000.

    The statement by the government says a total of 11,607 people have been detained at six detention centers across the country. The detainees were accused of inciting violence, destroying government properties and carrying flags of political parties outlawed by the regime as terrorist groups.

  7. All Eritreans Know that since day one ,who are the enemy of Eritrean???British and USA since 1952 7 daces.The UN Unjust toothless sanction is not going to hurt my beloved country ,It is going to hurt them .What’s going around come around !!!! UN Council is a Neocolonialism vehicle. Honestly, I think the world have to create anther UN, that not run by the British and USA.Again I said to the World have to create UN that runs by the most humanitarian descant people.Can you agree with me ???
    Let the dog barks while the camel marches.
    Eritreans never kneel down to the human being only to God Almighty

  8. As Ethiopia continues being disemboweled, all the political realities of the region will be revisited whether the
    USA likes it or not. All that Eritrea has to do in the mean time is stay the course and refuse to allow the
    professional LIARS to step on Eritrean soil.
    The arrogant British delegate to the UN Security Council was saying that removing the sanction while Eritrea refuses to allow the Monitoring Group inside Eritrea would send a bad example. That statement right there shows the bankrupt and childish position of the Security Council on this matter. Essentially the British Ambassador was saying the sanction has no other purpose but to show Eritrea who are the bosses. That’s it.

    And Eritrea has been correctly telling these bullies: GO TO HELL!

  9. I thought a new govt in the UK, which Went against Brussels establishment politicians and succeeded with brexit, would´ve been a more mature and far seeing govt. Alas, I was so wrong!

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