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(Xinhua/AFP) UN Security Council discusses possible lifting of Eritrea sanctions

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018

UN Security Council discusses possible lifting of Eritrea sanctions

The lifting of sanctions against  Eritrea is being discussed, according to Swedish ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Olof Skoog, as the UN Security Council (UNSC) members welcome the announcement that Eritrea and Somalia would work together to foster regional peace and stability. 

"That issue is being discussed (on Eritrea and Somalia)," Skoog said, whose country holds the Security Council presidency for the month of July, after closed-door Security Council consultations. The council members reiterated their readiness to support the region in these efforts, said Skoog. 

Ethiopia requested the lifting of UN Security Council sanctions on Eritrea after the country agreed to normalize relations with Ethiopia on Monday. Ethiopia has also offered to help Eritrea and Djibouti to resolve their border dispute and to normalize their relations as well. 

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) and President Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea celebrate the opening of the Embassy of Eritrea in Ethiopia reopened, in Addis Ababa, July 13, 2018. /VCG Photo

What is happening in the Horn of Africa is truly historic, Skoog told reporters. "It is very important that we support those historically positive developments in any way we can." 

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The two countries fought a two-year war since 1998 until a peace agreement was signed in December 2000, but the animosity remained for a decade. 

After the July 9 Joint Declaration officially put an end to war between the two long-time rivals, Monday marked a new beginning for peace development in the Horn of Africa when the two sides agreed to establish diplomatic ties. 

Read More: Somalia, Eritrea agree to establish diplomatic ties

Eritrea has long been accused of supporting Islamist militants who are seeking to topple the interim government in Mogadishu, which Eritrea denies. In 2006, Somalia's transition government accused Eritrea of sending troops and weapons to the Islamist militia that took control of Mogadishu and a large part of southern and central Somalia. 

The UNSC imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009, including an arms embargo, for its destabilizing role in neighboring countries, particularly its alleged support for extremist militants in Somalia and its territorial dispute with Djibouti.
Source(s): AFP, Xinhua News Agency

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