NAIROBI, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- East African bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), on Friday welcomed the decision by the UN Security Council (UNSC) to lift the arms embargo and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea nine years ago.
IGAD executive secretary Mahboub Maalim also lauded regional leaders in general, and Eritrea in particular for all the efforts that helped UNSC to lift the sanctions.
Maalim said the historic normalization of the relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea is going to have a very positive ramification in the region in terms of cooperation and also towards peace, security and stability.
"The cooperation agreement between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia and the initiatives to finalize the pending issues between Eritrea and Djibouti are the key achievements marking genuine political commitment for regional integration," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Maalim expressed the bloc's commitment to implement its member states' decisions to further strengthen the implementation of jointly agreed policies, strategies and programs.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to lift sanctions against Eritrea following its good relations with Ethiopia and other neighboring countries.
The UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Eritrea in 2009 for an alleged tie with Somali extremist group al-Shabab, which Eritrea has repeatedly denied. A UN investigation team issued a report in June 2016 declaring there was no conclusive evidence to punish Eritrea for alleged ties with Somalia's al-Shabab militants.
The sanctions were primarily economic and included a travel ban and asset freeze on certain people and entities.