UN sanctions Eritrea over Somali militia ties – By Barney Jopson in Nairobi and Harvey Morris in Washington (Financial Times)

December 23rd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Eritrea was hit by United Nations sanctions on Wednesday as the international community stepped up its efforts to stop the country’s alleged support for Islamists fighting a bloody insurgency in Somalia. (more…)

Eritrea was hit by United Nations sanctions on Wednesday as the international community stepped up its efforts to stop the country’s alleged support for Islamists fighting a bloody insurgency in Somalia.

The US and other western countries accuse Eritrea of supplying weapons and money to the al-Shabaab militia that is seeking to topple Somalia’s weak interim government, which has international support but little authority on the ground.

Eritrea, a tiny Red Sea country with few international friends, has repeatedly denied the allegation. Its critics say it is seeking to destabilise Somalia in order to threaten Ethiopia, which borders both countries and is Eritrea’s bitter enemy.

The Security Council resolution imposes an arms embargo on Eritrea as well as freezing the assets of individuals and companies, which will be designated by an existing sanctions committee, and introducing travel bans.

The resolution demands that Eritrea “cease arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members including al-Shabaab, that aim to destabilize the region”.

Somalia has been mired in lawlessness since its last functional central government collapsed during civil war in 1991.

The latest phase of violence and civilian suffering in its south and central regions began almost three years ago after Ethiopia invaded at the end of 2006 – with tacit US backing – to oust a ruling coalition of Islamists and reinstall the interim government.

Since then the Islamists have split. In January this year Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a moderate and co-leader of the 2006 coalition, was elected as president of the so-called transitional federal government (TFG).

But he has become locked in a bloody stalemate with al-Shabaab, which is made up of extremists who were his allies in the 2006 coalition.

“The problem with the TFG is there’s not a lot of reconciliation and dialogue you can do with Shabaab,” said one UN official who works on Somalia.

Al-Shabaab is waging an anti-government campaign of bomb and mortar attacks –killing three ministers in one incident this month – but has not been able to overcome a last line of defence provided by some 4,000 African Union peacekeepers.

The UN sanctions resolution was passed by 13 votes in the 15 member council. Libya voted against and China abstained.

Ben Rawlence, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “Pressure on only one country in the Horn of Africa is unlikely to provide a solution to the crisis in Somalia and domestic crises in Ethiopia and Eritrea.”

Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a guerrilla war but its repressive ruling regime fell out with Ethiopia again over a 1998-2000 border war and Ethiopia’s refusal to implement the ruling of an independent boundary commission.

“A better approach would be a joined-up one that says Ethiopia needs to implement the border decision, Eritrean security concerns relating to Ethiopia are legitimate, and everyone needs to get out of Somalia,” said Mr Rawlence.

In a letter to the council last week, Araya Desta, Eritrea’s UN ambassador, described the sanctions as “ludicrous punitive measures” and warned they risked “engulfing the region into another cycle of conflict as it may encourage Ethiopia to contemplate reckless military adventures”.

  1. ketema
    | #1

    The picture shown above is Donald ramsfield visiting Eritrea (a little singapore)and isayas of Shabea welcoming him.
    This was the time Isyas permit US to use Assab port for any kind of use.
    US knows that ETHIOPIA is more important than Eritrea and decline the offer and turned to Djibout.
    well,when we come to the point this is the final moment for eritrea to exist or disintegrate.
    Because the sanction will hure Eritrea definately.

  2. King Yacob
    | #2

    I liked what Mr Rawlence said “A better approach would be a joined-up one that says Ethiopia needs to implement the border decision, Eritrean security concerns relating to Ethiopia are legitimate, and everyone needs to get out of Somalia,”.

    If there was any ethics or truth in all this it should have been Ethiopia and US that should get the sanction as they are the two countries who really desblise the horn. More over Ethiopia should not be continually endoresed to Occupy Eritreas land.

  3. Hilina
    | #3

    Ketema, Continue dreaming and you are dam fool of hatered against Eritrea. Fear for the disentegration of your Ethiopia and turning into batlefield. America is just a country with its oun interest however people who live in their country have the right to live in the freedom they belive. We have destroyed dergue and there is no difficulty of destroying the current Eth regime and change the country in to hell if that is what you wish. Respect is something earned you respect us and live in peace if not despice us you will have fire inside your home. Pride always marchs ahead of humiliation. Be respectful to Eritrea and its people if at all you want to live in peace. America can change their policies any time.

  4. shimelis assefa
    | #4

    This esayas is a mad cow desease infected man he has no idea how this world works he was dependent on melese zenawi concerning any international poletics, may be this is the Golden time to get rid of this un educated banda.

  5. justice for all
    | #5

    My friends, Meles has access to Ethiopian money to do whatever he wants–in this case, the possibility of Meles bribing the UN members to vote against Esyas is very high. Mark my words–Meles will not rest unless he dismantle Ethiopia and become the ruler of Tigrae and Eritrea.
    This is Esyas own making coming back to bite him in his behind. Esyas deserves more than this for hating Ethiopians so much–so far, nothing good has come out of the two blood-related devils…only distraction and human misery on both sides. Death to Esyas and Meles!!!!

  6. Dagem
    | #6

    The best solution to bring peace for the Horn is to get rid of Zenawi and Essayas from Ethiopia and Eritrea respectively. These guys are mercenaries and subservients for western or arab countries. They have no confidence in themselves and on the people they are ruling by force.

  7. ketema
    | #7

    Hilina,
    what else you are waiting now?
    You fought a battle,you are deafeted and your territory is at enemys hand.
    Your people are dispersed all over the world leaving the elderly generation at home.
    UN already put sanction on your dying government.
    What is the quenceqence you think you expect after this if waited longer?

  8. Lucas
    | #8

    Sanction
    I m an proud ERITREAN living in the Netherlands
    The Sanction are illegitimate and false.
    This a typical example that u can buy a Law if u have money and specially Lobbyist.
    Do u think we Eritrean are afraid of this Sanction ? If you do, you don’t know us at all.
    There have been so many sanction to Eritreans, starting from Haile Sellasie and Derg.
    At that time we had no Country No right No one who advocate for us
    BUT now we have our Sovereignty our military our Law OUR VOICE.

    We are against ALL ODS and will remain as such.

    NO room for compromise even if that is dictate from the USA
    We know who is the actor of this bull-sheet.(Ethiopia)

    We have been through of more serious sanctions during the Liberation Struggle.
    The Lobbyist in the USA know very well that we are not to blame for the blunder committed by Ethiopia and themselves
    Scapegoating Eritrea wd not help to resolve the problem of Somalia
    and furthermore the Imago of the USA with this new Administration will suffer a lot.
    Why those PPL behind this accusation are not coming forward with evidence ?
    Because there is none !!

    Do u think this will affect us ? NO WAY
    WE will always fight for Justice
    We will prevail.

    Shame for the UN
    Lucas

  9. Lucas
    | #9

    Sanction
    I m an proud ERITREAN living in the Netherlands
    The Sanction are illegitimate and false.
    This a typical example that u can buy a Law if u have money and specially Lobbyist.
    Do u think we Eritrean are afraid of this Sanction ? If you do, you don’t know us at all.
    There have been so many sanction to Eritreans, starting from Haile Sellasie and Derg.
    At that time we had no Country No right No one who advocate for us
    BUT now we have our Sovereignty our military our Law OUR VOICE.

    We are against ALL ODS and will remain as such.

    NO room for compromise even if that is dictate from the USA
    We know who is the actor of this bull-sheet.(Ethiopia)

    We have been through of more serious sanctions during the Liberation Struggle.
    The Lobbyist in the USA know very well that we are not to blame for the blunder committed by Ethiopia and themselves
    Scapegoating Eritrea wd not help to resolve the problem of Somalia
    and furthermore the Imago of the USA with this new Administration will suffer a lot.
    Why those PPL behind this accusation are not coming forward with evidence ?
    Because there is none !!

    Do u think this will affect us ? NO WAY
    WE will always fight for Justice.

    We will shade our blood and our strength to help those who suffers.

    We will prevail.

    Shame on toy UN

    Lucas

  10. Eskesta Werajoche
    | #10

    Shabia’s claim that it has military hardware than can arm three countries and the sanction is not going to make difference according to the foreign minster yesterday on BBC.

    Shabia has no factory to build weapons what it had is a confiscated military hardware from Ethiopia thanks to TPLF eighteen years ago. Shabia is now arming its proxies in Somalia and in Ethiopia and it is time to take out this military stock pile by commando operation.

    USA can drop a thousand pound bomb to flatten this terror depo before it is send deep to havoc terror. Down with Shabia and its proxies wherever they are including the diaspora Shabia lovers.

  11. Sami
    | #11

    Issayas is like Mengistu. He doesn’t know how this world poletics work. He is letting his tiney country down, but I am an Ethiopian and don’t care that much about Eritrea. I like this line from what Mr. Rawlance said “Pressure on only one country in the Horn of Africa is unlikely to provide a solution to the crisis in Somalia and domestic crises in Ethiopia and Eritrea.”

    Both Meles and Issayas are the main reasons why the horn of Africa is in crisis and both need to be panished for their crimes. No matter how long it takes, I am sure that day will come.

  12. ETHIOPIAN
    | #12

    TO ALL OF YOU:

    Sanction is the other name of capital punishment (or death sentence), at least in that same economic understanding. The very act of sanctioning by the rich, moralless, stupid and capitalist leaders against the poor is a holocaust without gas. We may like or dislike a particular African leaders and for this reason we should not be pleased on what the rich had passed such death sentence against our people. We must think as ONE people of African as we are ONE by our common denominators, namely poverity and should not be happy when one part of that same continent’s country is punished for the West’s own interest. Sanction wherever is applied is an evil act even if the sanctioning authority think the measure will hurt the goverment or the particular leader. The Fact remains intact, however, only the people suffer but that will not guarantee the end of the leader’s administration. Despite all the suffering, CUBA, for example, had survived for 50 years and never become a failed nation as America wished. In a nutshell, let us oppose those who punished our poor people rather than to advance argument as to which states are favored or not favored by the West’s stupid policies that put Africa to a disadvantage state.

  13. mateos
    | #13

    KETEMA: fact is fact!!! the so called war between the Eri-Ethiopia was over in 1991 because part of the whole unnecessary blood shed was the COLD WAR. The cold war over so was the Eri-Ethiopia war. From there on it should have been a new era between the people of Eri-Ethiopia; HOWEVER, look who is taken Eri-Ethiopia and the whole region back to the feature- – the cold war era, I don’t believe its the Ethiopian people, Eritrean people, Somalian people, or Djoubitian people; THEY ARE MELES AND HIS BOSS BEREKET SIMON. Can you imagine what these sophisticated are doing behind the closed doors against their own people and region for something the new generation have nothing to do as to what had been said or done during guerrilla days! OR you are one of their believers that would like to see another unnecessary blood shed for egotistical purposes! In my humlble opinion there is nothing good that comes from America’s intervention in our region other than misery! If you do not believe in that then you must had been living in outer space! The solution to our whole region is! LETS TALK TOGEHTER AS PEOPLE AND COME WITH A BETTER SOLUTIONS; SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD TAKE THE WHOLE REGION TO THE NEXT GENERATION! and lastly! in any type of war the winner is povery, ignorance, weapons manufactures, and above all hatred! LETS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AS WE ALL DID IN 1991!

  14. kkk
    | #14

    I wonder why Eritreans commenting on Ethiopian website like to include meles while the subject of the title they are reqired only about Shabea.
    In this Article,the article is about Eritrea sanction. confused
    Roaches!!

  15. BBX
    | #15

    Isyass want to make Eriteria like Singapore but he said something different and he said like Sing as a poor.

  16. Helena
    | #16

    I have been watching Issayas Afwork’s interview lately. It seems to me that he has learned in the last 19 years that Eritrea can’t sustain as a country by itself. After all that blood shied he just can’t go out and admit that. Not only that the hyenas he helped to created grow up and start to feed on him. If you raise hyenas and expected them to be humans, you are mistaken. Now, if Issayas cares’ about the people of Eritrea (which I believe he does) he can take wise and major steps to get ride of the hyenas he created and bring Eritrea back to its mother land. United, with a real democratic system, we can have a bright future. When you are by yourself, you are weak and became easy target.
    Issayas you need to forget about the Somalia mess. You have your own problem to deal with. Do something real and lasting for the people and the country you love. That is bringing back Eritrea to Ethiopia. The suffering of our people needs to stop. After all these years of fighting and blood shied who is benefiting? It is only the hyenas who don’t care about anything and anybody.

  17. ኪንግ
    | #17

    ወይ ተያይዞ መውደክ ;እይርትራ ላይ ገደብ መታል:ሶማልያ የመሳሪያ እርዳታ አለማግገት:ሶማሊያ ውሰት መረጋጋት መፈተር: እንግዲህ ከዚሀ በሁዋላ እነ አቶ መለስ የምእራባውያን አገልግሎታቸው ያበካና ወደፍርድ የሚከርቡበት ጊዚ እየተካረበ መታ ማለት ነው::

  18. justice for all
    | #18

    Let us acknowledge, the number one problem of our country is–the two blood-related evil-Esayas and evil Meles. These two devil possessed evils are the master of–misery and human distractions. Most of my friends who love their mother land Ethiopia are sick and tired of reading the posts of these Esayas’ and Meles’s brainwashed supporters going around from one web-site to another trying to defend their evil masters without shame. Eritreans–you were blinded with so much hate towards Ethiopians. All of a sudden, when you are in trouble financially and politically, you are talking about brotherhood with Ethiopians–we know who you are, if Meles and Esyass make amends, there is no doubt you and Woyanes will destroy Ethiopia in a second as long as you get what you want.
    Let it be known on this Christmas day –Essyas and Meles are two little DEVILS who enjoy human miseries.

    I wish all my fellow Ethiopians, A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  19. dejen
    | #19

    well!
    as ertrea has been aware of the aid dependent strategies of most african and other nations,it has been trying to put inplace the strategy of selfreliance policy and they have managed to push their policy forward to these days with out any visible aid or incentives from any other country and i would agree with most of the expert analysis made so far that “sanctions” will not have very little effect and it will not detter the country from doing what they want to do.
    i think these sanctions are rather symbolic and it may give a moral boost or a symbilc diplomatic gain that can be used for “local consumption” ex: tplf has already translated the resolutions in almost all ethiopian langauges to discourage the momentum of the local opinion on the armed opposition working and trying to work with eritrea ,but i think this will not work att all.

    god bless our region.

  20. gofrance
    | #20

    so guys what about culture and gothic alphabet!Get no answer !!?

  21. truth
    | #21

    ketema–did you wake up yesterday?eritrea was under poletical, economical sanction 60 years ago it is not the first time it was done by US and UN eritreans tipical east africans they don’t kiss white mam for the sake of power at least they are proud than the rest of african.ketema watch eritrean will folsify the UN sanction policy and the white house will lern again.

  22. ግ እዛውያን
    | #22

    በ ቤተስብ መሃል ጠላትንት ማስፈን ራስ ግድያ ነው : ሰላም ሶማልያ አፍሪካ ታግዝሻለች ;ኤርትራዊ ራስ ለመቻል
    የምታደርጉት ምኞት ይሳካ ;ይቅናቺሁ! እትዮብያ በመንፍስ በንብረት ባለጸጋ ትሁን;

  23. Drogba
    | #23

    Truth,
    You are the one who need to wake up.As we speak,Eritreans are leaving in mass due to their arrogant leader who treat his country and people as his own private property.It is easy to say we can survive the sanction while you are living in the west,the fact is those who are facing the consequence of this sanction are ordinary Eritreans who already suffering by their own govt.So stop insulting us by saying we kiss the white man despite the fact that you are the one who still do more than kissing your former colonial master the Italians.If you are coming here for sympaty,you are on a wrong web site and advice you to go to your own web site(if you have one).

  24. ዮናሰ ተሰፋይ
    | #24

    ኢስፓኮ ወደፊት!!!!!!

  25. qwefds
    | #25

    AUDIO: Eritrea Information minister Mr. Ali Abdu’s interview with VOA Amharic program

    http://www.eastafro.com/Post/2009/12/24/audio-ali-abdu-eritreas-information-ministers-interview-with-voa-amharic-program

  26. Sabaye
    | #26

    @BBX

    Title of the song is SINGFORPOOR AIDSTOPIANS

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