Eritrea asks for lifting of UN sanctions

Eritrea on Saturday asked for the lifting of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council since the country signed a historic peace deal with neighbouring Ethiopia on 9, July.

Osman Saleh Mohammed

“The sanctions imposed on Eritrea for the last nine years have entailed considerable economic damage to the country and unnecessary hardships on its people,” Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed said in his speech at the UN General Assembly.

“As I stressed earlier, the people of Eritrea have not committed a crime or transgression that impels them to seek clemency. As such, they are not only calling for the immediate rescinding of the sanctions but they are also asking, and deserve, amends for the damages incurred and opportunities forfeited,” Mohammed said.

Ethiopia requested the lifting of sanctions on Eritrea after the two countries signed a historic Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship on July 9 and agreed to normalise relations. But the Security Council has failed to do so as council members were not united on the issue.

“Some countries are looking for procedural and other pretexts and preconditions. The apparent aim is to move the goalpost and maintain the illegal sanctions on Eritrea,” said the foreign minister.

The Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its destabilizing role in neighbouring countries, particularly its alleged support for Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia and its territorial dispute with Djibouti.

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and the two countries fought a war from 1998 to 2000. Although a peace agreement was signed in December 2000, tensions continued. The July 9 Joint Declaration officially put an end to war, and Eritrea and Djibouti later agreed to normalise relations. The Herald.