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UN Security Council lifts sanctions on Eritrea


November 14, 2018 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Security Council voted a resolution lifting sanctions on Eritrea, and stressed the need to settle the border conflict between Asmara and Djibouti for regional peace, stability and reconciliation.

In a resolution unanimously adopted on Wednesday, the 15 member Council terminated the sanctions imposed on Eritrea namely the arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea in different resolutions in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Also, the Council decide to terminate the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) and instead has established the Panel of Experts on Somalia tasked with overseeing the remaining sanctions on that country.

The lifting of sanctions comes after the recent developments in the Horn of Africa region after the historical reconciliation between Addis Ababa and Asmara ending a 20-year long conflict between the two neighbours. It was followed by a reconciliation between Eritrea and Somalia.

However, with the regard to the conflict with Djibouti on the disputed areas of Ras Doumeira peninsula and adjacent territory, the resolution underlined the importance of continuing efforts normalise bilateral relations and encouraged the international and regional efforts to mediate a peaceful solution.

The Security Council further said it will continue to follow developments towards the normalisation of relations between Eritrea and Djibouti and would support their efforts in this respect.

France and the United States were reluctant to support the lift of sanctions before the settlement of the Djiboutian-Eritrean conflict. Russia, Sweden and Ethiopia

In Asmara, the ministry of information issued a statement welcoming the lift of "unwarranted sanctions" that had been imposed on the country since 2009.

Further, the statement regretted that the "previous US Administrations (the Clinton, Bush and Obama Presidencies) pursued a misguided policy of propping up regional proxies or anchors, the TPLF regime in the case of Ethiopia" in order to impose these punitive measures.

In Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a statement thanking the Security Council for responding to its call to lift the sanctions imposed on Eritrea.

"The lifting of the sanctions will have far-reaching effects in improving the stability of the Horn of Africa region and in building a lasting peace and normalization of relations among the countries in the region," said Abiy.

While in Djibouti, the foreign ministry welcomed the lift of sanctions on Eritrea and expressed its gratitude to the UN Security Council for insisting on the need to settle the border conflict between the two countries.

"The Government of the Republic of Djibouti expresses its satisfaction with the inclusion in the text of the resolution of operational paragraphs on the crucial issues concerning the Djiboutian prisoners of war and the demarcation of the border," said a statement released in French by the Foreign Ministry in Djibouti.


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