UN Security Council Expected to Lift Sanctions on Eritrea
November 3, 2018 - The UN Security Council (UNSC) is expected to lift sanctions on Eritrea, according to AFP report. Eritrea has been under crippling sanctions for years due to its past involvements with regional instability, including support for what many countries believe terrorist organizations.
Britain proposed a draft resolution calling for lifting of arms embargo and all travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea, according to AFP.
The UNSC is set to go ahead and approve the lifting of sanctions after the United States of America withdrew its objections. Earlier the US had wanted to prolong the sanctions in break with the rest of the world powers. The US had wanted Eritrea to show progress on human rights before sanctions could be lifted.
Ethiopia and Somalia had backed Eritrea's call to end sanctions.
The draft resolution also calls on Eritrea and Djibouti to continue to improve relations to resolve border dispute.
The UNSC is set to vote on the proposed resolution on November 14. The measure is expected to be adopted after the US change in position.
The UNSC slapped sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its alleged support to Al-Shabaab jihadists in Somalia.
Eritrea signed a peace deal with Ethiopia in July this year, ending two decades of hostilities. The two countries have since exchanged diplomatic missions, and opened common borders.
Robust cross-border trade has already started, especially on borders with neighboring regional state of Togray.
Eritrea has also been renovating its port infrastructure for use by Ethiopian import-export trade.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed first visted Eritrea on July 8, 2018, which was followed by Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki visit to Addis Ababa on July 14, 2018.
Eritrea has also took decisive steps to normalize relations with the central givernment in Somalia, and the neighboring port state of Djibouti.
Commenting on the UNSC pending decision to lift sanctions, Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Mohammed Saleh said the sanctions caused "considerable economic damage" to Eritrea and "unnecessary hardships," and called for their immediate end.