US backs down, Eritrea celebrates upcoming lifting of UN sanctions
(AfricaNews) – United Nations Security Council, UNSC, is set to lift sanctions imposed on Eritrea, according to reports from the Councils most recent meeting.
The move comes in the wake of the United States backing down on its long held stance that the sanctions remain in place. Eritrea has in the past accused the US of being behind the imposition and maintenance of the sanctions.
The United Kingdom is said to have circulated a move for the lifting of sanctions imposed since 2009 whiles US security advisor, John Bolton is also said to have said Washington did not back a prolonging of the regime.
The new push for the lifting is strongly tied to a July 2018 peace deal with Ethiopia after decades of hostilities. Foreign Ministers of countries in the region called for a lifting of the sanctions during the UN General Assembly in New York.
FILE – Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrive for an inauguration ceremony marking the reopening of the Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 16, 2018. (VOA)
Eritreans have since taken to social media reacting to the proposed sanctions lifting slated for November 14, 2018.
On one end, the reactions celebrated a victory for the resilience of the Eritrean people whiles others said it was a sign that justice was going to be served after years of crippling sanctions. Asmara has long called the sanctions useless and unjustified.
“The final decision will be made on 14 November this month; but the early signals coming out from New York are positive indeed. Tribute to the Eritrea’s steadfastness and resilience for nine long years,” Information Minister Yemane Meskel wrote on Twitter, Saturday.
Part of a November 2018 Monthly Forecast of the UNSC’s ‘Expected Council Action’ read: “The Council will also consider lifting sanctions on Eritrea. The mandate review of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG), which expires on 15 December, is also due in November.”
Eritrea has since 2009 been under a U.N. Security Council arms embargo because of its alleged support for al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia. They have repeatedly called for the U.N. to lift the “useless and unjustified” sanctions.
The government recently signed a peace deal with Ethiopia after decades of ‘no peace – no war’ standoff. President Isaias Afwerki and his Ethiopian counterpart Abiy Ahmed signed a peace deal in July 2018 ending the ‘war footing.’
- The population stands at about 5.8 million (July 2016 estimates).
- The land area measures about 117,400 square kilometers.
- Working languages are Tigrinya, Arabic and English.
- Major religions are Islam and Christianity.
- The national currency is known as the Nakfa.
Top picture: ERI-TV: ሰነዳት ወያነ ደጊሞም ዘነጸርዎ ሓቅታት። ቀዳማይ ክፋል