New Sanctions Against Eritrea Have Passed, Now What?

For anyone who is Eritrean I am sure we all heard of the saying “Eritreans’ only kneel for two reasons, to pray and to aim.” Lately the Horn of Africa has been all over the news mostly relating to famine and conflict. According to the DailyMaverick:

“The United Nations Security Council passed new sanctions against Eritrea on Monday, punishing the tiny country in the Horn of Africa for its continued political, financil, training and logistical support to Al Shabaab, the radical Islamist militant group in Somalia an allegation which Eritrea denies. But with sanctions as weak as these, there’s not much incentive for Ertirea to change its ways.”

I came across this interesting interview a few weeks ago with President Isaias Afwerki on the topic of Somalia, Al Shabaab, and Eritrea’s role in the current crisis. Click hereto watch and let me know what you think.

“The peoples of Eritrea, Ethiopia and the region will undoubtedly pay the price for this continued misguided policy, but the Eritrean people will prevail, as they prevailed in the past” a statement from Eritrean Foreign Ministry stated.

Even though Eritrea was sanctioned before in 2009, the new sanctions wouldn’t be any different and will continue putting a freeze on weapon sales to Eritrea and travel bans and asset freezes on selected officials. However, Eritreans both for and against government including the diaspora are frustrated.

The Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice  (YPFD), a pro-government Eritrean Diaspora Youth organization striving to create a strong, conscious, and patriotic youth movement and others groups have been petitioning against the sanction.  But do you have to be pro-government to be patriotic? And if you don’t agree to the UN sanctioning Eritrea, what other solutions can we come up with together regardless of government views? According to the petition:

“The Eritrean population, which suffered seven decades of repeated UN injustices, shouldn’t be made to suffer more injustice by this world body. Besides, putting more sanctions against Eritrea and the innocent people of Eritrea will not bring peace to the war ravaged Horn of Africa; in fact, this is a reckless act designed to reignite existing simmering conflicts and to create new ones…Finally, the solution is not in scapegoating or isolating Eritrea. The solution is on constructive engagement.”

Can someone please explain to me how we can have constructive engagement with the UN and supporting nations? Seems like people are so passionate and have opinions, but it’s rare when I hear a solution without it sounding so vague. At the end of the day it should be the innocent people of Eritrea and the state of the economy that we should look out for.  One of the many reasons I created this blog is to establish a platform for people to speak what is on their mind so that we can collectively come together and think of different ways to better Eritrea and the people.


2 responses to “New Sanctions Against Eritrea Have Passed, Now What?

  • መርሃዊ ወልደጼን

    Constructive engagement with Eritrea by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can only take place if Eritrea is treated as a state equally with other members. In 2009, when sanctions were originally placed on Eritrea, one of the purposes was to compel Eritrea to negotiate with Djibouti multilaterally instead of bilaterally. The following year Eritrea did so by involving Qatar, but now the UNSC has moved the goal post on Eritrea by saying that all POWs must be accounted for. Of course this dispute is important, however by including this dispute and discounting the decade old border dispute with Ethiopia (which is never discussed in the UNSC resolutions) the UNSC is clearly applying a double standard.

    Additionally, although the Sanctions committee acknowledges that the material support lent to al-Shabab by Eritrea is trivial compared to that of others in the region, Eritrea is the only one sanctioned (others are not, including perennial terrorism sponsors Saudi Arabia, etc.). Additionally there is no mention of the fact in the resolution that as the Sanctions committee noted, Eritrean support to Somalia has essentially stopped, while neighbors have committed acts of war on Somalia (Kenya and Ethiopia have invaded Somalia with thousands of soldiers without the consent of what passes as the Somali government). These violations of the sanctions regime on Somalia go without discussion in the resolution as well.

    Clearly Eritrea is being treated to a double standard by the UNSC, its goal seems to weaken Eritrea’s position in the region.

  • zebiba

    I just found out today. This breaks my heart and can I be more disappointed at this point? I guess I’m not surprised by the UN action anymore. I can only pray for our people.

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