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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African Union welcomes lifting of United
Nations sanctions imposed on Eritrea

ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua) -- The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Thursday welcomed the lifting of sanctions imposed on Eritrea.

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution lifting the sanctions imposed on the Horn of African nation since December 2009.

“Yesterday’s decision is a further step towards the consolidation of the recent positive developments in the Horn of Africa, marked by an improvement of bilateral relations between the countries of the region, as well as by a renewed determination to promote good neighborliness and foster regional cooperation,” the Chairperson of the AU Commission said in a statement.

“These developments are a major contribution to the African Union drive towards silencing the guns by 2020 and advancing continental integration in the context of Agenda 2063 flagship projects,” he said.

Mahamat encouraged the regional leaders to sustain the momentum, by taking all steps required to address any outstanding issue in their relations and deepening their cooperation in the pursuit of the shared objective of peace and prosperity.

He further expressed AU’s readiness to assist this process in any way deemed appropriate, according to the statement of the pan-African bloc.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Somalia commend lifting of UN sanctions on Eritrea

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on Thursday welcomed the UN Security Council’s decision to lift the arms embargo and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea nearly nine years ago.

Farmajo, who thanked the council for its decision to lift the sanctions, said the move came because of the unity efforts spearheaded by regional countries.

“We welcome the arms and other targeted embargoes on Eritrea been lifted with our collective request. Thanks to the UN Security Council for this helpful and timely intervention,” said Farmajo said in a statement.

The Somali president said the Horn of Africa region is swiftly progressing towards partnership and economic cooperation.

His remarks came after the UN Security Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to lift arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions against Eritrea following its good relations with Ethiopia and other neighboring countries.

The council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its alleged support of al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia. The UN’s most powerful body slapped more sanctions on the Horn of African country in three other resolutions from 2011 to 2013.

Wednesday’s resolution by the council recognized that UN monitors have “not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports al-Shabaab.”

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United Nations chief says Eritrea sanction
removal to advance regional peacebuilding

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the lifting of sanctions on Eritrea will contribute to advancing peacebuilding efforts in the region, his spokesperson said Wednesday.

Guterres also believed the move would contribute to consolidating a conducive environment for greater economic integration and sustainable development, the spokesperson’s note to the press said.

“The United Nations stands ready to support countries in the region in addressing the remaining peace and security challenges,” the note said. “It also stands ready to support the ongoing dialogue between Djibouti and Eritrea and the regional efforts to settle the outstanding issues between the two countries.”

Earlier Wednesday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to lift nearly decade-old arms embargoes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea after the country’s recent rapprochement toward neighbors in the Horn of Africa.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved Resolution 2444 to lift arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea, which had been in place since 2009.

The removal of the sanctions was the culmination of regional political developments that unfolded since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace agreement and announced normalization of ties in Asmara on July 9, ending a 20-year conflict.

The thaw also led to friendlier relations between Eritrea and other countries in the region, namely Djibouti and Somalia.

The British-drafted resolution urged Eritrea and Djibouti to work toward normalizing ties and settling their 2008 border dispute, and requested the UN secretary-general to report to the council on the issue by Feb. 15 2019 and then every six months.

The council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its alleged support of Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia, an accusation Asmara has long denied. The UN’s most powerful body slapped more sanctions on the Horn of African country in three other resolutions from 2011 to 2013.

Wednesday’s resolution recognized that UN monitors have “not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports Al-Shabaab.”

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United Nations Security Council lifts sanctions on Eritrea

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Wednesday to lift nearly decade-old arms embargoes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea after the country’s recent rapprochement toward neighbors in the Horn of Africa.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved Resolution 2444 to lift arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea, which had been in place since 2009.

The removal of the sanctions was the culmination of regional political developments that unfolded since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace agreement and announced normalization of ties in Asmara on July 9, ending a 20-year conflict.

The thaw also led to friendlier relations between Eritrea and other countries in the region, namely Djibouti and Somalia.

The British-drafted resolution urged Eritrea and Djibouti to work toward normalizing ties and settling their 2008 border dispute, and requested the UN secretary-general to report to the council on the issue by Feb. 15 2019 and then every six months.

In the meantime, the text extended the arms embargo on Somalia, imposed in 1992 with the aim to cut Al-Shabaab rebels off from any source of arms.

As a measure to withdraw monitors from Eritrea but keep them in Somalia, the document terminated the mandate of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group and established the Panel of Experts on Somalia in its stead.

The council imposed sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its alleged support of Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia, an accusation Asmara has long denied. The UN’s most powerful body slapped more sanctions on the Horn of African country in three other resolutions from 2011 to 2013.

Wednesday’s resolution recognized that UN monitors have “not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports Al-Shabaab.”

After the vote, British Ambassador to the UN said the agreement to lift sanctions on Eritrea recognizes the improvements in regional peace and security and the positive steps that Eritrea had taken to meet the demands of the council.

Taye Atske Selassie, the Ethiopian envoy to the UN, said “it is highly appropriate for the Security Council to take this decisive judgment when countries of the region are turning a new page in their relations.”

“The council’s decision today will help to capitalize on the opportunity we are now creating to transform the region into a zone of peace and prosperity and usher a new area of friendship between all countries of the region,” he added.

Eritrea became independent from Ethiopia in 1993 after 30 years of fighting. It had a decades-long border dispute with Ethiopia, during which a war went on from 1998 to 2000 and some 80,000 people died.

After Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April, the four countries in the Horn of Africa region underwent unprecedented rapprochement due to their reformist moves.

             

 

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