The UN Security Council is preparing to lift sanctions on Eritrea after the United States dropped its insistence on prolonging the measures despite a peace deal with Ethiopia, diplomats said on Friday.
Britain circulated a draft resolution to the council that calls for lifting the arms embargo and all travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions on Eritrea, according to the text seen by AFP. The council is to vote on the proposed resolution on November 14. Diplomats said they expected the measure to be adopted after the US change in position.
Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace deal in July, but the United States, backed by France and Britain, insisted that Eritrea would first have to show progress on respect for human rights before sanctions could be lifted. That position however recently changed.
The council slapped sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for its alleged support to Al-Shabaab jihadists in Somalia. The draft resolution acknowledged that UN monitors had “not found conclusive evidence that Eritrea supports Al-Shabaab.” The sanctions caused “considerable economic damage” to Eritrea and “unnecessary hardships,” said the foreign minister.
The peace declaration signed in July by the prime ministers of Eritrea and Ethiopia ended two decades of hostility and triggered a thaw in relations with Djibouti and Somalia that shored up stability in the Horn of Africa.