UN Security Council Lifts Sanctions Against Eritrea

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to lift sanctions against Eritrea.

The arms embargo and sanctions imposed in 2009 and 2011, following disputes with neighbours Eritrea and Somalia, had for a long time been a point of contention in the Horn of Africa region.

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The resolution also urges Eritrea and Djibouti to work towards normalizing ties and settling a border dispute. It asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to report back to the council on progress by Feb. 15 and then every six months.

The Government of Eritrea welcomes this belated decision to redress injustice, almost a decade after nefarious acts were taken inculcating indefensible harm on the country.

Eritrea’s information minister congratulated all Eritreans and the country’s allies, even as he continued to question the legality of the sanctions.

“The Government of Eritrea welcomes this belated decision to redress injustice, almost a decade after nefarious acts were taken inculcating indefensible harm on the country,’‘ read part of a statement from the information ministry.

The office of the prime minister of Ethiopia also congratulated Eritreans, saying the decision by the United Nations, would have ‘far-reaching effects in improving the stability of the Horn of Africa region’.

The Eritrean government says it wants compensation for the punitive measures which it calls unjustified and politically motivated, he says.

But critics say the country has done little to address human rights abuses from within and, in particular, the indefinite national service conscription that has led to tens of thousands of young Eritreans fleeing the country towards Europe.

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