NEW YORK(Halbeeg News)- The United Nations Security Council has unanimously agreed to lift sanctions placed on Eritrea following an improvement in relations with its neighbors in the Horn of Africa.
A vote on Wednesday on a British-drafted resolution lifted the arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban which had been placed on the country nine years ago.
The resolution approved by the council, the United Nations’ most powerful body, commended “efforts towards peace, stability and reconciliation in the region” led by Ethiopia’s reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who came to power in April and accepted an international commission’s border decision favouring Eritrea.
Djibouti’s U.N. Ambassador Doualeh Siad he welcomed the lifting of sanctions against Eritrea,but said third-party mediation “failed to make significant progress towards a settlement” of the boundary dispute.
He reiterated Djibouti’s call for a final settlement by an impartial third party, such as an international arbitration tribunal or the International Court of Justice of land and maritime boundaries and sovereignty over Doumeira Island.
“But continued stalemate is not an option! We need to expedite the process!” Doualeh told AP.
The Security Council imposed an arms embargo and other tough sanctions on Eritrea in 2009 for supplying weapons to Al-Shabab which opposed Somali government and for refusing to resolve a border dispute with neighboring Djibouti, a key US ally in the Horn of Africa. The border dispute is yet to be resolved.
The move set off a number of diplomatic thaws, including one between Eritrea and Somalia.
Eritrea, a former Italian colony, gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war. It had a decades-long border dispute with Ethiopia, including a war from 1998-2000 in which about 80,000 people died.