Home | News    Wednesday 6 July 2011

IGAD regional bloc urges tougher measures against Eritrea


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

July 5, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – East African regional block - the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - on Monday called on the Africa Union and the UN Security Council to impose more sanctions against Eritrea for what it described as the country’s growing destabilising nature in the horn of Africa region.

The UN Security Council last year imposed sanctions against the Red Sea nation for allegedly supporting hard line Islamic insurgents in Somalia including Al-Shabab – a group believed to have links with the international terror network, Al-Qaida.

However IGAD member states in a summit in Addis Ababa said the sanctions imposed against Eritrea lack effective implementation - unanimously calling for “all appropriate measures to ensure that the regime in Asmara stops its destabilization activities in the Horn of Africa”.

“We strongly condemn the activities of the state of Eritrea that has taken an active part in destabilizing the region by supporting extremists and other elements,” said the IGAD statement issued after the closed door session.

“IGAD calls on the AU and UN Security Council to fully implement the existing sanctions and impose additional Sanctions on the Eritrean regime especially on those economic and mining sectors that the regime depends on including the Eritrean Diaspora as well as ensuring compliance with previous decisions of the UN”.

Eritrea which suspended its IGAD membership in 2007 is facing isolation from the international community for its growing subversive activities in the region mainly in war torn Somalia. The government in Asmara has dismissed the allegations saying as fabrications cooked up by their rival abd neighbour Ethiopia – the current chair of IGAD - with whom they fought a bitter war for independence and subsequent border conflict.

Somalia officials have welcomed IGAD’s proposed action against Eritrea.

"The government welcomes that decision and it will help also to curtail those elements who engaged in subversive acts against the government and detrimental to the stability and the security of this country," Abdi Kadir Walayo, spokesman for the Somali government told Voice of America.

Eritrea has also boycotted the African Union (AU) for over ten years ago in protest to what it alleged was AU’s ’failure’ to condemn Ethiopia for violations of a peace agreement that ended the neighbors devastating 1998-2000 war over disputed territory.

Earlier this year Eritrea has re-establish an envoy to Ethiopia to represent the country at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The one-day extraordinary Summit of IGAD has also welcomed the recent agreement signed between North and South Sudan governments to pull-out their troops from the contested region of Abyei and allow an Ethiopian peace force to move in.

“IGAD further commends the Ethiopian government for offering troops for deployment. Also, we welcome the UNSC resolution that authorized the deployment and urges the UNSC to provide all the necessary logistics to enable expeditious deployment,” the statement added.

As South Sudan approaches independence in July 9 the fate of the contested Abyei region remains unresolved after a referendum due to for January did not got ahead. In May the Northern army took control of the region raising fears that Sudan’s North and South could return to direct conflict after six years of relative peace.


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  • 7 July 2011 07:16, by Knight In Shining Armor

    Holy molly!! What stupid African leaders. Is it good idea to kick Eritrea down the Cliffs or ask the African nations not to listen to foreign voices? Well, I know whenever something is said to be connected to terrorist group, every nation have to distance them of it. Poor Eritrea, your people stood solid to preserve your national honor but now you are being sold to your own brothers by foreign mighty forces who wants to over run your national sovereignty. The IGAD head of States are listening to those foreign voices that keep on creating conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea instead of seeking harmony between these peace loving people. What a pity!!!
    Listen! Ethiopia, Eritrea is going to be your neighbor forever not USA; your people have commonality with Eritrean people not Americans. Solve your issues the way it benefit your peoples but, not what you are told to do in return for USA Aid. Whenever the weather changes, Eritrea will still be your neighbor and your people will suffer the same destiny. Wake up African leaders. Eritrea did nothing wrong to deserve this but maybe, just maybe they do not want to listen to the new colonial policies…

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