IGAD ministers recommend more targeted sanctions against Eritrea

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (PANA) - East African foreign ministers have called for more targeted sanctions against Eritrea for supporting extremists to destabilize the region, according to a communiqué issued here.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers met on the sidelines of the AU Executive Council meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and urged the AU and the UN Security Council to endorse further sanctions.

The meeting also called for specific measures targeting the huge foreign currency transfers from Eritreans in the Diaspora, to cut off funding to the government of Isaias Aferwerki, whom the region accuses of destabilization.

The current UN sanctions mainly target the President and his inner circle. The IGAD and the AU have in the past sought a no-fly zone over Somalia to block flights from Eritrea.

Eritrea has long been viewed as Ethiopia’s arch-rival in East Africa. The two countries split after a vicious war and later fought battles over the strategic town of Badme, that allowed Ethiopia access to the Red Sea port.

But failure to effectively end the crisis between the two countries has been a source of dispute in what is popularly known as the “no-war-no peace” standoff, which has been marked with a vicious exchange of war rhetoric between the two neighbours.

The latest crisis point between the two states is Somalia, where Eritrea has been engaged in a form of proxy war with Ethiopia, which is intent of helping put in place a stable government that guarantees peace and stability in the country (Ethiopia).

Eritrea is widely believed to be sympathetic to the extremist groups in Somalia and has been accused of supplying arms and foreign Jihardist fighters flocking into Somalia.

IGAD’s efforts to keep Eritrea under check materialized when the UN Security Council, acting on the recommendations of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government, imposed sanctions on  Eritrea.

Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn, who chaired the IGAD ministerial meeting, called for action by AU and the UN Security Council over Eritrea’s alleged destabilization efforts in the Horn of Africa region.

The Ministers, drawn from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia and Somalia, condemned the activities of Eritrea, saying the country was actively involved in destabilizing the region by supporting extremists and subversive elements.

“We call on the UN Security Council to take appropriate measures to ensure that the regime in Asmara desists from its destabilization activities in the Horn of Africa region,” the IGAD Communiqué added.

Meanwhile, an IGAD Heads of State Summit has been slated for 4 July, but the venue is yet to be announced.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 30June2011

30 june 2011 07:30:04




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