UN imposes sanction on Eritrea for 'aid to Somali fighters'
UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Horn of Africa state of Eritrea because of suspected aid that council states claim it has given to Somali fighters.
The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on the Horn of Africa state of Eritrea on Wednesday because of suspicion of aid that council members say it has given to fighters in nearby Somalia.
A resolution supported by 13 of the 15 council members slapped an arms embargo, asset freezes and travel bans on Eritrea and individuals and firms to be designated by an existing sanctions committee. Those hit would include members of the country's leadership.
The United States-led nations accuse Eritrea of supplying al Shabaab with suspected funds and arms. Eritrea has repeatedly denied the allegation.
Libya, which has no veto in the council, voted against the resolution, while veto-holder China abstained.
Wednesday's resolution demands that Eritrea "cease arming, training, and equipping armed groups and their members including al Shabaab" and also resolve a border dispute with Djibouti.
It's the first time U.N. sanctions have been imposed on Eritrea. The last country to be sanctioned by the United Nations for the first time was Iran in December 2006.
Council members say Uganda originally drafted the resolution after the African Union called on the 15-nation body in May to punish Eritrea over its role in Somalia. But Eritrea has charged that its true author is the United States.
In Wednesday's council debate, Libyan envoy Ibrahim Dabbashi said the resolution took an "unrealistic point of view" and that sanctions were not the way to resolve the problems in the region.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui said sanctions "should not replace diplomatic efforts to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiations."
But British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said Eritrea had violated a U.N. arms ban on Somalia.
Reuters Last Mod: 23 Aralık 2009, 22:21