Eritrea’s information minister is denying Asmara’s involvement in a planned protest march next week at the White House against the recent United Nations-imposed sanctions.
Ali Abdu said the organizers of the planned demonstration are ordinary Eritreans living in the United States who he said see the UN targeted sanctions as unfair and unjust.
“To the contrary, it is the people who arose spontaneously when they heard about this unjust sanction. Actually, young women, men, elders (and) even children were very angry because they’ve been victimized for the second time. So, it was absolutely popular appraisal against the unjust resolution…This resolution is not only targeting Eritreans, it’s targeting the Horn of Africa entirely,” he said.
Eritrea’s state-owned media recently accused Washington of being behind the United Nations sanctions, saying the United States wants to control the entire Horn of Africa region.
The United Nations Security Council recently imposed sanctions on Eritrea for supporting hard line Somali Islamic insurgents who have vowed to overthrow the government -- a charge Asmara denies.
Asmara said in a statement that although the UN sanctions are not affecting Eritrea directly, they risk “engulfing the region into another cycle of conflict as it may encourage Ethiopia to contemplate reckless military adventures". Ethiopia has denied Eritrea’s accusation.
Political observers say there is need for Asmara to “honestly” engage the United Nations and stop supporting Somali insurgents, including al-Shabab.
But information minister Abdu said the United Nations failed to prove Eritrea’s complicity in the ongoing security instability in Somalia.
“United Nations had nothing to do when member states were asking about the evidence. Some of them were blackmailed (and) some of them were silenced. Until today, (there has been) no proof that has come out from United Nations and people are asking where is the proof? Where is the beef? Because no proof was submitted against Eritrea,” Abdu asked.
Prior to the sanctions, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in East Africa (IGAD) had urged the United Nations to impose sanctions on Eritrea after accusing Asmara of providing funds and logistical support for Somali insurgents.