News / Africa

Eritrea Calls Anticipated UN Sanctions Travesty of Justice

Eritrea President Isaias Afewerki (r) being Interviewed by VOA`s Peter Clottey in New York (file photo).
Eritrea President Isaias Afewerki (r) being Interviewed by VOA`s Peter Clottey in New York (file photo).

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Ali Abdu, Eritrea information minister

Peter Clottey

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote today (Monday) on whether to impose sanctions against Eritrea.

A UN report earlier this year accused Asmara of plotting to bomb an African Union summit in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.  The UN said most of those arrested in the plot received training and orders from Eritrean officers.

The UN also says its Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea has documented evidence of Eritrean payments to individuals linked to the Islamic radical al-Shabab rebels in Somalia.

But Eritrea Information Minister Ali Abdu sharply denies the accusation saying Asmara has been pronounced “guilty even when proven innocent.”

The Security Council refused to delay today’s planned vote after Eritrea asked for an extension to allow President Isaias Afewerki to speak to the U.N. body. But logistical challenges, officials say, make it impossible for Mr. Afewerki to address the Security Council ahead of the vote.

Information Minister Abdu said Afewerki wanted to attend but did not get a visa to enter the United States. But U.S. officials said visas were granted within hours following Eritrea’s application.

In an August briefing, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice said the “United States is very, very concerned about Eritrea’s behavior in the region. Its support for al-Shabab, its support to destabilize its neighbors is documented,” said Rice. “We’re profoundly troubled, and we have clearly condemned the support that Eritrea lent to the terrorist attack that was planned to coincide with the African Union summit last January in Addis Ababa.“

The United States, Rice said, supports additional pressure and sanctions being applied on Eritrea.

Asmara has also been accused by some of its neighbors of acting as a catalyst to destabilize the Horn of African region. Kenya recently accused Eritrea of supplying arms to Somali militants.

But Information Minister Abdu sharply denied the accusations. He called it yet another attempt to thwart Eritrea’s development agenda that will better the living conditions of its people.

“The more Eritrea succeeds in its development and prosperity, the more conspiracies and misguided policies against her is concocted by special interests in the U.S.,” said Abdu.

Abdi says that the anticipated sanctions against Eritrea are a travesty of justice.

“A special interest establishment in the U.S. believes that it’s about the U.N. charter, it’s about the rule of law and with that, it’s insulting the intelligence of member states and it’s making a mockery of the institution of the United Nations and its charter,” said Abdu.

He did not identify the “special interests,” but said nevertheless that they want to ensure sanctions are tightened against Eritrea at “whatever cost.” Abdu warns the anticipated sanctions will destabilize the entire region.

“We do believe that there is absolutely no justification for rushing into these kinds of destructive sanctions or this resolution,” said Abdu. “It’s designed to inflict more suffering on Eritrean people and it will create havoc in the Horn of Africa and it will have a very grave consequences for the people of the Horn of Africa.”

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More