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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs