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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora