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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid