Ethiopian Premier has hailed the United Nations sanctions against Eritrea and expressed surprise over Libya’s dissent, while indicating that China’s position is the best yet. Libya, in the meantime, has critcised the sanctions saying it will “obstruct peaceful solutions”.
After expressing grave concerns over its findings in Eritrea, which showed that the east African nation had provided support to armed groups undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia and that it had not withdrawn its forces following clashes with Djibouti in June 2008, the United Nations Security Council, last week, imposed sanctions against the Asmara regime.
In addition to travel bans on both political and military leaders as well as a freeze on the assets, an arms embargo has been imposed on Eritrea. The sanctions, included within the framework of the United Nations Security Council resolution, were approved by an overwhelming vote of 13 countries in favour.
Only Libya, the current chairman of the African Union (AU) voted against the resolution. Speaking at a press conference in Addis Ababa last week, Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Prime Minister, expressed surprise with regard to Libya’s position, considering the fact that the current chairmanship of Libya in the African Union called for the UN action.
But Libya’s permanent delegate to the UN, Abderrahmane Chalgham, has explained his country’s position saying: “those sanctions will obstruct the path rather than the peaceful solutions we are yearning for through the good intentions expressed by the African Union (AU), the UN secretary-general and other international stakeholders.”
China, one of the five permanent members of the Council, abstained from voting for the resolution. Ethiopian Premier, Meles Zenawi, believes “it is the best expected from the Asian giant who could have vetoed the decision as it did in the past” with similar proposals.
Meles Zenawi said the sanctions imposed on Eritrea only credits the government there as “a notorious and destabilizing force in the East African region.”