After close to a decade, the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Wednesday lifted the sanctions imposed on Eritrea.
Nine years ago, the UN Security Council passed a resolution to place an arms embargo, asset freeze, and travel ban on Eritrea following allegations that the North East African country was offering support to the Al-Shabab militants in Somalia, despite Eritrea denying this.
In 2009, 13 votes backed a resolution mooted by the United Kingdom to impose the sanctions.
Lifting of the nine-year long sanctions comes amid the recent mending of relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia, following the assumption of Abiy Ahmed as Prime Minister of Ethiopia. The two countries had suffered decades of animosity.
At the same time, Eritrea and the UN-backed government in Somalia recently signed a joint cooperation agreement.
Karen Pierce, UK’s ambassador to the UN said that the peace advancements in the region played a significant role in removing sanctions.
“This is a very important move both for the region, who have made sterling efforts to make this work, and for the wider UN and international community,” said Pierce.
“The lifting of the sanction will mark an end of a difficult period for Eritrea and the region,” said Amanuel Giorgio, the representative of Eritrea to the UN while commenting on the decision by the UN Security Council.
Now, the government of Eritrea is demanding compensation for the sanctions, which it insists were politically motivated.