Bloomberg News

Eritrea Rejects ‘Unjust’ Sanctions Imposed by United Nations

December 06, 2011

(Adds details on expanded sanctions in third paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Eritrea’s government rejected expanded sanctions adopted by the United Nations, saying the measures will heighten tensions in the Horn of Africa region and bring economic hardship to the Eritrean people.

“The sanctions were the result of undisguised U.S. hostility toward Eritrea,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on the government’s website today. “It was an attempt by the U.S. administration to scapegoat Eritrea for its faulty and failed policies in the Horn of Africa.”

Thirteen members of the UN Security Council yesterday voted in favor of a resolution broadening the scope of a two-year-old asset freeze and travel ban imposed on Eritrean individuals and entities, while Russia and China abstained. A UN report published in July accused Eritrea of supporting rebel groups in the region, including al-Shabaab, which is fighting to oust Somalia’s Western-backed government and establish Islamic law.

The report also accused the Eritrean government of planning a failed plot to disrupt an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in January by bombing civilian and government targets, a charge which the resolution acknowledged.

Eritrea has denied any involvement in such a plot.

The text was diluted from an October draft that sought to bar companies from investing in mineral resources and prohibit the payment of a remittances tax.

Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Ltd. is involved in a gold, silver, copper and zinc mining project in Eritrea that began commercial production in February, according to the company’s website. Eritrea’s government has a 40 percent stake in the Bisha Mine, 150 kilometers west of Asmara, it said.

--With assistance from Flavia Krause-Jackson at the United Nations. Editors: Ben Holland, Digby Lidstone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net


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